Day Hiking

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Hey, day-trippers and lodge guests. Isle Royale's wilderness attracts thousands of visitors each year. So how you treat the park when you visit matters. Isle Royale can stay wild. Here's how you can help. Know before you go. Isle Royale's weather can be unpredictable. Pack your bag with the elements in mind, including rain gear and warm layers for the Lake Superior crossing.

Before your visit, contact the park to see what services will be available during your trip. Be sure to bring essential items you may need from the mainland. Visitor centers are found in Houghton, Rock Harbor, and Windigo. Stop in to get your passport stamped, Junior Ranger booklet, or to get in touch with a ranger. Contact the park for operating hours prior to your trip. Play it safe.

Accidents can happen on Isle Royale's rugged, rocky trails. Having proper footwear and staying hydrated can reduce your risk of injury. Emergency medical services on the island are limited. Practice self-reliance and take care. Protect your park. Everything in Isle Royale is protected. So leave it where you found it. This includes rocks, flowers, antlers, and other park discoveries.

Make sure any trash finds its way to a waste receptacle in Rock Harbor or Windigo. Share the space. Never approach, feed, touch, or disturb wildlife. If an animal changes its behavior, you are too close. Throughout your adventure, be considerate of your fellow National Park visitors. Visit the park website for trip planning guidance and current conditions prior to your trip. Thank you for doing your part to help Isle Royale stay wild.

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Help Isle Royale stay wild by following these best practices for your day visit.

 

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Person hikes on ridge top with trees.
Durable footwear is essential for hiking at Isle Royale.

© VALERIE MARTIN

Day hiking is an excellent way to explore Isle Royale. Whether you cover 1 mile or 10 miles, hiking by day and returning to base camp by night is a great way to discover the island. There are a variety of day hikes available in both Rock Harbor and Windigo.

Day Pack Essentials

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Rain Gear
  • First aid kit
  • Map of Isle Royale
  • Compass

Know Before You Go

  • Terrain is rough and uneven.
  • Wear sturdy boots or tennis shoes that are broken in.
  • Safety comes first in the backcountry.
  • Be familiar with current conditions in the park.
 

Rock Harbor Day Hikes

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    Windigo Day Hikes

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      Day Trips

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        Transportation for the Day

        Don't have enough time for an overnight visit to Isle Royale National Park? Visit for the day! Some ferries offer day trips to Rock Harbor on the northeast end of the island, and Windigo on the southwest end.

        The Isle Royale Queen IV offers day trips to Rock Harbor on the northeast end of Isle Royale National Park. After arriving on the ferry, visitors spend three hours exploring the island. Isle Royale Seaplanes also offers day trip service to Rock Harbor.

        The Rock Harbor area offers many services and activities for those on the day trip.

        The Sea Hunter III offers day trips to Windigo on the southwest end of Isle Royale National Park. After arriving on the ferry, visitors spend four hours exploring the island. Isle Royale Seaplanes also offers day trip service to Windigo.

        The Windigo area offers many services and activities for those on the day trip.

         

        Last updated: May 24, 2022

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        Houghton , MI 49931

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