Policies, Procedures, & FAQ

Please review our terms and conditions prior to booking. Our policies are strictly enforced due to the nature of our small, unique facility and operation. We plan family time, staffing and breaks around our business hours and policies. For that reason, please plan your trips accordingly. 

Policies Summary:

  1. BOOK DIRECT for best rates, service and eligibility to loyalty perks. 

  2. Cancellations are harder on us - be sure about your booking. Or make it a "Worry Free Booking."

  3. Check in/out within posted hours - otherwise you’ll offset the great balance we have of running this place with minimal help. 

  4. We try to keep things clean around here - pack in/pack out rules apply inside the lodge too.

  5. Be respectful. We have a great little set up here - don’t break or ruin our stuff.

  6. All rooms are non-smoking. 420 is cool in Michigan now - we don’t want to smell YOU or IT though. We have plenty of nature to take a walk!

  7. Dogs are welcome - Check out our full pet policy below.


And if your looking for the knitty-gritty - check out our full policies and FAQ below:


Worry-Free Bookings

Protect your trip and your pocketbook – Book Worry-Free!

We are thrilled to bring this brand new program and brand new concept to Ironwood travelers! You won't find anything else like it offered in the area.

What is a Worry-Free Booking?
Simple! Trip Insurance to protect you in the event of a cancellation for a qualifying reason.
The Worry-Free Booking program will refund you 100% of your reservation with proof of reasons such as:


  • Illness / Injury

  • Pre-existing Medical Condition

  • Pregnancy Complication

  • Death of Immediate Family

  • Public Transport Failure

  • Flight disruption

  • Mechanical Breakdown

  • Adverse Weather

  • Home Emergency

  • Theft of Documents

  • Jury Service

  • Court Summons

  • Armed Forces & Emergency Services Recall

  • Relocated for Work

  • Changes to Examination Dates


You can read full terms and conditions here: https://refundable.me/extended/en/

What does it Cost?
Worry-Free Booking is a non-refundable add-on charge of 10% of your reservation. (To prevent fraudulent claims, the full cost of the reservation will be collected at the time of booking.)


How do I add it?
Easy! All new online reservations are set to automatically make your reservation “Worry-Free”. (You can easily choose to remove this during the booking process if you wish. At that time, you will be subject to our standard cancellation policies.)


*Unfortunately, this program is currently available for online reservations only - capability to add this for phone reservations is not available at this time (but will come in the future!) If you need help with your online booking with "Worry-Free", please call! We are happy to help walk you through the process if you need assistance.

What do I need to do if I have to cancel? How do I get my refund?

Please call the lodge first to notify us of your intention to cancel. We will update this in our system and direct you to your Worry-Free Booking confirmation (separate from your Black River Lodge confirmation). A reference number and cancellation link will be provided in that confirmation email and you can apply for a refund any time up to 60 days after scheduled departure date. Simply click the link, fill out the form, submit proof of qualifying reason, and send for review. Each application is reviewed within 24 hours and if approved you will receive your refund within 72 hours. 

Frequently Asked Questions:



I see different rates on different channels - Where can I find the best rates?

Definitely right here on our website or calling the lodge direct at: 906-932-3857. Third party travel sites are exactly that… third party. We do not have an 800 number and any that you find online are not directly affiliated with our business. Skip the middle man, higher rates, and all the hassle and support our small business direct.


What is the best time to check in?

Check in hours are from 3:00pm – 7:00pm Central time.

We accommodate late check-ins from 7:00pm - 9:00pm by special appointment only - Please call. No check ins after 9pm.


We typically recommend arriving between 3pm – 5pm for the best experience. This gives you a chance to fully settle in, grab some dinner locally, and take advantage of lodge amenities like the pool/hot tub or cocktail bar before they close.


Can I check in after 9:00pm?

Late arrivals make for very long days for us and we cannot close for the day until all new arrivals are settled in. We kindly ask that you plan your arrival time between our scheduled hours and here’s why:


BRL is not a corporate or chain hotel with a staff or 24/7 desk. We are a family who has been running the lodge for several years, living where we work. We have learned over time that in order to be successful hosts for you, we need our personal time too (..and, well, we are human's who need to sleep at some point). Plus, we need time between guests/posted hours to clean and maintain the lodge/premises, run errands, conduct business, etc. Our hours are set to meet all of those needs. Naturally, we do understand unexpected things happen, please call us if you’re running a few minutes behind. We appreciate your cooperation in planning your trip accordingly.

