Isle Royale National Park EV Travel Guide

Last Updated 4/30/24

Isle Royale National Park is not accessible by car. Why? Because it’s an island in Lake Superior far from the shores of Michigan’s upper peninsula (the “scarf”). So, despite being in the Lower 48, it’s less visited than even some parks in Alaska! But, for those that do make the trip, the reward is a wild island experience far from the normal beat of civilization. Wildlife like wolves, moose, and more live on the island.

Because 99% of the island is designated wilderness, there are no car ferries. Bikes (including e-bikes) can be taken to the island, but can only be used in very limited areas near the two small towns, Windigo and Rock Harbor. To traverse the island, you’d need to go on foot.

The best time to visit the island is in the summer, and is closed from November 1st through April 15th. Reservations for transportation and for lodging or camping are essential. Pets are not allowed in the park, even on boats or planes entering park boundaries.

Getting There Under Electric Power Isn’t Impossible, But Probably Isn’t Easy

You can get most of the way there in an electric car or truck. Ferries to the island leave from Michigan and Minnesota, and there are EV charging stations in both of those places. So, getting to a dock to leave for Isle Royale isn’t a problem as long as you use trip planning software.

But, the last 20+ miles from mainland to the island is typically only traversable via diesel-powered ferry boats. So, if you want to be able to say you got there on all-electric power, you’ll need to come up with an electric boat. With a permit, you can take your own boat or one you rent to the island’s marina. If you can come up with an electric seaplane, that’s another possible option.

Hopefully an electric ferry becomes an option at some point in the future!

Links For More Park and Nearby Information

Here’s a video giving a basic explanation of what’s on the island to see:

Featured image by the National Park Service (Public Domain).