Isle Royale National Park requires a backcountry/camping permit fom all who stay overnight in the campgrounds, at dock, or who anchor out. The permits are used to monitor campground use, deliver emergency messages to hiking parties, find lost campers, and serve as a tool to measure backcountry use. There is no fee for the permit, but there is a required user fee for all visitors to the park.

Visitors permit with a Ranger upon arrival
Visitors permit with a ranger upon arrival in the park.

Individual Parties (1-6 people)

Individual parties who use the National Park Service ferry, Ranger III to travel to Isle Royale National Park receive their backcountry permit onboard. Those using another transportation provider will receive their permit when they arrive on the island at Rock Harbor or Windigo.

Group Camping (7-10 people)

Advance reservations are required for group camping.


All private boaters need to permit at a point of entry (Houghton, Rock Harbor, or Windigo) upon arrival in the park. Depending upon your itinerary, submitting a boater permit request either online or over the telephone prior to arrival in the park is an option.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

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