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.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Welcome to Wilderness Inquiry's Little Sand Bay Base Camp!
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: Paddle from Little Sand Bay to the fine beaches of York Island.
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: Paddle to Rocky Island with an optional excursion to South Twin Island.
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: Weather permitting, explore Devil's Island which is home to stunning sea caves.
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: Spend another day exploring nearby islands.
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 the paddle back to the mainland and spend the night on Oak Island.
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: Head back to Base Camp prior to saying farewell to your trip mates.
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.
Dates & Fees
Wilderness Inquiry leads trips to the Apostle Islands but currently has no dates scheduled for this itinerary. If you have a group of people interested, we can set up a customized adventure just for you! Please contact us or request a trip quote below if you are interested in a group trip to this destination.Request Trip Quote »
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, Wilderness Inquiry 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. Wilderness Inquiry 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 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.
COVID POLICY: We continue to monitor and update our COVID-19 policies. Wilderness Inquiry strongly encourages everyone to be fully up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination and take other necessary steps for the health and wellness of all. We ask you to self-screen for any signs of illness prior to your trip’s departure. Please contact Wilderness Inquiry if you are exhibiting signs of illness. We will also continue to follow all guidance and requirements of locations that we travel, keeping in mind some international destinations do require vaccinations and/or negative covid tests. We will update this policy as new information and guidance becomes available.
SAFETY WHILE ON TRAIL: Though not required, some individuals may choose to wear a mask, and we expect all participants to respect this choice. Please ensure proper hygiene including, but not limited to, hand-washing and/or sanitizing before eating and after using the restroom. Individuals who become ill or test positive for COVID-19 during a Wilderness Inquiry experience will be isolated to the best of the group’s ability and are responsible for their own transportation and expenses to depart the trip.Read more »