Can I check in early? 
We now offer pre-planned early check-in, as early as 12:00PM Central Time, for an additional $30 convenience fee. Remember, checking in early is your convenience, not ours. We are a small operation - early arrivals must be pre-planned. You may now select this new option on our booking engine, and must provide an estimated time of arrival. While we will do our best to accommodate, we cannot guarantee early check in will be available on any given day and especially during high times/holidays. If we are unable to accommodate early check-in or our availability changes last minute, we will notify you and refund the fee. 


Can I move my reservation to a different date?

Changing dates is considered a cancellation. This is because booked dates are removed from our availability calendars and all inquiries are turned away essentially losing the business for those dates. We have very limited inventory, once it is sold to you, it is not available for others.


How do I cancel my Reservation?

First, please review our cancellation policy HERE to understand our fee schedule. 
Then, please call to cancel or change your reservation: 906-932-3857.

If you have booked with a third party company, you must work directly with them to cancel. 

If you booked using the "Worry-Free Booking" program, please notify us then refer to your confirmation email.

I booked via online travel agent website and need to change/cancel my reservation. 

Please contact the site in which you reserved the room to request changes or cancellations. Unfortunately, third party reservations are not "owned" by us, are locked in our system, and can only be managed by the company/website in which you booked.


I’m planning a wedding or large group event – Where can I find Information?

Please call Brittany at the Lodge to discuss weddings/large group (4+ rooms) reservations: 906-932-3857

These cannot be booked online due to system limitations.


Do you actually live at the lodge?

Yes! The lodge is our family home. We will provide more information about this upon arrival.


How many rooms are at the lodge?

We have 13 private guestrooms of various size, 3 private condos, and 1 public hostel condo.

Do you offer Camping?

Due the to the pandemic, our plans for camping didn't pan out for 2021. Stay Tuned for updates.

Can I check in early to park my trailer and ride the trails? 

We now offer pre-planned early check in for a $30 convenience fee, otherwise we welcome arrivals to the property from 3pm - 7pm, this includes parking and riding. Availability is not guaranteed - see above for details on early check in.


Please Note: We are a small family operation and we normally find that no matter how self-sufficient you are with park-n-ride, we will still need to assist you with things like where/how to park, where our bathrooms are, and advice on where to ride, find food/gas. Trust us when we say we love the hosting aspect of what we do. However, having to stop and start other operations to assist unexpected early arrivals can cause huge delays in getting you and other guests into rooms by posted arrival hours. For this reason, please plan your arrival to the property from 3pm - 7pm or select the early check in option to see if early check in is available.


There is a Park-n-Ride lot at the Stempihar gas station in Bessemer, MI if you would like to get some early riding in.

Can I get a tour of the lodge?

OR, I'm local, can I stop by to see a room for my family coming to town?
The lodge is only open by advance reservation or appointment only. You may schedule a tour by calling 906-932-3857 during business hours. Appointments and/or reservations are required - we do not accept walk-in's of any kind.

Do you offer month-to-month rentals?

Sorry, we are primarily a vacation destination and do not offer monthly living arrangements. 



Do you offer public swimming for locals?

Sorry, we do not offer public/local swimming day passes due to insurance and health department regulations. The lodge, pool, and all amenities are strictly for use by registered guests only.


Do you host swimming birthday parties for locals?

Sorry, we do not offer public swimming. The lodge, pool, and all amenities are strictly for use by registered guests only.

What are the hours of the Pool and Hot Tub?

8am – 10pm CST. We reserve the last hour (9pm – 10pm CT) for adult swim only.


Do you keep the pool open later by request?

We provide special extended hours on New Year’s Eve only. The pool closes promptly at 10pm daily for chemical maintenance.


I have friends/family nearby that are not staying at the lodge, do you offer day passes?

