45-mile long Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior and the least visited of all the National Parks. This may be because it is difficult to access. There are no roads – only trails – and it’s closed in the winter. But once a backpacker arrives, it’s to a wilderness like no other. And because it’s the location of the longest predator/prey study in the world, a moose sighting and at least hearing howling wolves is all but guaranteed.


Isle Royale at-a-glance

    • Location: NW Lake Superior, part of the state of Michigan, USA
    • Size: 45 x 9 miles; 15 miles from shore
    • Trails: 165 miles
    • Best time to go: late summer and fall, open April 16-October 31
    • Permits required: yes (advance for groups of 7-10)
    • Cost: $7/day or $60/year (four adults)
    • Highest point: Ishpeming Point, 1,377 feet
    • Lowest: Lake Superior
    • Transport: ferry or plane
    • Maps: NatGeo
    • Dogs: prohibited
    • Campsites: 36, first-come-first-served (cross country requires permit)
    • Type of travel: foot, boat