Skip to Content

Can You Drive To Voyageurs National Park

Can You Drive To Voyageurs National Park

One of the most stunning locations on the planet is Voyageurs National Park. Don’t worry about how difficult it will be to see voyageurs. We’ll talk about how to get to Voyageurs National Park by car in this post and the best routes to take.

It’s easy to travel to Minneapolis and rent a car from there to get to Voyageurs National Park. From the MSP airport, the park is 4 1/2 hours away. Additionally, a couple of the leading domestic airlines provide direct flights into International Falls. After arriving, you may hire a car and are already almost in the park.

Keep reading below for more information.

Location and Directions for Getting to the Park

The park may be reached via a few routes from various directions.

International Airport of Falls, INL (International Falls, MN) – Voyageurs National Park

Flying into Falls International Airport in International Falls will bring you outside Voyageurs National Park, making it the quickest route. There aren’t many rental vehicle options, and flights into International Falls may be expensive and difficult to book. But because it takes only a few minutes to travel from the airport to the closest area of the park at Rainy Lake, the convenience is unbeatable.

Minneapolis –  Voyageurs National Park

It takes a little while to drive from Minneapolis to the park, but the route passes through some beautiful countryside. It is advised to pick up a car at the airport and travel roughly 300 kilometers to International Falls, where it is easy to find restaurants and a hotel. Without traffic, the distance is covered in just over 4 hours.

Duluth – Voyageurs National Park

You could also fly into Duluth and drive 3 hours northwest to get to the park. This route could sometimes work better based on your drop-off location and the airline you’re using.

Even though it’s unusual, it’s worth investigating as it might make sense in some conditions and provide an even more picturesque drive, especially if it turns out to be less costly than Minneapolis after the trip and rental vehicle.

Navigating Voyageurs National Park

You should know that Voyageurs National Park is nearly entirely accessible by boat before packing up the car and making travel plans to this national park. But do not worry! There are several simple methods to get your hands on a boat and tour this unique area.

Local outfitters, tour operators, and resorts that rent out all sizes of boats and even provide guided excursions are all over the region.

Lake Navigation at Voyageurs

Three sizable lakes are the primary entrance points to the park (Namakan, Kabetogama, and Rainy). Based on the activities you’ll be engaging in, you may approach each of the three main lakes in Voyageurs National Park from a different place.

On the mainland, the park does include several driving-accessible hiking routes. Most of them are gathered in the area around the Ash River Visitor Center and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.

It’s important to be familiar with how to traverse the lakes before you set out properly. The U.S. Coast Guard has a number of buoys that indicate the best ways to navigate the park’s waterways. Visit the park’s website for information on how to use the buoys for navigation.

Once you’re in your selected means of transportation on the lakes, you’ll need to have a map and the ability to comprehend it properly; a GPS is also usually helpful.

Given their size, these lakes present numerous chances of becoming disoriented. Having a method to reach the mainland in case of emergency is a smart idea because while on the water, mobile coverage is essentially non-existent.

Selecting the Best Boat for Your Rental in Voyageurs National Park

Following are some boat options to choose from available throughout Voyageurs National Park:


The canoe is your only option if you want to truly experience the Northwoods like the early voyageurs did.

You may get as close to the earth around you as possible with these ancient boats, which have been navigating America’s waters for most of the last two millennia.

Although a canoe is ideal for one or two persons seeking to truly experience the wilderness in Voyageurs National Park, it’s important to bear in mind that you can only travel so far in a given period of time and carry so much onto a canoe.

Renting a canoe in the region may cost as little as $30 per day at practically any lodge or resort.

Small Fishing Boat

Small boats can be different, but they typically consist of aluminum, an outboard motor that starts with a pull, and three or more seats.

These boats are ideal for spending a day fishing on a lake, but they might not be the best choice for the typical tourist or family wishing to enjoy Voyageurs with little to no boating expertise. Usually, these boats start at $90 per day.

Pontoons and Fishing Boats

With features like an electric start, a steering wheel, and a throttle, these bigger, highly user-friendly fishing boats and pontoons allow increased lengths to be covered with more comfort.

For you and your companions, pontoons can provide cozy seating and plenty of storage room for all of your belongings. Typically, these boats cost $130 per day.


Houseboats are like floating RVs. Large groups may stay aboard these spacious yachts, which offer all the amenities of a home. Houseboats in Voyageurs National Park are ideal for huge family gatherings or get-togethers with friends.

Each of the park’s three main lakes may be reached by renting a houseboat from one of the many companies that operate inside the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park.

For more information on houseboating in Voyageurs National Park, watch this video below:

Voyageurs National Park House Boat Trip!

Tour Guides

Trust the professionals when in doubt! 

There are several outfitters and guides in the near vicinity of the park who will be more than ready to extend some Northwoods warmth to you. Plus, they are intimately familiar with the park’s enormous lakes and waterways.

Numerous guides are ready to make arrangements for you, regardless of whether you would like to be dropped off at an island campsite on Kabatogama Lake and picked up a couple of days later or want to organize a day trip (or a multi-day journey) around the park’s various attractions.


Once on the road, you can easily find the park thanks to the simple routes. You won’t want to pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because you are unsure about how to get to this magnificent park.