Fees & Passes

Proposed Fee Change at Isle Royale

Since 1997 Isle Royale National Park has charged a $4 per person per day user fee. In 2015 Isle Royale began the process of updating its fee program to comply with federal regulations, allow acceptance of all Federal Recreation Passes, and study changing the user fee to an entrance fee. Park managers are currently seeking feedback for this proposed fee change. The comment period closes September 30, 2016.

 
Current User Fee for 2016

What is the user fee?

The user fee applies to all park visitors, except for children 11 and under. The daily user fee is $4, per person, per calendar day (it includes the day you arrive and the day you depart the park). Visitors should pay this fee after their transportation reservations have been confirmed.

The Interagency Annual, Senior, or Access Passes, plus the Golden Age and Golden Access Passports, do not cover the user fee.

One hundred percent of the user fee revenue stays at Isle Royale National Park, and is devoted to fund backlogged maintenance projects, such as docks and trails.

How do I pay the user fee?

Pay user fees in advance at pay.gov. Type Isle Royale into the search block (located in the upper left corner). Scroll down to Isle Royale NP Individual Daily Pass. Select Continue to the Form (under Individual Daily Pass). Fill in your personal information, transportation arrangements, and payment information to pay. Print your receipt or electronically show your receipt using a smart phone to show proof of payment upon arrival. Pay in advance to avoid congestion and long waits upon arrival.

Ranger III passengers pay their user fee at the time of the reservation.

Do I still need to permit upon arrival at the park if I have paid the user fee in advance?

All overnight visitors on Isle Royale still need to permit at a Visitor Center upon arrival at Rock Harbor or Windigo (Ranger III passengers permit during the boat crossing to the island). You will show proof of payment for your user fee during the permitting process.

I am a private boater. How should I pay my user fees?

Private boaters can pay their user fees in advance at pay.gov (see directions above), upon arrival at the Houghton, Rock Harbor, or Windigo Visitor Centers, or by calling the Houghton Visitor Center during regular business hours at (906) 482-0984. All overnight boaters need a permit, which can be obtained at the Houghton, Rock Harbor, or Windigo Visitor Centers upon arrival or by calling the Houghton Visitor Center during regular business hours at (906) 482-0984.

Park Passes
Are there any season passes available?

There are two season passes available. Both are valid from April 16 - October 31 of the year indicated. Either can be obtained in-person from the Houghton, Rock Harbor, or Windigo Visitor Centers.

Individual Season Pass - $50
Covers the user fee for the person whose signature appears on the pass. Best for those individuals spending 13+ days in the park. Non-refundable and non-transferable.

Season Boat Rider Pass - $150
Covers the user fee for all persons on board when affixed to the private boat (charters excluded). When camping, the pass is only valid for passengers included in and following the itinerary of the vessel. Non-refundable and non-transferable.

Other Fees
I am planning a trip that charges participants a fee or compensates members or trip leaders. Are there additional fees?

The National Park Service (NPS) requires permits for business activities in NPS areas to protect the park visitor, the business operator, the federal government from liability, and to ensure that commercial activities in the parks are appropriate. Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 5.3 prohibits business activity in NPS areas without a permit.

Special Use Permit
Isle Royale National Park will no longer require special use permits (SUP) for non-commercial/non-profit groups who are conducting trips to the island for normal recreational activities.Special Use Permits will still be issued for filming in the park and special events, such as weddings, or when conducting any activity that is out of the ordinary or may have an above normal affect on park resources or the wilderness experience (up to the discretion of park management).The annual fee for an SUP is $50.Liability insurance is required.

Commercial Use Authorization
For-profit groups such as camps, outfitters, tour groups, and any operation providing goods, activities, or service to the general public within the park and which is undertaken for or results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit to an individual, organization, or corporation must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization. The annual fee for a Commercial Use Authorization is $200. Liability insurance is required.

I am planning on doing commercial filming or still photography in the park. Are there additional fees?

All commercial filming or commercial still photography requires a permit and associated fees.

I want to get married in the park. Are there additional fees?

A non-refundable $50 application fee must be included in your application. After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for your signature. At that time, a non-refundable permit fee of $100 must be remitted with your signed permit. An additional charge of $50 per hour will be incurred for a National Park Service event monitor for those outdoor activities if needed, excluding those using Forever Resorts facilities.

Interagency Pass Program
The Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Senior Pass, and the Interagency Access Pass, along with the Golden Age and Golden Access Passports, do not cover the user fee at Isle Royale National Park (see above under "User Fee"). As a convenience to the traveling public, the Interagency Passes are only sold through the Houghton Visitor Center in Houghton, Michigan.

Interagency Annual Pass - $80
Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. It also covers Bureau of Land Management, Reclamation, and Forest Service sites that charge a standard amenity fee. The pass belongs to the signer/s only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. Any two individuals may sign the pass regardless of their relationship with one another. The pass admits the pass holder/s and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, and pass holder and up to three persons, not to exceed four persons (16 and older) at per person fee areas. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

Interagency Senior Pass - $10
May be purchased by US citizens or permanent residents of the US that are age 62 or older. The pass may only be purchased in person. Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. It also covers Bureau of Land Management, Reclamation, and Forest Service sites that charge a standard amenity fee. It may provide a discount on some expanded amenity fees such as camping and guided tours. The pass has only one signature line and must be signed at the time of purchase. The pass belongs to the signer only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. The pass admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle areas, and pass holder and up to three persons, not to exceed four persons (16 and older) at per person fee areas. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

Interagency Access Pass - Free
May be obtained by free of charge by US citizens or permanent residents of the US, regardless of age, that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability that severely limits one or more major life activities. The pass may only be obtained in person. Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. It also covers Bureau of Land Management, Reclamation, and Forest Service sites that charge a standard amenity fee. It may provide a discount on some expanded amenity fees such as camping and guided tours. The pass has only one signature line and must be signed at the time it is issued. If the pass holder is unable to sign the pass themselves a parent or guardian may sign it for them. The pass belongs to the signer only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. There is no age requirement for the pass holder. The pass admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle areas, and pass holder and up to three persons, not to exceed four persons (16 and older) at per person fee areas. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge. To verify proof of residency the visitor may show a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate. The visitor must also present documentation of permanent disability. If the visitor cannot produce this, s/he must read and sign the Statement of Disability Form in the presence of the staff member issuing the pass.

Annual 4th Grade Pass
Available to US 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) with a valid Every Kid in a Park paper voucher. Pass is valid for the duration of the 4th grad school year through the following summer (September - August). Paper vouches can be obtained by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website and can be exchanged for the Annual 4th Grade Pass at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees (includes Houghton Visitor Center in Houghton, Michigan). Digital versions of the voucher (such as smart phones or tablets) will not be accepted to exchange for an Annual 4th Grade Pass. The pass is non-transferable.











Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931

Phone:

(906) 482-0984

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