Isle Royale Trip

  • August 23, 2014 · 5:00 PM
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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.


Itinerary
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)


Logistics/Planning
- 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.


Cost
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


Important Links
Ferry: https://www.isleroyale.com/index.html

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).

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  • Leigh

    September 5

  • Piotr

    Thank you, Michelle Matt and Melanie for organize the trip , it was fun ...

    September 1

  • Brian T.

    Thank you, Michelle Matt and Melanie, for putting on a great trip! It was an epic adventure!!!

    September 1

    • Melanie

      It was all Michelle and Matt. Thanks to them for organizing :)

      September 1

  • Michelle

    Everyone staying in the cabins tomorrow: don't bring breakfast, I've got it covered. And it won't keep, so I'll be really sad if you don't help eat it. Do bring coffee or whatever for your own drink, though. See you tomorrow!!

    2 · August 22

  • Matt W.

    Brian T and Brian B let's finalize our car pool arrangements. What time should we leave on Saturday?

    August 21

    • Brian T.

      Mapquest says 6 hour drive, if I pick you guys up at 9, and we loose an hour for time and an hour or so for stops, puts us there at 5. Sound good?

      August 21

    • Brian B.

      Just let me know when and where I need to be! :)

      August 21

  • Bryan

    Hey all - I put together some PDF maps and GPX file using NatGeo Trails Illustrated. They're larger files and should be printable at 300 dpi, a page per day. Not 100% positive on the route, so if you note any mistakes, please let me know and I'll correct. Thanks! - http://goo.gl/x145ng

    3 · August 19

    • Bryan

      Thanks Michelle :)

      August 19

    • Brian T.

      I'm all mapped up and prepared for abandonment

      August 21

  • Bryan

    Looks like there may be some rain in our future - http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/USMI0431

    August 19

    • Melanie

      Chris, not everyone is a merman like you.

      August 20

    • Chris S.

      I don't think I'm a merman but sinking your sailboat is one way to dream about being one

      August 20

  • Matt W.

    Some info as we get close to departure. Please remember ferry times are eastern time zone--1 hour ahead of us.
    Rock harbor lodge on Isle Royale has shower rentals for $6.00 per token. Each token is good for 5 minutes. They do not include toiletries or towels. towels rental is $2.00.
    The lodge will store a duffle or box up to 25 lbs for $3.50 per day. I have a large duffle I can bring to keep a clean set of clothes and some toiletries in. We can split the cost of storage.

    1 · August 18

    • Leigh

      Thanks for the info, Matt!

      August 18

  • Michelle

    Note aimed probably at Chirs, Beau, and Bryan, but info for all...
    I emailed asking about use of hammocks and was told that, while hammocks are allowed, "because campgrounds have cleared the trees to make appropriate tent sites, it's hard to find a site that can accomodate them. It is against regulations to extend your campsite beyond the impacted area to find suitable trees." The ranger who responded strongly encourages tents over hammocks. If your hammocks can all be pitched as ground shelters, you should be fine, otherwise please stick with tents.

    1 · August 6

    • Beau B.

      Thanks for the info Michelle. I'll bring a footprint and make sure I have everything needed to bivify the hammock.

      August 6

    • Chris S.

      Luckily mine can hang or pitch, woot woot!

      August 7

  • Beau B.

    What has been figured out for gear sharing so far? I have a jetboil(with coffee press) I can bring for water/cooking. Can we use the group med kits? Will there be a few water filters so that I can leave mine at home? Planning on bringing the hammock as well so won't be able to tent share.

    August 4

    • Melanie

      Michelle, Do you still have a pinnacle cookset? That's a big pot to boil a lot of water at once. Mind bringing it?

      August 6

    • Michelle

      I have the dualist set. I am planning to bring it, and we can boil in it, but I will also be cooking most of my meals in it, so people will want to let me know if they need water before I get it dirty each meal.

      August 6

  • Leigh

    It looks like Piotr and I will carpool from Chicago. Michelle and Melanie - do you want to jump in with us in Milwaukee? Looks like everyone else is from Appleton. PS - who allowed 3 Brians on the trip? This will be confusing!

