THINGS TO KNOW
BEFORE YOU GO
Please remember that you are traveling to a remote wilderness island. Careful planning is required. Weather on Lake Superior can change rapidly, causing delays in hiking and transportation. We will do our best to adjust to the conditions and keep you informed through the Ranger Stations at Windigo and Rock Harbor.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
Each customer is limited to a total of 45 pounds, and when traveling as a group, no individual bag shall weigh more than 45 pounds. Please keep in mind when packing that no solid fuels, flammable gas or liquids are allowed on the plane.
Please consider the round dimensions of the aircraft when choosing your luggage. Our aircraft can hold all of your luggage, but the shape of the aircraft does not allow for large bags to fit inside. All customers carrying conventional luggage must bring no larger than carry-on size luggage. If it does not fit in an overhead bin of an airline plane, please choose a different type of bag.
Small to medium sized soft sided bags are best. This includes duffel-type bags and backpacks. If you are backpacking, larger backpacks are allowed. We DO NOT accept external metal frame packs.
Large international sized luggage will absolutely not fit inside the plane, regardless of their weight.
HANCOCK PORTAGE CANAL
Isle Royale Seaplanes is located on the Portage Canal at 21205 Royce Road, Hancock, Michigan 49930.
Portage Lake is part of the Keweenaw Waterway, a partly natural, partly artificial waterway which cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, separating Copper Island from the mainland.
Parking is available for $6.00 per day for normal vehicles and $12/day for oversize vehicles.
COOK COUNTY AIRPORT
GRAND MARAIS, MN
Isle Royale Seaplanes has added a convenient second location for those wanting to travel to Isle Royale from Minnesota. We take off from the Cook County Airport, 123 Airport Road, Grand Marais, MN 55604.
It is located just off of Devil Track Road which is East of Bally Creek Road and West of Gunflint Trail. Please take note that we do not depart from the Sky Port Seaplane Base down the road.
Parking is free.
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
ROCK HARBOR & WINDIGO
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
We regularly make smooth water landings and takeoffs in the protected bays at Windigo and Rock Harbor. So, no matter which end of the park you wish to start your visit, we can pick you up at the opposite end.
Just lace up your boots and go!
*Solid fuels, flammable gas or liquids (including backpacking stove fuel) is not permitted on any of our aircraft. Backpacking stove fuel can be purchased at both Rock Harbor Dockside Store and Windigo Store upon arrival. Please visit Rock Harbor Dockside Store or Windigo Store for more information.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & FAQ
How long is the flight?All of our flight time are dependant of the destination as well as the weather, but mostly goes as follows: Houghton to Isle Royale: 35 mins. Houghton to Windigo: 35 mins. Grand Marais to Rock Harbor: 45 mins Grand Marais to Windigo: 25 mins.
What time should we arrive for our flight?We ask all our passengers to kindly arrive 45 minutes prior to departure (from both mainland and on Isle Royale).
What time zone are you in?The Seaplane Base in Houghton, MI and Isle Royale are in Eastern Time. Grand Marais, MN is in Central Time.
What do we do for parking? Is the parking lot safe?Parking at the seaplane base in Houghton is $6 per day. Parking at the Cook County Airport in Grand Marais is free. Parking at both locations is not gated, but very safe.
What are the chances of weather impacting our flight?Lake Superior presents challenging weather issues. When our flights are delayed or cancelled due to weather we do our best to get all of our passengers to their destinations when the weather improves. Sometimes that means adding extra flights to our schedule.
What if we have to change or cancel our reservation?If you cancel your reservation more than 14 days prior to your flight you will receive a full refund. Within 14 days of your flight we do not offer a refund because it would be unlikely that we would be able to rebook your seats. At any time if you need to change your reservation, assuming we can accommodate the change, there is an additional $25 change fee.
How do we pay our National Park user fee?The user fee is paid before going to the park by going to https://pay.gov/public/form/start/67093923 Upon arriving to the island you will still be expected to participate in the National Park Service's orientation whether you've paid ahead, have an annual pass or are just visting for the day.
What constitutes a round trip?Round trip is defined as flying from the Portage Canal Seaplane Base or the Cook County Airport to either of our 2 points on Isle Royale and back or vice-versa.
What do we need to know about intra-island trips?Intra-island trips are special requests that we may not be able to accommodate due to scheduling.
Does Isle Royale have cell phone service?Isle Royale has extremely unreliable cell phone service.
How would we know if our flight is cancelled while we are on the island?We keep in close contact with the National Park Service staff as well as the Rock Harbor Lodge staff during foul weather. Please visit either the National Park Service Visitor center or Rock Harbor Lodge's lodge office for updates. *Please understand that Rock Harbor Lodge is separate company from Isle Royale Seaplanes, and has no control over our decision to fly or not, they are just the messenger.
If my flight gets canceled due to foul weather does Isle Royale Seaplanes cover my lodging?Isle Royale Seaplanes does not cover lodging in the event of a cancelled flight. Please note that Rock Harbor Lodge is a separate company from Isle Royale Seaplanes and thus will expect passengers to pay for any additional lodging required.
How do we get in touch with you while we are on the island?Rock Harbor Lodge as well as the Windigo store has a pay phone available to use in the event that you need to get in touch.
Do I need reservations, or can I just show up?"We highly reccommend reservations! We are full most days of the summer, but we would certainly try out best to get you out there if you happen to be in the area!
Can I buy a one way ticket?Yes, you can buy a one way ticket. But please keep in mind that Isle Royale Seaplanes lands in different locations than other transportation lines to the island, and transportation between is sparce.
How early do I need to make reservations?We generally encourage you to book as soon as your plans are finalized. We do tend to fill up, especially in peak season.
I need more information about Isle Royale National Park!!The National Park Service's Newspaper, The Greenstone, provides excellent information for park visitors, you can find it here: https://www.nps.gov/isro/upload/ISRO_Web_Accessible_Greenstone_Newspaper_2021.pdf
Can I go to Isle Royale for the day?Yes! We do provide roundtrip day trips to Isle Royale to both Windigo and Rock Harbor from Hancock, MI and Grand Marais, MN. Typically (schedule permitting, not guaranteed) we will try to book you for the first flight of the day and pick you up on the last flight. Which will give you plenty of time to explore the island.