Ranger III Departure Preparation

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Welcome to Ranger III

Thank you for joining Ranger III on your journey to Isle Royale National Park. Here you will find voyage depature information. We hope you have a safe and enjoybale experience.


Dockside Check-in Time

  • Passengers – 8:00 am ET
  • Canoes/Kayaks - 7:45 am ET
  • Houghton & Rock Harbor Boats - 7:30 am ET
Sailing Times Houghton to Rock Harbor
  • Houghton Departure 9:00 am ET
  • Isle Royale Arrival 3:00 pm ET
Sailing Times Rock Harbor to Houghton
  • Isle Royale Departure 9:00 am ET
  • Houghton Arrival 3:00 pm ET

COVID-19 Information

Self Screening

On the day of your Ranger III travel, if you are exhibiting any of the standard COVID-19 symptoms or are generally feeling unwell, please consider not traveling.


At this time, masks are not required in Isle Royale buildings or aboard Ranger III per the low transmission rate of COVID-19. If transmission rates increase to high, masks will be required.


Entrance Fees

Your party is responsible for paying park entrance fees. There is a $7 per person per day fee for every individual aged 16 and up (youth 15 and under are free). You may pay this fee online in advance at www.pay.gov; search Isle Royale National Park. Don't forget to bring a copy of your receipt as proof of payment.

Federal Lands Passes (Senior, Annual, Military, etc.) and the Isle Royale $60 Season Pass waive this fee for the pass holder and up to 3 additional adults traveling with the party.


Reservation Changes

  • To cancel or change trip dates or passengers contact the park.
  • Refund Policy: 85% refund if cancellation is received 3 days prior to the sailing date. No refund within 3 days of the sailing date.

Passenger Departure Information

  • At this time, masks are not required in Isle Royale buildings are aboard Ranger III per the low transmission rate of COVID-19.

  • Prior to baggage check in, remove items needed during the onboard voyage. We recommend a warm jacket, food, and drink. There is no food or beverage service onboard. Carry on baggage should not exceed a small day pack.

  • Ticket check-in will begin the boarding process. Before picking up tickets, have all of your checked baggage and on-board items ready. Passenger luggage and freight may be inspected at any time for security reasons. Boarding will begin around 8:15 am and will conclude 5 minutes prior to departure.

  • Due to increased security requirements, once you begin the check-in process you will not be able to return to your vehicle without NPS staff escorting you.

  • Children 5 and under must wear a life jacket on outside decks. Life jackets are available at the Purser’s Office, located on the lower level of Ranger III.

  • Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on Ranger III.

  • We do not guarantee departure or arrival times as these may vary due to weather or mechanical issues. We limit liability to the amount of the fare only.

  • No smoking is allowed indoors on Ranger III.


Transporting Your Boat on Ranger III

Preparation Prior to Morning Departure Arrival

  • Drain all water from any live wells and bilges.

  • Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to native fish and other species. All boats must be decontaminated, refer to park newspaper for details on decontamination methods.

  • The boat must be properly numbered and a current boat registration must be shown. If the registration is not present, the boat will not be transported and there will be no refund.

  • Internal and external fuel tanks can be at full capacity. Two other containers are allowed, not exceeding 23L (six gallons) capacity each. Containers must be closed and in good condition. Containers must be approved by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) or the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

  • Twenty pounds of propane per boat will be allowed. Propane will be limited to one twenty pound container or any multiple of ten or five pound containers, not to exceed twenty pounds. During check in, cylinders will be tagged and removed to a secure area for proper storage. Containers must be approved by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Prepare Your Boat for Loading at Houghton or Rock Harbor

  • Attach a ten foot line to the bow and stern.

  • Make sure your boat is not excessively loaded with gear. Please secure anything that may roll around or blow away as we will most likely encounter wind and waves.
  • The only items that are permitted to be loaded onto the Ranger III inside a boat, canoe, or kayak, are paddles, PFDs, and fishing poles. Backpacks, coolers, and other luggage must be loaded seperately on a cart.
  • Raise engines / outdrives to above transom level. Also, transducers and other transom mounted devices, if possible.

  • Leave your downriggers, rod holders, and fenders inside your boat until launched at Isle Royale.

  • Antennas and fabric tops should be folded down and secured.

  • Make sure your drain plug is in. If heavy rain is encountered, we may drain your boat prior to launching. Automatic bilge pumps may be left on.
  • Vehicles with boat trailers need to park in the upper parking lot.Please follow these procedures for your return trip.

Outboard Motors & Freight Charges

  • One hundred pounds of gear per person is included in the passenger fare. Passengers exceeding the limit will be charged an additional rate.

  • Fuel tanks associated with outboard motors must be empty.

  • Fuel tank containers must be approved by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) or the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).


Have an Enjoyable Voyage!

Last updated: June 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton , MI 49931


906 482-0984

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