This is an advanced level trip due to the length of the trip. We have an itinerary with campsites reserved for an eight-day, seven-night, ~70 mile hike on the north-east end of beautiful Isle Royale National Park.
Looking for a few brave souls to join us! Group size is limited to ten based on NPS backcountry group limits. We are serious about Advanced members only being allowed on the trip – although individual days are not high mileage, the overall trip is long, and there are no bail-out options if anything goes wrong. Please read through the entire post – there are reservations that need to be handled individually by each participant in addition to the meet-up site RSVP which are explained and linked in this write-up.
Saturday 8/23: drive to Copper Harbor, MI. Arrive on your own schedule to stay overnight. Accommodations to be determined.
Sunday 8/24: ferry departure to Isle Royale at 8:00am EDT (must arrive by 7:30). Arrival on island (Rock Harbor) ~11:15am EDT. Following check-in at ranger station, 7.1 mi hike, overnight at Daisy Farm.
Monday 8/25: 8.2 mi hike, overnight at McCargoe Cove
Tuesday 8/26: 10.7 mi hike, overnight at Hatchet Lake
Wednesday 8/27: 8.1 mi hike, overnight at South Desor
Thursday 8/28: 11.8 mi hike, overnight at Todd Harbor
Friday 8/29: 9.3 mi hike, overnight at Chickenbone West
Saturday 8/30: 7.9 mi hike, overnight at Daisy Farm
Sunday 8/31: 7.1 mi hike out to Rock Harbor for 2:45pm EDT ferry departure (must arrive by 2:15).
Return to Copper Harbor ~6:00pm EDT. Overnight stay in Copper Harbor (optional)
Monday 9/1: drive home on own schedule. (If you prefer, you can drive home Sunday night after the ferry return trip)
- IMPORTANT!! Please book your ferry reservations at the same time you RSVP to the meetup site. If the boat fills up before you book, we can’t do anything about it. We will be taking the Isle Royale Queen IV out of Copper Harbor, MI. Outbound Sunday, August 24; return Sunday, August 31. (Link for reservations below)
- Copper Harbor lodging: we are considering staying in a cabin before and after the ferry trips for a little comfort and particularly before to ease an early morning pack and drive to the ferry. This can be discussed as a group later on (and we don’t necessarily have to stay together both nights).
- We would like to encourage people to share gear to lighten loads all around. This includes tents, if possible – we don’t know how much space there is at each group site, and it will likely be tight if we are trying to fit ten tents in one site. The group can discuss possible sharing of water treatment systems, cook gear, etc.
- Please respect the fact that this is an Advanced only trip. If you feel you have prior experience that justifies you gaining Advanced status, please contact an organizer to discuss before you RSVP for the trip. We will check RSVPs and remove people if necessary.
Other Items of note:
- NPS notes that the SteriPen has not been verified to effectively treat a parasite known to be present in Isle Royale water sources. Please bear this in mind when selecting water treatment system for the trip. (NPS recommends filters 0.4 micron and smaller)
- Showers are available at the Rock Harbor marina if we get in early enough before the return ferry. The dining room at the Rock Harbor Lodge is also an option for lunch on our return day, time allowing.
- Storage is available at Rock Harbor for $3.50/day. We can leave a change of clothes for the ferry home. (We can pack one or two duffle bags for the group and split the cost)
- Hanging food is not required on Isle Royale, but rodents are abundant. Plan food storage accordingly.
- Fuel canisters must be turned in for separate storage on the ferry. Do not pack in your backpack prior to arrival at the ferry.
- Only McCargoe Cove and Todd Harbor have fire rings; no campfires allowed outside designated rings.
- Pit toilets or outhouses are present at all camp sites.
The $75 fee includes the NPS backcountry use fee ($4/person/day x 8 days = $32), a split of the $25 group reservation fee, and the meetup fee ($5/night x 8 nights = $40).
Additional costs to be paid by individuals:
- ferry reservation ($120+tax per person roundtrip)
- parking at ferry ($30/vehicle for duration)
- lodging in Copper Harbor before and after ferry (specifics TBD)
- storage fee at Rock Harbor
Copper Harbor Lodging: http://www.copperharbor.org/lodging.html
Isle Royale website (NPS): http://www.nps.gov/isro/index.htm
The trip itinerary route can be found under the files page.
If you have any questions about the trip, please contact Michelle ([masked]) or Matt ([masked]) (Please note, we cannot do anything about getting advanced status – please contact group organizers).