Isle Royale Backpack
Moose and Wolves on Lake Superior's Isle Royale
Lake Superior’s Isle Royale National Park is an island of wild creatures, unspoiled forests, refreshing lakes, and rugged scenery. Hike trails known for moose sightings, view Rock Harbor Lighthouse, and explore the historic Edison fishery. Discover this US Biosphere Reserve known for its isolated population of wolves and moose. Trip fee includes round-trip ferry from the mainland.
DAY 1: Drive from Minneapolis to Copper Harbor, MI. Camp at Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor that evening. Get packs ready to go meet the ferry in the morning.
DAY 2: Get up early to meet the morning ferry for the 3-hour ride to Rock Harbor on the eastern end of the island. Pick up permits at the ranger station in Rock Harbor. Make camp at Rock Harbor or hike to Three Mile campsite.
DAY 3: Load gear after breakfast and set out on your way to Daisy Farm. You may choose to stay at Daisy Farm or continue on to Moskey Basin.
DAY 4: Make the trek back to Three Mile using the Greenstone Ridge Trail. This trail connects the island end to end and is frequented by wolf and moose!
DAY 5: Get up early to break camp and hike back to Rock Harbor. In the afternoon, catch the ferry back to Michigan. Camp at Lake Gogebic State Park.
DAY 6: Part ways and finish the drive back to Minneapolis.
What To Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: Isle Royale is rugged, with rocky terrain, and significant elevation changes. Isle Royale offers a wide range of route options that offer incredible views of Lake Superior, neighboring islands, and wildlife.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: Travel distances vary from 4-7 miles (4-6 hours) each day with the exception of scheduled layover days. To protect the environment, WI uses Leave No Trace camping techniques.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 45 F to 80 F. Rainfall can vary, but you should expect at least a day or two of rain. The weather is greatly affected by Lake Superior's large expanse of cold water. Lake Superior is notorious for sudden weather changes.
ACCOMMODATIONS: This is a camping trip. At night you will sleep in a comfortable and spacious tent. Typically, there are 2 people per 3 person 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.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 6 to 8 participants, plus 2 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities. 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.
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 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.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: No previous experience is needed to complete this trip, however this is one the most physically demanding hiking trips that WI does.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:
Some of the trip information on your website is different than the trip catalog. Why?
WI typically creates and prints our annual trip catalog in December. At that time we do our best to have finalized trip itineraries and set our prices accordingly. However, sometimes there are changes to a trip that necessitate adjustments to our prices after the catalog has gone to print.
No Dates Scheduled
This is a great backpacking trip, but relatively few people know about it. An island in Lake Superior, Isle Royale is one of the least visited units of the National Park Service. If you like hiking in remote Wilderness, Isle Royale can't be beat. Please contact us if you have at least 6 people who want to plan a trip together--use the "custom Trip" button on lower right hand side of this page.
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