The best camping near Isle Royale National Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Isle Royale adventure.

The best camping near Isle Royale National Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Isle Royale adventure.

Camping near Isle Royale National Park

90% (29 reviews)

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Isle Royale adventure.

Find yourself—and few others—in this remote island wilderness.  

Popular ways to camp

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Isle Royale National Park

The best camping near Isle Royale National Park guide



The fact that Isle Royale National Park is one of the least-visited national parks speaks more to its remote location than its awe-inspiring landscapes, found north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Take a journey across Lake Superior by boat or seaplane to reach the spectacular collection of islands that make up this park, which consists of one larger island and over 400 small ones. Though far from civilization, it is closer to nature, offering abundant opportunities for camping, backpacking, and hiking on land, as well as canoeing/kayaking, boating, fishing, and scuba diving in the clear waters of Lake Superior and pristine inland lakes.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best campground for less-remote camping: While some want to camp in isolated wilderness, those seeking more civilization may like Daisy Farm Campground, the largest of Isle Royale’s 36 campgrounds, offering 25 sites.
  • Best campground for amenities: While all of the campgrounds at Isle Royale offer primitive camping, Washington Creek Campground has potable water, ice, firewood, laundry, and more nearby.
  • Best for isolation: Several of Isle Royale’s 36 campgrounds only have a handful of sites, and some are only accessible by boat from the larger island, which creates even more seclusion. Check out Duncan Narrows Campground, Hay Bay Campground, and Pickerel Cove Campground, among others.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Campsites are only accessible by foot and by boat, so Isle Royale is only available for tent camping.
  • Isle Royale has 36 established campgrounds, with most having a handful of campsites.
  • All sites are first-come-first-served and require permits.
  • Permits are available aboard the Ranger III passenger boat and at Rock Harbor Visitor Center and Trading Post and Windigo Visitor Center.
  • Cross-country camping outside of established campgrounds is allowed, by permit.
  • The number of nights you are allowed to stay varies by campground. Check the park newspaper or website for details.

When to go

Due to its northern location, Isle Royale closes for the winter season, November through April. Extreme cold and freezing precipitation are possible outside of those dates. Visiting during early spring requires extra preparation, as services are reduced or non-existent. Summer is peak season, as the weather warms, the ice melts, and services open. Prepare for mosquitoes and black flies in late June through late August. Fall is particularly beautiful, as colorful trees fill the islands; however, services are limited or non-existent in September and October, and fall weather is unpredictable, with extreme cold snaps possible.

Know before you go

  • Isle Royale National Park is closed November 1 until April 15.
  • Potable water is limited on the islands. It can be accessed at the two visitor centers.
  • Non-potable water is available from Lake Superior or interior lakes at most campgrounds. Come prepared to properly boil and/or filter water.
  • Ferry and seaplane transportation options operate mid-May through September, with departures from Minnesota and Michigan.
  • Only credit cards are accepted on the island for entrance fees and many other services.

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