Apostle Islands Outer Islands Expedition
Kayak to the Outer Islands on this Small Group Trip
Kayak to the outer islands of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on this trip and experience the wildness of the most remote shores of this archipelago. This trip is for smaller groups of more seasoned sea kayakers who wish to really get out there. You’ll enjoy all the wonders of the Apostles–sea caves, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, and sunken shipwrecks–with less of the crowds. Kayak among these 22 islands during the day and camp on unique islands each night. Your journey could take you to Outer Island to see sand spits shaped by Lake Superior’s ever-changing moods, to Stockton to hear the famed “singing sands” of Julian Bay, or to Devil’s Island – Wisconsin’s northernmost point. Whatever your route, the scenery is stunning and the possibilities are endless.
DAY 1: Your trip officially starts at the Wilderness Inquiry's Little Sand Bay property in the early afternoon. Upon arrival, review personal gear and repack into dry bags. Participate in a kayak orientation and practice paddling around Little Sand Bay.
DAY 2: Get up early for breakfast. Leave Little Sand Bay and paddle to York Island where you'll stay at a beautiful campsite, situated on a spectacular crescent-shaped beach; your private view of the lake.
DAY 3: Break camp early in the morning and start your paddle to Rocky Island. Once you set up camp, you will have the option to explore the shoreline or check out nearby South Twin Island. Enjoy dinner and a breathtaking sunset over Lake Superior.
DAY 4: Head out in unpacked boats to explore other islands. If we get a calm enough day, we can explore Devil's Island, which is home to the most exposed sea caves in the Apostle Islands.
DAY 5: Head farther out into the islands, maybe to Cat, or spend a day relaxing on Rocky. Share stories around the campfire in the evening.
DAY 6: Begin your journey back to the mainland and spend the night on Oak Island. Stretch your legs with a hike to the overlook and spend one last night under the stars.
DAY 7: After breakfast and packing up camp, paddle to a mainland take out. Head back to Base Camp to unpack, have lunch, and take a shower before parting ways.
Note On Weather: Sea kayaking is incredibly weather dependent. In the chance of high winds or heavy rains you may enjoy various mainland hikes or other local activities in replace of kayaking.
What To Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: Most of your time is spent paddling from island to island to explore the beaches and grassy shorelines. The islands are made up of red sandstone, covered with a mixed forest of birch, pine, oak, and maple. Except for a few cliffs, the terrain is gentle and rolling. With all the islands, bays, and shorelines in this area, we have several routes from which to choose. Wind and weather determine our route and storms can delay our paddling.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will travel in tandem sea kayaks, which hold 2 or 3 people plus all necessary gear. An average day's travel consists of 4-6 paddling hours, depending on weather conditions. For this trip, it is helpful if you are familiar with sea kayaking and strong enough for some longer crossings. As always on Lake Superior, we must be prepared for the possibility of a wind-bound day. To protect the environment, WI practices "Leave No Trace" camping techniques.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 45 F to 85 F. Rainfall can vary, but you should expect at least a day of rain. The weather is greatly affected by Lake Superior's large expanse of cold water. Lake Superior is notorious for sudden weather changes.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges up to 18 participants, plus 3 Wilderness Inquiry staff. Our trips are cooperative in nature. WI staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however most people pitch in where they can. Part of the adventure involves learning about daily camp activities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: On the first night you will stay at our wonderful Little Sand Bay Base Camp–complete with showers and other amenities! After the first night you will stay at National Park Service campsites out on the islands and sleep in a comfortable tents. Typically, there are 2-3 people per tent (although other arrangements can be made). Bathroom facilities consist of an outhouse or a foldable commode chair set up in a privacy tent. We make every effort to ensure privacy and cleanliness.
MEALS: The food we bring is plentiful, nutritious, and primarily vegetarian (because this keeps better than meat). You can expect meals like burritos, pesto pasta, and vegetable stir-fry for dinner; bagels and sandwiches for lunch; pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, and granola for breakfast. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to list them on your registration.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: If you are new to outdoor activities, you need not spend a lot of money on gear. Wilderness Inquiry will provide all necessary kayaking and camping equipment. All you need to provide is your personal gear, such as clothing and a sleeping bag. A detailed equipment list will be sent to you upon confirmation of your participation. If you need to borrow personal gear, that can usually be arranged.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Your 10% deposit is non-refundable. If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!
What is the base camp like on the Apostle Islands trips?
We refer to our property as the Little Sand Bay Base Camp. The camp is approximately 1,500 feet from the Lake Superior lakeshore near Little Sand Bay in Northern Wisconsin. Our base camp offers camping at its most comfortable and accessible. All tents are large enough to stand upright, and are set up on comfortable wooden platforms. Hot showers, private bathrooms, a roofed pavilion space, and an indoor seating area for leisure time are other key features. The camp consists of 40 acres of woods with wood chip trails, 5 campsites, and a gear warehouse. Watch this short video to see what it is like.
What are our transportation options for the Apostle Islands trip?
One option is to take your own vehicle and meet your group at Wilderness Inquiry's Little Sand Bay Base Camp. You can park your vehicle here for the duration of the trip. Another option is to use WI's van transportation, which typically leaves from WI headquarters in Minneapolis early in the morning on the first day of the trip and returns to Minneapolis the evening of the last trip day. There is an additional fee of $75 to use WI's roundtrip van transportation.
On which Apostle Islands trips do we camp on the islands?
The Apostle Islands Kayak Island Camping trip is the only trip where you actually set up camp and sleep on the islands. If you have a private group that would like to customize an island camping experience, we can likely accommodate.
During all other Apostle Islands trips, participants stay at our Little Sand Bay Base Camp, located on the main land approximately 0.5 miles from the Lake Superior Shoreline. Kayak trips on Lake Superior are organized on most days, in which you will explore the sea caves and other highlights of the Apostle Islands area. All activities depend upon safe weather conditions.
Will I get to see the sea caves on my Apostle Islands trip?
The sea caves are the most popular feature of the Apostle Islands area - and with good reason! It is our intention to explore the caves by kayak at least once during every trip. This is dependent upon safe paddling conditions on Lake Superior, as safety is always our top priority. On a clear day, we should be able to paddle to the sea caves and even travel through the insides of the caves by kayak.
No Dates Scheduled
Please contact us if you are interested in a group trip to this destination.
Call us to arrange one of these trips for your group: