Isle Royale National Park is located in Northern Michigan in the heart of Lake Superior. This rugged, untouched national park is a stunning wilderness preserve with few modern conveniences or services. There are several safety precautions to note before embarking on your trip to Isle Royale.
Weather in the park is cool to cold year round, and can dip below freezing at night. Be prepared for rain and inclement weather any time of year by bringing plenty of layers, rain gear, and sturdy hiking shoes. The park is closed in the winter, as temperatures are inhospitable. Lake Superior remains cold year round, so it’s important to be prepared to manage hypothermia if you fall out of your boat while canoeing, kayaking, or otherwise.
As Isle Royale is primarily a wilderness preserve, you’re likely to encounter your fair share of wild animals, namely moose and wolves. Make sure to keep your distance and never feed any animals you encounter. Never put yourself between mother and calf as the mother will be very protective and more likely to attack.
It’s important to keep your food stored safely, as foxes and squirrels are known to steal food and scented items from campsites. Make sure your food is secured and out of their reach, both for your safety and for theirs as they could develop a reliance on human food which, in turn alters the ecosystem and could cause those animals to starve during the winter months when there are no humans in the park.
Never drink untreated water from lakes or streams, and be sure to bring a treatment device or water treatment pills with you, or you’ll need to bring all your drinking water with you into the park.
Due to the remoteness of Isle Royale National Park, the backcountry offers limited medical assistance so bring everything you’ll need to care for yourself in case of emergency. Cell service is unreliable so consider bringing a satellite phone with you in case of emergency.