    2 · July 31

    • Michelle

      Your logic has no place here!

      August 5

    • Matt W.

      What about Bryan??

      August 5

  • Beau B.

    Any thoughts on each backpacker putting together a group meal each night? I call one of the first nights if we do :) haha

    August 3

    • Michelle

      Full group meals for 10 would be a bit difficult to cook with our small stoves and pans. And my informal survey in the email replies seems most people prefer to bring their own. Nice idea, though :)

      August 4

  • Matt W.

    We were looking to get cabins for the night before and after the ferry rides. I started looking into this today and found many places were booked and or required a 2 consecutive night minimum stay. I was unable to get 2 nonconsecutive nights agreed to. I did find 2 cabins that can sleep 5 people each at Eagle Lodge http://www.eaglelodge-lakeside.com/rates.htm for the nights of Aug. 23rd and 31st. I have reserved cabins 6 & 7 for both nights. Cost for both cabins per night is $243.80, which comes out to $25.00 per person per night if we have the maximum of 10 people on the trip. The link will take you to cabin description on their website. We have 2 ea. of the Standard 2BR cabin. I'll welcome any feedback or other suggestions. When I found our options so limited I went ahead and made the reservation right away.

    June 1, 2014

    • Leigh

      Hi Matt - count me in for both nights sharing the cabin. Thanks!

      July 28

    • Brian T.

      I'm good for the cabins

      July 30

  • Brian T.

    If anybody wants to carpool from Appleton, my truck will seat 6. We can talk at Monday's meeting.

    1 · July 26

    • Brian T.

      2-3 seats left in my truck, Matt and Brian B. have reserved their seats. Reply here if you want a spot

      July 30

  • Matt W.

    I'll be placing a Minimus.biz order on Monday. If anyone has any requests I will add it to my order. $25.00 order gets you free shipping. Here is link for anyone interested. http://www.minimus.biz/ You can let me know what you want or do your own order.

    1 · July 29

    • Brian T.

      Thanks Matt, Go ahead and order without me. I just don't see anything I gotta have

      July 30

  • Leigh

    Howdy! Glad to see an open spot on this trip, after bailing on a similar trip I planned last year - still plenty of ferry spots left, so I'll reserve that tomorrow. Count me in for Saturday night cabin, not sure yet about the end of the trip - depends on where I leave my dog.

    1 · July 10

  • Bill T

    Actually just realized it starts Saturday! Will just need Monday off:)

    June 22

    • Bill T

      Okay, yeah, I realized that later on. Thanks for making sure to let me know though! I can't get off of work for that long unfortunately:/

      June 23

    • Bill T

      Would like to go on some day or weekend trips though . Think I may buy a kayak soon:)

      June 29

  • Bill T

    This trip sounds awesome! Wish I could get off of work for it:/

    June 22

  • Chris S.

    I vote that the cabin we get on the way back home has a hot tub. Just an idea.

    1 · March 13, 2014

  • Melanie

    Beau should find a Pie place for us to stop at :)

    March 12, 2014

    • Chris S.

      I'd fund it!

      March 13, 2014

    • Melanie

      Michelle, give me a second, I need to apply cold water to this burn…

      3 · March 13, 2014

  • Beau B.

    Crap, Bryan beat me! Ya bastard! lol

    1 · March 12, 2014

    • Chris S.

      Well there are only 2 left so you better hurry!!

      JK 66 after I got mine last night outbound

      March 13, 2014

    • Melanie

      65 outbound…

      March 13, 2014

  • Bryan

    Score

    3 · March 12, 2014

  • Beau B.

    Still 70 and 79 seats left on the ferries as of today. Is it time to sign up yet??? :)

    March 11, 2014

    • Matt W.

      Wed. [masked] at 6:00 p.m. Good luck!

      March 11, 2014

    • Michelle

      You'd better believe I'll be stalking the website tomorrow night to see who signs up right away!! So excited for the trip and I know we'll have a great group

      1 · March 11, 2014

  • Matt W.

    Attached link is an informative video on the moose/wolf dynamic on Isle Royale. Many more Isle Royale videos on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdwnfPurXcs

    1 · February 28, 2014

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