Your Safety is Your Responsibility

Lake Superior and Isle Royale's wilderness present challenges and hazards to the inexperienced or ill-prepared. The best, safest, and most enjoyable trips to Isle Royale are all grounded in good planning and preparation. As your trip gets near, use this guide to help prepare, learn what to expect, and consider how you will take responsibility for your safety.

A person reads a cue card while standing on a dock next to a passenger ferry.
Arm yourself with the newest and best information to ensure a great visit.

Margaret Barse

Know Before You Go


Basic emergency services are available on the island, but contacting rangers can be difficult. Emergency response and evacuation take time, requiring you to rely on your own skills and equipment. Most private boaters have radios and may be able to contact rangers in an emergency.

Cell phone service is unreliable; do not depend on it.
To contact the park in an emergency: 440-546-5945

A person holds their injured leg while it is wrapped in a sling.
Isle Royale's wilderness presents challenges and hazards to the inexperienced or ill prepared. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

NPS Photo

Play It Safe

Plan Ahead

  • Make a Conservative Trip Plan. Plan your adventure with the least experienced person in mind.
  • Be First Aid Ready. A first aid kit is a must. Be trained, experienced, and equipped to deal with common injuries.
  • Plan for Problems. What will you do if someone gets injured or lost? How will you self rescue?
  • Prep Your Gear. Bring supplies needed to handle delays and weather. Test your gear prior to your adventure. Wear sturdy, well-broken-in boots with ankle support for hiking.

Two people in conversation sit near a tent.
Minimize your impact to protect Isle Royale's wilderness character for use and enjoyment by all.

Margaret Barse

Protect Your Park

Help Isle Royale Stay Wild

Adventure and simple living are important components of an Isle Royale visit. To ensure these experiences, you should be familiarize yourself with the skills and habits that allow Isle Royale to stay wild. Find out how backpackers and campers can stay wild, and how daytrippers and lodge guests can stay wild.


A moose walks over a log away from the camera in a forest.
Help maintain a harmonious balance with wildlife by acknowledging potential hazards.

Brad Smith

Share the Space

Show Respect

Observe, photograph, and enjoy park wildlife from a safe and respectful distance. If an animal changes its behavior, you are too close. It is illegal to feed, touch, tease, or intentionally disturb wildlife, their homes, nests, or activities.


Last updated: May 2, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

Contact Us