Frequently Asked Camping Questions

How do I reserve a campground?

  • All campgrounds are first-come first-served, you cannot make a reservation if you are a small party of 6 or less. If you are a party of 7 or more than you must make a group reservation.

How do we get to the campgrounds?

  • Most of the campgrounds are accessible by hiking trail or boat. Others require a canoe, kayak, powerboat, or sailboat.

How long can we stay at each campground?

  • Between June 1st and Labor Day, there are consecutive stay night limits for the campgrounds. The stay limit for most campgrounds in the park is two to three nights. In the Rock Harbor area, the Rock Harbor campground and the Three Mile campground have a one night consecutive stay night limit. At Windigo, the Washington Creek campground has a limit of 3 nights. Refer to the current park newspaper for stay night limits at other campgrounds.

How far is it between campgrounds?

  • Campgrounds are located between 2 and 12 miles apart. See the trail mileage chart to help you plan your trip. How far you go depends on your fitness level and/or determination. More experienced hikers travel 8 - 10 miles or more a day. We recommend 6 - 8 miles for the average person. Always plan for your ability and fitness level.

How long does it take to hike the length of the island?

We want to camp, but do not backpack. How do we camp at Isle Royale?

  • You can access the lakeshore campgrounds via a water taxi from Rock Harbor Lodge or the Voyageur ll ferry. Canoes, Kayaks, and small power boats can be rented from the Rock Harbor or Windigo marinas (Note: Rentals are only available when concessions facilities are operational. Contact (906) 482-0984 or email to verify operating dates prior to your trip). At Windigo, rental boats can only be used in Washington Harbor. For information about boat rentals at Windigo and Rock Harbor, contact Rock Harbor Lodge. Washington Creek Campground at Windigo is a short 10 minute walk from the Windigo dock and has a 3 night maximum stay limit during the peak season. You may camp at Rock Harbor for 1 night during the peak season. Before June 1st and after Labor Day, there are no stay limits at campgrounds, with the exception of Rock Harbor Campground, which is 1 night from June 1st through September 15th.

Are there storage lockers at Windigo or Rock Harbor?

  • There are no storage lockers at Rock Harbor or Windigo. Rock Harbor lodge will store small bags or packages for a fee. They will not store food or fuel.

What do you do in the case of a medical emergency?

1. Provide First Aid and comfort to the victim.

2. Seek help at the nearest Lake Superior campground dock. Look for a National Park Service employee or visitor boat. If you see a visitor boat, request a call for help on a marine radio. Be specific about the injury and note the time and date it occured, age of patient, and nature of injury.

3. If you cannot get access to a marine band radio, ask other hikers (or send members of your group) to inform park staff at Rock Harbor or Windigo.

4. The Voyageur ll stops at certain docks for pre-scheduled drop-offs and pick-ups.

5. Cell phones are not reliable, but if you do get a signal you can call the park emergency number at (800) 433-1986.

Can I have a supply box delivered or stored for me while on the island?

What should we do or know before we depart for Isle Royale?

Before you depart you should:

1. Designate a contact person on the mainland that has all the necessary information about your trip and the participants.

2. Organize a first aid kit and review first aid practices. Common medical problems on Isle Royale include hypothermia, dehydration or heat stroke, injuries from falling, and insect stings. The first aid kit should contain a doctor prescribe epinephrine kit for any group member allergic to bee stings.

3. Check all essential gear including camp stoves, water filters, tents, backpacks, first aid kits, sleeping bags, appropriate clothing, insect repellent, and rain gear.

4. If you are fishing in Lake Superior waters, purchase a Michigan fishing license.

5. Confirm your ferry or seaplane reservations.

6. Research current weather conditions on the island prior to your trip. Be prepared for any and all types of conditions.

Last updated: January 26, 2023

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Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

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