Find Solitude in Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park is a 45-mile-long island of pristine wilderness located in Lake Superior.

Rocky shoreline of an island on the left with trees and Lake Superior on the right

The park is isolated and can only be accessed by boat or seaplane. Needless to say, this national park is not crowded! Annual visitation is around 25,000.

Isle Royale National Park is open seasonally from mid-April through October.

Rocky coastline with trees at Isle Royale National Park

Getting to Isle Royale

The only way to get to Isle Royale National Park is by boat or seaplane. Visitors are not allowed to bring vehicles.

2 boats in the water with a building on the right
402 Upper Rd, Grand Portage, MN 55605

To visit Isle Royale from Minnesota, travelers can take a seaplane from Grand Marais or a boat from Grand Portage.

The blue water of Lake Superior with blue sky
Lake Superior

From Michigan, visitors can travel from Houghten (boat or seaplane) or Cooper Harbor (boat).

White boat that says Sea Hunter III by the dock
Boat to Windigo on Isle Royale

We took a boat from Grand Portage, MN. The boat ride is not a typical boat tour. It’s more utilitarian.

Our Hotel

We stayed at the Best Western Superior Plus hotel on the coastline in Grand Marais, MN. This hotel was our base for exploring the North Shore and Isle Royale NP.

Inside of a boat with a bench in the center

Isle Royale National Park – What to Expect

The island has two main areas. Rock Harbor is on the east, and Windigo is on the west. There are no roads. The only way to get around the island is on foot by boat.

Sign that says Welcome to Isle Royale National Park Windigo United States Department of the Interior National Park Service

Isle Royale National Park has three visitor centers, two on the island (Rock Harbor and Windigo) and one in Houghten, MI.

Brown wooden building with decking around it

The Windigo Visitor Center has a sizeable exhibit area and a park bookstore.

Skeleton of a moose by a wall with windows in Isle Royale National Park

Lodging is also available on the island. Rock Harbor has a lodge, and Windigo has camper cabins. Campsites are available throughout the island. However, the only restaurants are in Rock Harbor Lodge. Most visitors pack in food.

Looking out on the lake from Isle Royale National Park

We stayed in Grand Marais, MN and visited the park on a day trip from Grand Portage. For lunch, we packed lunch and enjoyed a solitary picnic with scenic views.

Scenic view from a hill in Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale is a hiker’s paradise with 165 miles of trails. Trails range from easy day hikes to challenging multi-day treks.

Hiking trail through the woods
Feldtman Lake Trail

Abundant wildlife inhabits the island. The park is home to moose, wolves, otters, beavers, and many other animal species. Visitors may also spot bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other birds of prey.

Moose shed laying in the leaves
Moose Shed on the Trail

Isle Royale National Park is a unique destination that offers a genuine wilderness experience. The park’s rugged terrain, including rocky ridges and dense forests, provides breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the surrounding wilderness. Its remote location, untouched wilderness, and abundant wildlife make it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic outdoor adventure.

Mushroom with leaves around it

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