Isle Royale Opening in 2021; Ranger III reservations start March 1 for summer trips

Copper Country

Photo courtesy of MTU’s Isle Royale Institute.

HOUGHTON, MICH – Isle Royale National Park announced today plans are being finalized to open the park for visitation this summer and for Ranger III to provide limited public passenger service. 

Ranger III passenger service begins May 25 and concludes September 11. Park staff will begin processing Ranger III reservations on March 1. Capacity on Ranger III will be held at approximately 50% of pre-pandemic capacity to provide for social distancing.  To make a reservation, call the Houghton visitor center at 906-482-0984 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm ET, Monday – Friday.  Reservations cannot be made online or by email.

“Park staff and partners look forward to welcoming the public to the island during the 2021 season,” noted Denice Swanke, Isle Royale Superintendent. “While park operations will be reduced and vary from offerings in past years, visitors will still have the opportunity for an excellent experience.” 

In addition to the NPS-run Ranger III, the following concessioners plan to operate this summer and offer ferry and seaplane passenger service starting in mid-May; Isle Royale Queen IVVoyageur IISea Hunter III, and Isle Royale Seaplanes. Isle Royale Resorts/Rock Harbor Lodge will offer services at Rock Harbor and Windigo.  For more information or to make reservations, contact these companies directly.     

To mitigate risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and to protect public health, the park will have reduced capacities and reduced services in 2021.  As conditions are subject to change, visitors should check the park website, Isle Royale National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (, and social media for details on operations and changes before they visit.  Other tips to recreate responsibly are available on

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