Isle Royale National Park

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Isle Royale is located in Lake Superior about 20 miles southeast of Grand Portage, Minnesota, and about 53 miles north of Copper Harbor, Michigan. Headquarters for Isle Royale National Park during the summer is located on Mott Island, one of numerous islands associated with the Isle Royale archipelago. During winter, headquarters is located in Houghton, Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Contact Information
Isle Royale National Park
800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
Phone: 906-482-0984
Web site:

Winter headquarters for Isle Royale National Park is located in Houghton, Michigan, in the state's upper peninsula. During the summer, visitors can reach Isle Royale via ferries departing from Houghton, Michigan; Copper Harbor, Michigan; or Grand Portage, Minnesota. A seaplane service operates out of Houghton, Michigan. Isle Royale can also be accessed by private boat or private seaplane.

There are no roads on Isle Royale; no vehicles are allowed on the island.

To Park:

From Houghton, MI (M.V. Ranger III): Six hours one way on a 165-foot, 125-passenger vessel; early June through mid-September service to and from Rock Harbor; reservations: 906-482-0984, e-mail:, or write:
Isle Royale National Park, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-1869.

From Houghton, MI (Seaplane Service): Half-hour one way via on-demand air service; mid-May through September service to Rock Harbor and Windigo. For reservations from May through September, call Isle Royale NP HQ at 906-482-0984. A 2002 breakdown in the service due to operator problems will hopefully be rectified by summer 2003. Please check the Web site for up-to-date details.

From Copper Harbor, MI (M.V. Isle Royale Queen III): Four-and-a-half hours one way on an 81-foot, 100-passenger vessel; mid-May through September service to and from Rock Harbor; see operator's Web site at: Reservations: 906-289-4437, or write: The Royale Line, Waterfront Landing, Copper Harbor, MI 49918-0024.

From Grand Portage, MN (M.V. Voyageur II): Two hours one way to Windigo, seven hours one way to Rock Harbor on a 63-foot, 48-passenger vessel; mid-May through October service to ports around the island including Rock Harbor; see operator's Web site at: Reservations: 715-392-2100, or write to: Grand Portage-Isle Royale Transportation Line, Inc., 1507 N. First Street, Superior, WI 54880-1146.

From Grand Portage, MN (M.V. Wenonah): Three hours one way via 65-feet, 149-passenger vessel; June through Labor Day service to and from Windigo. For reservations, see above.

Visitors also travel to Isle Royale by private boat and private seaplane.

In Park:

Hiking or backpacking; personal boat, canoe, or kayak; Voyageur II shuttle service to selected ports out of Grand Portage, MN; M.V. Sandy, water charter service or canoe, boat and motor rental from National Park Concessions, Inc., operated out of Rock Harbor.

Visitor Center and Exhibits
Visitor centers are located at Rock Harbor and Windigo. Exhibits at visitor centers and at Rock Harbor Lighthouse explore local natural and cultural history topics. Other historic landmarks accessible by sightseeing cruises include Edisen Fishery, Passage Island Lighthouse, and the Minong Mine.

Tent sites for one to three tents and three-sided shelters (maximum six people) are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group campsites, for parties of seven to ten people, require advance reservations. Call 906-482-0984 or e-mail for group camping information and reservations. Long-term campground stays are not available and limits are in effect from June 1 through Labor Day.

Rock Harbor Lodge, managed by National Park Concessions, Inc., offers lodge and housekeeping rooms with private baths. Call for lodging information at 906-337-4993, May through September and 270-773-2191, October through April.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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