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Visiting Isle Royale National Park

by Katie Skrzek

Jan 21, 2022

© Keweenaw Peninsula CVB


Isle Royale National Park is located on Michigan’s Lake Superior, 53 miles off the coast of Copper Harbor, at the northern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Keweenaw Peninsula.


Isle Royale

© Keweenaw Peninsula CVB

Due to the park’s remote location, visitors are encouraged to plan their trip well in advance as the park is only accessible by boat or seaplane. Transportation must be arranged with lodging reservations on the island and the mainland. Isle Royale and its surrounding islands are closed to all visitors Nov. 1–April 15, annually.


“All national parks, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, are seeing big increases in visitorship,” said Kim Alexander, general manager, Isle Royale Resorts and Rock Harbor Lodge. “Isle Royale is on thousands of peoples’ bucket lists because they expect it to be less crowded — and it is — but this national park is also where visitors stay the longest and return the most often.”


The park is set on a collection of 450 islands on 133,782 acres. Visitors can take advantage of more than 160 miles of hiking trails. The park boasts inland waterways, wildlife sighting opportunities, four lighthouses and sunken shipwrecks off its coast. Cars, bikes and pets are not permitted on the island. In addition to hotels, visitors may backpack or kayak to the park’s 36 campgrounds. Reservations are required for groups.


Isle Royale

© Keweenaw Peninsula CVB

Transportation must be reserved in advance. Seaplane service is available from Houghton or Grand Marais, Minnesota, and takes about 30–45 minutes. Ferry and other boat charters vary and range anywhere from one to five hours.


Visit the website to learn more about the park and to plan your visit.


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