Welcome to Isle Royale during COVID-19

Learn and Explore

Summer 2021 Operations

Isle Royale is open for summer 2021. While COVID mitigations will be in place, all ferry and seaplane transportation will be operating in 2021 as well as the Rock Harbor Lodge facilities.

park ranger wears facemask at Windigo dock
Welcome to Isle Royale!

NPS Photo / Valerie Martin

Wilderness Is Not Immune to COVID-19

  • Keep a conservative trip plan. Emergency response/departure options are limited.
  • Be self-sufficient. Few services are available. Bring more than you need in case of unexpected delays.
  • Bring toilet paper. Outhouses will not be stocked.
  • Social distance from those not in your party.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, wearing a mask is required in federal buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces on federal land. When there is substanial or high transmission in the local community, masks will be required indoors.
  • Practice backcountry hygiene. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Use soap at least 50 steps away from any water source.
  • Pay your fees before you arrive. Bring a receipt for proof of purchase.
What did you consider when planning your adventure?

Weather conditions will affect your trip. Prepare for sun, heat and humidity, rain and thunderstorms, strong winds, or cold.
Water sources may be scarce. Campgrounds are the main watering holes. Pack water for the day with distance, elevation, and temperature in mind.

Collected water should be boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute or passed through a 0.4 micron filter or finer AND disinfected using chemical treatment.
How can you ensure a low-impact visit?

Due to extended park closure, downed trees will exist on trails. Go over, under, or straight through obstructions.

Camp in designated campsites. Check for hazard trees in campgrounds. At a tent site, pitch your tent on a tent pad. At a shelter site, you may pitch your tent inside, but NOT outside the shelter.

Using a hammock? Check in with a ranger, or check info board for specific regulations.
What wildlife do you hope to see?

ALWAYS keep a safe distance from wildlife, and never approach. Moose are sensitive with calves, or during rut (fall). If you find yourself too close, put something big between you and the moose, and wait for it to pass.

Wolf encounters are rare, but if you encounter one - let us know! Fill out a wolf sighting report with a ranger.

Protect your possessions from squirrel, fox, and gray jay. Be vigilant about food and gear storage.
Pack it in, pack it out.

Everything you bring with you must return with you. Be sure to clean up after yourself, not leaving any trash behind.

Outhouses can be found in every campground. Use them. If nature calls on the trail, be at least 50 steps away from the trail, or any water source. Dig a six-inch deep cathole. Toilet paper must be packed out.
Where’s the perfect place for a fire?

You won’t find many designated campfire locations on Isle Royale. Permitted fire areas have metal fire rings or grated grills. Use dead and down wood only, and nothing thicker than your wrist. Put your fire out completely. See a circle of rocks? That’s an illegal fire. Help us out by dispersing the rocks.
Take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Leave it where you found it. This counts even for artifacts - the location of an item tells us a lot about it. Find something interesting? Share with a ranger!

Help us fend off invasive aquatic invaders by back flushing your water filter between uses.

The only exceptions to leave what you find are legal limits of fish, and non-toxic berries and mushrooms for personal consumption.

Fishing? Check with a ranger, The Greenstone newspaper, or check info board for specific regulations.
What experience would you like to create?

Be mindful of the wilderness experience of others. Respect quiet hours: 10pm-6am EDT/9pm-5am CDT. Close shelter and outhouse doors gently.

Farewell for Now, Civilization…

Step off the seaplane or disembark from your private boat and enter a wilderness untouched by most. Upon arrival, seaplane passengers can expect the Visitor Center to assist with camping permits and answer further questions. It is expected that private boaters will have already applied for and received camping and/or boating permits by phone or e-mail. Enjoy your adventure!


Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

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