Sorry, we cannot allow visitors at the lodge or on the premises at any time due to various regulations. The lodge, pool, property and all amenities is strictly for use by registered guests only. Visitors are welcome to wait for you in the parking lot if you’re planning to meet for an excursion. Otherwise, we recommend your friends/family to also get a room so that you can enjoy all the lodge has to offer together.



Do you have a restaurant or serve food?

We do not have a restaurant. We do have a resort style cocktail bar in the lower level of the lodge where we offer hot Lotzza Motzza pizza. **PLEASE NOTE: CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS**


There is 1 local restaurant that delivers direct to the lodge. Please ask for a dining guide upon arrival. Most options are within 10-15 minutes or less. 


Do you serve breakfast?

We do not currently offer breakfast. We do offer a Keurig coffee station and fruit basket in the Birch lounge if you need something on-the-go. Also, the hostel kitchenette is available as a community kitchen for any guest who wishes to whip up a quick bite. Past guests know that breakfast can sometimes become a community effort depending on who's visiting (no guarentee's of course). People make life-long friends here so don't be afraid to talk to others, make friends, & see who might want to potluck a meal.


Is the Bar open to the public?

Our resort style cocktail bar is typically reserved for use by guests of the lodge and special events.



Can I bring my Dog?

Of course! All rooms welcome dogs for a $10 per dog, per night fee. Please be sure to read up on our dog policies HERE.


Can I bring my Cat?

Sorry, we do not allow cats at this time.


Can I bring my Bird? Fish? Turtle? Horse?

Sorry, we are only welcoming dogs at this time.


Do you provide linens or towels for my dog?

We ask that you bring your own linens and towels for your dog, however, we do have a limited number of “old” blankets and towels on hand specifically for guest dogs just in case. These are provided by special request only at an additional fee to cover the cost of laundry. Please be sure to read up on our pet policy linked above.



Do I need to bring my own Linens and Towels?

All private rooms and condos are provided with professionally cleaned linens and towels (provided by Aramark).

No linens provided in the Hostel Condo. Guests utilizing the Hostel are provided 1 towel and 1 wash cloth and are expected to have a sleep sack with them.

Pool towels are provided in the pool, but are expected to stay in the pool area (not to be taken to rooms). We recommend bringing your own beach/pool towels if you prefer having a towel on the walk to/from your room. 

ATV RIDERS: Please notify us that you are an ATV rider at the time of reservation and we will provide you with special, dark colored towels instead of our standard white towels. This will protect both of us from extra costs of ruined white towels from the sticky Iron-Ore dust your likely to pick up on your daily adventures.


Do any of your rooms offer private kitchens?

Yes! Our condos are 2-level apartment style units that offer private kitchenettes. For planning purposes, the following items are generally provided in all of our condo kitchens: Full size refrigerator, electric stove/oven, microwave, coffee maker, sink w/ wash supplies, dishwasher, plates/bowls/cups/silverware for 10, crock pot, cookware & basic cooking utensils. 


I’d like to rent a standard room please?

Common Misconception - We don’t offer standard, cookie cutter hotel rooms here. In fact, we don’t even consider ourselves a “hotel” in the sense most are used to. Some of our amenities throughout are similar to a hotel, but ultimately we are a true “Lodge.” Our entire place feels more like a big house (after all, it is our family home). This is important to understand since we find most guests have never stayed at a place like ours and generally find it a new experience. All rooms are unique in their own way and we highly encourage prospective guests to check out our accommodations page, read the full room descriptions on our booking engine, and/or give us a call to find something that will work for you.

Do your rooms have Air Conditioning?

All private guestrooms have an A/C unit and at least one window that opens, except our interior rooms (#23, 26, 27) and hostel. Keep in mind, our climate is much more moderate then places to the South (we see very few days of extreme heat/humidity where A/C is actually necessary), and we find simply opening the window and letting in the fresh Lake Superior breeze is sufficient on most days.

Is there a coffee pot in my guestroom?

The following items come standard in most guestrooms:

·         4 cup coffee maker w/ complimentary Maxwell House coffee pacs

·         Hair Dryer

·         Basic Toiletries: toilet paper, bar soap, 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner

·         Mini Refrigerator (except rooms 22, 23, 26, 27)

·         Microwave (except rooms 10, 22, 23, 26, 27)

We encourage you to read full room descriptions on our booking engine for exact amenities provided in the room. Read below regarding public kitchen space for rooms without refrigeration/cooking. 


