Place

Current Conditions at Isle Royale

A family of two adults and two children wearing large backpacks hikes through a forest meadow.
Check current conditions to know what to expect for your trip to Isle Royale.

Nelson Decker

Quick Facts

Alerts & Closures

  • Increased Potential for Wolf/Human Interactions on Isle Royale's East End: Wolf/human interactions may occur in the Tobin Harbor area and the area between McCargoe Cove and Chippewa Harbor. The NPS closely monitors wolf/human interactions in order to maximize safe park experiences while minimizing disturbance to wildlife. Report all sightings and interactions to a park ranger as soon as possible. 
  • Chartreuse Buoy Marking Mott Island No Wake Zone: There is a chartreuse buoy in Rock Harbor Channel marking a mooring block that lifted off of its station and is now in deeper water. It marks the southeast corner of the quiet/no wake zone in front of Mott Island. Other quiet/no wake buoys are installed for this zone.  
  • Belle Isle Dock Partial Closure: The west end of the dock is closed. This closure will not affect Voyageur II operations.
  • Rock Harbor LighthouseThe tower is closed. The museum is open for the season.
  • Cross-country camping zones 2023 Closures: 10, 9A, 8A, 12A, and 11A are closed due to the 2021 Horne Fire and the 2022 Mount Franklin Fire.

Safety for 2024

  • Your safety is your responsibility. Have a conservative trip plan, plan your gear with conditions in mind, be first aid ready, and have plans on what you might do in case something goes wrong. Self-rescue is the best rescue as park response is limited and help could be hours or days away. Come prepared with everything you may need.
  • Spring Weather: Cold and wet spring conditions can result in hypothermia. Campfires are only permitted at a handful of campgrounds - bring rain gear, extra layers, and warm liquids to mitigate cold.
  • Water is Life: Stay Hydrated. Potable water is only available in Rock Harbor and Windigo. To be assured of no risk of contamination from small bacteria and viruses, all filtered water should be further treated with iodine or other approved chemical methods. 

Weather

Facilities 

  • Potable Water:
    • Windigo: Available.
    • Rock Harbor: Available.
  • Restrooms:
    • Windigo: Available.
    • Rock Harbor: Available.
    • Bring toilet paper for use in outhouses.
  • Showers & Laundry
    • Windigo: Available.
    • Rock Harbor: Available.
  • Visitor Centers Hours
  • Rock Harbor Lodge 
    • Available: 
      • Houskeeping Cabins
      • Dockside Store 
      • Marina
      • Greenstone Grill
      • Water Taxis
      • Lodge Rooms
      • Gift Shop
      • Lighthouse Restaurant 
      • Fuel 
    • Unavailable:
      • MV Sandy Tours
        • The tour boat MV Sandy is delayed in arriving to Isle Royale due to US Coast Guard inspections. The tour boat is expected to arrive the week of June 16.
  • Washington Harbor Store
    • Available 8am - 6pm ET:
      • Marina Rentals
      • Camper Cabins
      • Fuel 

Transportation Services

Direct questions about transportation services and making reservations to respective providers. Dates sell out; reserve early.

Camping

  • General Conditions: Look out for hanging branches and other hazards before setting up camp. 
  • Daisy Farm Campground: Beaver activity is changing the landscape of this campground. Expect wet conditions.

Trails

  • General Conditions: Downed tree clearing has begun. Wet conditions due to heavy rains.
  • Downed Trees: In spring, trail crews will work to clear trails of downed trees across the island. There are less trees down this spring than compared to previous years. However, obstructions will exist on trails and in campgrounds. Bring hiking poles to assist with difficult sections and wear sturdy, well-broken-in footwear.
  • Trail Navigation: Changing trail conditions due to beaver activity and wildfires from previous years can make certain sections of trail difficult to navigate. Have a map and compass and/or a GPS and know how to use them.

Bug Report

  • Mosquitoes and black flies are on scene. Consider bringing insect repellent, a bug net, and your patience!

Wildland Fire

  • General Conditions: Wet. Little or no risk. National wildland fire outlook.
  • Staying Warm: Fires are only allowed at select campgrounds with metal fire rings or grill grates. Do not have an illegal fire. Use alternative methods to stay warm during cold spring weather.

Water Conditions

  • Lake Superior water levels are lower than in 2023. Mariners should exercise caution when navigating Isle Royale's numerous reefs, shoals, and points.

Wildlife 

  • Cow Moose with Calves: Cow moose are extremely protective of their calves. If you see a cow moose (no antlers), look to see if there is a calf around. If a cow moose were to approach, protect yourself by putting a large tree or rock between you and the moose.
  • Nesting Loons: See a loon on land? Give it space! Nesting loons can be found in bays, coves, and harbor throughout the park. Getting too close to or waking a nest with a boat can scare a loon away, which may cause the loon to not return to its nest, resulting in a nest failure.
  • Wolves: If you see a wolf, do not approach. If the wolf comes closer, encourage it to leave by clapping and yelling. If you cannot safely leave, make yourself big and aggressively use hiking poles or branches. Wolf attacks are extremely rare and unlikely to happen, but if it does, fight by any means necessary.
    • Increased Potential for Wolf/Human Interactions on Isle Royale's East End: Wolf/human interactions may occur in the Tobin Harbor area and the area between McCargoe Cove and Chippewa Harbor. The NPS closely monitors wolf/human interactions in order to maximize safe park experiences while minimizing disturbance to wildlife. At campgrounds, keep food and personal items secure inside tent or shelter. Report all sightings and interactions to a park ranger as soon as possible. 

Dive Buoys

Check if dive buoys are currently on or off station.

Customs

  • All recreational boaters intending to arrive at Isle Royale from Canada must clear U.S. customs prior to their arrival. This is true regardless of the nationality of the individual or purpose of the visit.
  • All members on-board arriving vessels must have proper documentation such as a valid passport, U.S. Passport card, enhanced driver’s license, Trusted Traveler Program card, or NEXUS card.
  • If you are a Canadian citizen and plan to continue into the U.S., you must visit a port of entry upon leaving Isle Royale waters.
  • If customs cannot be cleared on Isle Royale, you must leave.
  • Private seaplanes cannot come directly to Isle Royale NP from Canada and utilize the ROAM app.
  • Learn more about clearing customs ahead of time.

Isle Royale National Park

Last updated: June 13, 2024