Place

Current Conditions at Isle Royale

A backpacker stand on top of a rocky ridge and over looks Isle Royale and Lake Superior.
Know the most up-to-date island information before your trip.

NPS / Katie Keller

Quick Facts

COVID-19

  • Masks are required in all Isle Royale buildings and on all ferries and seaplanes, regardless of location or vaccination status.
  • Check out the most up-to-date Covid-19 details.

Transportation Services

As of 10/1/21, all transportation services for the 2021 season have concluded. Questions about transportation services and making reservations for 2022 may be directed toward respective providers.

Fire Restrictions

As of 9/11, fire restrictions in the park have been lifted. Campfires are allowed in metal rings and grill grates found at select campgrounds. Use dead and downed wood only no bigger than your wrist. Make sure fires are completely out before you go to bed or leave a campground.

Fires

  • The Horne Fire near the shore of Duncan Bay by the Tobin-Duncan Portage is being monitored by park staff.

  • Closures: Due to the progress of the Horne Fire, ongoing drought conditions, and elevated levels of fire danger, the following closures are necessary to maintain public health and safety. Closed areas will be signed where possible and monitored to ensure compliance.

    • Greenstone Ridge Trail East of Mount Franklin Junction

    • Duncan Narrows Campground and Dock

    • Tobin Harbor Dock (with the exception of the seaplane dock for the concessions seaplane operation as conditions allow)

    • Hidden Lake Dock

    • Hidden Lake Trail and Lookout Louise

    • Cross-Country Camping Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 34, 35, 36 are closed for camping as well as cross-country day use

    • Other areas if directed by fire personnel

Bug Report

  • Mosquitoes are few and far between.

Camping

  • Toilet Paper & Outhouses: Outhouses are not stocked with toliet paper. Come prepared with your own toilet paper.

Trails

  • Minong Trail: Bring a map and compass and/or GPS for navigation. Expect trail navigation to be slow and difficult at times.

  • Fallen Trees: Expect numerous fallen trees over trails. Go over or under obstructions if able. 

Weather

Water Conditions

  • Algal Blooms - Intermediate Lake, Chickenbone Lake, Lake Richie, & Lake Livermore 

    • Until further notice: Do not drink, filter, or boil water from Intermediate Lake, Chickenbone Lake, Lake Richie, and Lake Livermore. Filter or boil water prior to traveling to these lakes. These lakes are experiencing a cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom. Some species of cyanobacteria are toxic to humans. If ingested, it can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and damage to internal organs. Skin contact can cause irritations. Filtering or boiling water will not remove toxins and may add them. 

  • Caution - Algal Blooms:

    • Visitors should use caution not just on any inland lake that appears to have algal-bloom like symptoms (pea-soup, green sludge, blue-green blobs). Visitors are encouraged to report any sightings to park rangers and avoid interacting with water with suspect conditions.

  • Island Mine Campground: The water at the creek near Island Mine Campground is running but the water level is low. A water filter with a pumping mechanism works best. 

Facilities

  • Rock Harbor Dock Construction: The Ranger III dock in Rock Harbor is closed. Visitors should expect frequent, loud construction sounds (saws, drills, heavy equipment) through the end of October.

  • Fuel at Rock Harbor and Windigo through 9/11: Rock Harbor and Windigo have both gasoline and diesel available through September 11, 2021. From September 12 through October 31, 2021, fuel will not be available on-island. Boaters should bring extra fuel in legally approved containers.

  • Visitor Centers Hours

  • Rock Harbor Lodge: Closed for the 2021 season.

  • Windigo Store: Closed for the 2021 season.

  • America Dock: The America dock in Rock Harbor is closed for the foreseeable future due to unstable conditions.

SCUBA Diving

  • Dive permits are required for all recreational dives within park waters

  • Installed dive moorings:

    • America, Cox, Chisholm, Congdon Bow, Emperor Stern, Monarch

  • Dive moorings that are not installed:

    • Glenlyon, Emperor Bow

Wildlife Sightings

  • Moose

    • Moose sightings are common in Rock Harbor, Windigo, and along numerous trails. Admire from a distance. Moose are in their mating season, also known as the rut, which lasts through early to mid October. Bull moose can exhibit extremely unpredictable behavior during this time. If needed, use a tree to create a barrier between yourself and rutting bulls.

  • Wolves

    • There have been many wolf sightings on the park’s east end. Wolves are wild, unpredictable creatures. If you see a wolf, do not approach. Encourage it to move along by clapping your hands and raising your voice. Keep your distance and do not turn and run. Wolf attacks on humans are exceedingly rare but if a wolf were to attack, fight by any means necessary. 

Flora, Fungi, and Other Sightings

  • The fungus is among us! Be cautious with consuming fungi as there are many toxic species throughout the park and identification can be difficult.