Is there a public kitchen space in the lodge?

Yes! Our Hostel kitchenette is now available from 7am – 10pm for all lodge guests to use at no additional charge. Please be mindful, this is a public space where all are responsible for cleaning, expected to be self-sufficient and pack in/pack out rules apply. There is also sleeping space directly above this area so be respectful with noise. 

Additionally, a community Keurig, toaster oven, and microwave are provided in the main Birch Lounge as well. 


Is there room to park my truck and trailer/boat?

We have a very large parking area with plenty of room for trucks and trailers. We will help upon arrival and is another reason we ask for your planned arrival time frame.

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The Upper Peninsula... isn’t it desolate up there? I’m just not sure. Will we be bored? What is there to do in your area?

If you’re into small towns and fresh air, then this is the destination for you! What is there to do? TONS of recreation! Guests don’t come here to sit in their guestroom. They come to EXPLORE.

                  -hiking, mountain biking, water falling, agate hunting, ATV/UTV riding, kayaking/canoeing, swimming,  fishing/charter                                   fishing/ice fishing, Nordic skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling or whatever your adventurous heart desires. (Things that are                         limited here: shopping, indoor recreation)


The “Yooper” culture is a little different and we invite you to live like a local for a couple of days while you’re visiting. Remember, small business is abundant in this area and there is definitely a small town feel. Chain-style places are very limited, and it does take a little research to find what you’re looking for. We provide our guests with lots of information, must-see’s, and hidden gems upon arrival and is a unique part of our service. Come with questions or feel free to email them after you making your reservation: reservations@blackriverlodge.net 


How close are you to the ATV/Snowmobile trails?

The lodge is located 5.5 miles north of Trail #2 which runs from Hurley, WI to Marenisco (and beyond).

Don’t let this short distance concern you – getting to and from the trail is no problem here since all secondary roads (not highways) in this area are open to snowmobiles and ATV’s year ‘round. Simply ride from the lodge through the Powderhorn village to access Trail 2 (5.5 miles). We can provide 2 other route options to trail 2 or trail 160 if necessary – please ask us! There is some back country riding in the area as well.


For winter riding, our scenic country road is typically snow packed from Mid December – Mid February (This is the best time to visit the lodge if planning to trail ride by snowmobile; back country is accessible later into the season and may require you to trailer to access points).


We get it…we are riders too…. You don’t want to road ride. There are hundreds of miles of trails in this area, but most will require some road riding (in any season). There are lots of unofficial back country areas that we can direct you to. Feel free to ask us for advice on where to ride, or we can even hook you up with a local guide to take all the guess work out of it!


What’s the best time to visit BRL? What is your slow/busy times?

We are busiest from Late June – Early October in the warm season, and Mid December – Early March in the cold season. Some months can be busier than others, but usually anything on the early or late side of those date ranges will be quieter, whereas July, August, December & February are more busy.

HOT TOPIC FOR PANDEMIC: I want to visit when there are little to no other guests... when should I come?

It can vary so give us a call and we can check into current patterns.

Typically weekdays are much quieter then weekends. We suggest looking into Mid to Late October, November, Early December, Early to Mid March, May and Early to Mid June.


Do you offer Discounts?

Discounts are offered periodically and will show in our booking engine. Some are automatic discounts, while some may be a more limited offer or require a code. We reward loyalty and only direct reservations are eligible for discounts.

Third party reservations are not eligible for discounts or loyalty perks. We highly recommend booking direct if possible. 


Can I get Ski passes and/or lift tickets through BRL?

We are not affiliated with any of the local ski mountains. Please contact them direct for information.


Where can I get Michigan or Wisconsin trail passes?

MICHIGAN: We recommend the Stempihar Gas Station in Bessemer or the Pit Stop Bar & Grill in Bessemer. Trail maps available.


WISCONSIN: We recommend Giovanni’s Hardware Store on Silver Street in Hurley. Trail Maps Available.