Fees & Passes

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Isle Royale National Park is Going Cashless for Entrance Fees

Beginning in 2022, Isle Royale Natioonal Park will no longer be able to accept cash for park entrance fees. Checks are also not accepted on-island. Only credit card transactions will be accepted.

  • Rock Harbor Lodge and its stores in Rock Harbor and Windigo will still accept cash.

Why Is Isle Royale National Park No Longer Accepting Cash?

As cash sales have declined signficantly over the last ten years, the cost to collect cash overshadowed the volume of cash that was collected. Maintaining cash operations on an isolated island in Lake Superior was no longer financially sustainable.

 
Moskey Basin Dock taken from the shore.
Your entrance fees are used to support park projects like dock maintenance and trail rehabilitation.

NPS

Entrance Fee Basics

  • The park charges a $7 per person daily entrance fee to enter or remain within the park per calendar day. This includes the day you arrive and the day you depart the park.

  • The Isle Royale Season Pass costs $60 and will cover up to 3 adults (16 and up) traveling with the pass holder (4 total) for all visits during the park season (April 16 through October 31).
  • All Federal Recreation Passes (Annual, Military, Senior, Access, and Volunteer) are honored. Entrance fees will be waived for the pass holder and up to 3 adults (16 and up) traveling with the pass holder (4 total).
  • Children 15 and under are exempt.
  • Check out common entrance fee questions.
 

How Do I Pay Entrance Fees?

If you have a valid Federal Recreation Pass (Annual, Military, Senior, Access, and Volunteer) entrance fees are waived. No further payment is necessary. However, you are required to bring the pass with you to the island. Upon arrival, you may be asked for an ID matching the signature on the pass. If you forget to bring your pass with you, you will be required to pay for entrance fees at time of park arrival.

There are several methods to pay:
  1. Most Preferred: Pay in advance at www.pay.gov (avoid congestion and long waits upon island arrival).
  2. Least Preferred: Entrance fees and passes can be purchased at Rock Harbor and Windigo upon island arrival. Large volumes of visitors disembarking a ferry and paying fees upon arrival can create congestion and long waits.
    • Personal checks are no longer accepted at these two visitor centers.
  3. If your entrance fee charge will be greater than $60, consider purchasing an Isle Royale Season Pass.
  4. Visitors with Federal Recreation Lands Passes (Access, Annual, Military, Senior) do not pay entrance fees. There is no need to access the pay.gov system. Upon park arrival, show your pass with a valid ID.
  5. The Houghton Visitor Center is happy to assist all visitors in-person or over the phone with paying entrance fees or issuing passes. If we can be of assistance, contact the park.

Fee Collection Hours

If you did not pay entrance fees prior to your arrival, there are limited hours fees are collected on island at the Rock Harbor and Windigo visitor centers.
  • Rock Harbor Fee Collection Hours: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm EST daily
  • Windigo Fee Collection Hours: 10:30 am - 2:00 pm EST daily
Outside of these times, visitors needing to pay entrance fees or purchase a park pass will need to return during fee collection hours.

I need a refund. What do I do?

If I have paid fees in advance, do I need to permit upon park arrival?

Yes. All overnight visitors on Isle Royale still need to permit at a visitor center upon arrival at Rock Habor or Windigo (Ranger III passengers permit during the boat crossing to the island). You will show proof of entrance fee payment during the permitting process.

For additional entrance fee questions, check out the Entrance Fee FAQ section.

 
Scenic Front Images of the Annual, Senior, and Access park passes.

Park Passes

All Federal Recreation Passes (Annual, Military, Senior, Access, and Volunteer) waive entrance fees for the pass holder and up to 3 adults (16 and up) traveling with the pass holder (4 total).

You must bring your pass with you to the park. Rangers check park passes at Houghton, Rock Habor, Windigo, and do check boater passes in the park.

What if I forget my pass at home or in my car?
You are required to pay fees at time of park arrival. If you forgot an existing pass, you will be required to purchase a new pass.

The Isle Royale Season Pass

The Isle Royale Season Pass costs $60 and will cover up to 3 adults (16 and older) traveling with the pass holder (4 total) for all visits during the entire park season (April 16 through October 31).

Can I Buy the Isle Royale Season Pass Online?
You can order your $60 Isle Royale Season Pass on line at pay.gov. Search Isle Royale Season Pass and click on "Continue to Form." Your printed pay.gov hard copy or digital receipt will be your pass. Please bring it with you to the park. You will be asked to show it upon arrival to Houghton, Rock Habor, or Windigo. If desired, you may exchange your pay.gov receipt for a physical pass at this time.

Can I Buy the Isle Royale Season Pass When I Arrive at the Park?
Yes. You may obtain your Isle Royale Season Pass in person when you arrive at Houghton, Rock Habor, or Windigo though this increases wait times after disembarking ferries.

 

Special Permit Fees

The following activities within the park may require additional fees:

  • Group Camping (7-10 individuals)

  • Weddings

  • Commercial Filming or Still Photography

  • Commercial Services (tour groups, outfitters, etc)

  • Special Events

  • Any activity outside of normal park use

 
Employee cutting a downed tree with a chainsaw
The fees you pay to Isle Royale go to projects like clearing downed or unsafe trees from trails.

NPS

Your Dollars at Work

The fees you pay while visiting stay in the park and improve and upgrade services and facilities. Every year as many projects as possible are funded and completed. Projects mostly focus on trail, campsite, and dock maintenance, but any project that improves visitor services may be considered. See what your fees have helped to fund over the last ten years.

Last updated: July 15, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton , MI 49931

Phone:

906 482-0984

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