Ranger III Special Rate

Questions about how to get to the island and where to stay near points of departure.

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Grandpa
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Ranger III Special Rate

Post by Grandpa » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:48 am

According to the park staff, they have set the dates for 2017 for the "Birthday Special" rates on the Ranger III. Rates are half price (Round trip for the price of a one-way ticket) if a round trip is scheduled between June 13 and June 24.
First visit 1982. Last visit September, 2017. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!

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JackieMitchell
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by JackieMitchell » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:00 am

Is this special rate something they typically do every year? And if so, does the return trip also have to be within the specified window? Does the island end up being more crowded during this time?

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Ingo
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by Ingo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:55 pm

JackieMitchell wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:00 am
Is this special rate something they typically do every year? And if so, does the return trip also have to be within the specified window? Does the island end up being more crowded during this time?
I believe this was a one-time deal to celebrate the boat's 60th year of service.

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JackieMitchell
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by JackieMitchell » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:38 pm

Thank you for your response. I won't get excited about the possibility of half-off then and will just keep saving my pennies!


Midwest Ed
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by Midwest Ed » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:39 pm

This is actually more in response to your post in the Trip Reports section but is more appropriate to place it here.

Without getting into exact rates, the cost to take the Voyageur from Windigo to Rock Harbor (or vice versa) is just slightly less than a one way rate from either Michigan departure point to Rock Harbor (or vice versa). So you are correct that using the Voyageur in combo with either Michigan ferry in order to provide flexibility is quite a bit more expensive (about a 50% increase) than a simple round trip. But if you’re willing to drive the extra few hours to Minnesota you can take advantage of the best flexibility deal via the Voyageur. Voyageur (or Sea Hunter) rates from the mainland to/from Windigo are only a few dollars more than their Michigan counterparts but for just an additional $14, the Voyageur will drop you off at McCargoe Cove instead of Windigo. You will then be in a position to make your way back to Windigo, on your own schedule and experience as much of The Island as you wish. I think it’s the best deal if hiking flexibility is key. The Voyageur also picks up and drops off at 3 additional spots on the south side (in addition to Rock Harbor, where it spends the night). This can add even more flexibility but at added cost.
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JackieMitchell
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by JackieMitchell » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:17 am

Thank you for pointing this out, Midwest Ed. Driving to Minnesota wasn't an option I had seriously considered before, but it is certainly worth considering. We will have some relatively inexperienced hikers in our group of six. At first, we were just going to go as far as Daisy Farm, stay three nights doing day trips and then go back to Rock Harbor, stopping at Three Mile each way. The more I read about the island, the more I wanted to explore other areas. But I am not sure that a round trip hiking from Rock Harbor to Windigo and back is realistic for our first trip. I will have to consider this alternative that you have kindly brought to our attention!

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Ingo
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Re: Ranger III Special Rate

Post by Ingo » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:42 am

If daily distances are a concern with your inexperienced group, consider starting at McCargo and getting picked up at either Chippewa Harbor or Daisy Farm. Short days and great campgrounds. Heading for Windigo is great too, although the distances between campgrounds is longer (8 ish mile days).

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