Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

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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Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Grandpa » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:19 am

The last few trips, I've stayed at Rock Harbor Lodge the last night of a backcountry trip. I've found that the pros and cons are:
Pro:
- After sleeping in a tent with no shower, a real bed and a real shower feels heavenly.
- When things are busy, you have a guaranteed place to stay; no need to arrive early to get a shelter.
- If your stuff is wet, you can dry it out before getting on the boat.
- There's complete privacy. That's nice if you don't feel like sharing a shelter or campsite again.
- There are often vacancies so you may be able to book a room if the weather is bad or you just decide to treat yourself.
- The room includes a half-day canoe rental so if an evening paddle sounds good, it's on the house.
- You're much better rested for the drive home.
- You still have the enjoyment of a backcountry experience for most of your trip.
Con:
- It's very pricey!
- Unlike the mainland motels, if you make a reservation, it's expensive to cancel if your plans change.
- They get rooms ready in time for the Ranger, Queen or Voyager arrivals. Those who arrive on foot don't fit their routine so you may have to wait for the room to be ready when you very badly want a hot shower.
- It'll spoil you for future trips!

Has anyone else had experience staying at the lodge during a backcountry trip?
First visit 1982. Last visit September, 2017. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!

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Ingo
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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Ingo » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:39 am

I've stayed once, not as part of backcountry trip, but rather a couple days as part of a longer U.P. trip. A couple more thoughts:
Pro:
- If you stay a couple nights and time it right, you can take the tour boat out to Passage Island. The only way to get there without a private boat.
- They'll take your pack to boat, saving you carrying it the last couple hundred yards of the trip ;) .
- Waves lapping outside your window (lodge rooms).
Con:
- The lodge rooms may not be that private or quiet. Had a neighbor walking back and forth in front of our window on the deck. And the rest of that party hanging out on their deck with the bar they brought. Luckily it was only the last day and the others were blissfully quiet. The housekeeping cabins should be much more private.
- You might not be quite ready for that much civilization?

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Base654
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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Base654 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:24 pm

My friends stayed at the end of last years trip. Our last day was cold, rainy, and long Moskey to Snug. They decided they were done with nature and took a house keeping cabin (no reservations). They invited me to stay, so I walked over with them. The bathroom had mold, the water pipes moved around in the walls (shower head and knobs), the room smelled of mildew and the bed linens just scared me. I went to the camp ground and set up a tent, they stayed at the cabin. I was truly unimpressed and won't be back.

It was quiet, the view was beautiful and I am told the unlimited shower was wonderful. Perhaps this was an unusual case of a cold and tired couple begging for a substandard room in lew of nothing. I know it is remote, but for nearly $500 a night, I expect more.


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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:53 pm

Four years ago I spent the better part of week staying at the Lodge. It was a Lodge room, not a housekeeping unit. They are expensive but when I told them I was a single person they offered a discount. While the size and modernity of the room is about like a 2 star motel, I found everything very clean and neat. I used the lodge because I wanted to take advantage of all the boat tours offered from Rock Harbor on the MV Sandy, but the one night stay limit prevented me from using the campground. That and given the location it was a nice luxury. Unlike the housekeeping units, the Lodge rooms have no refrigerator so I brought a small 12 volt cooler. My room was so close to the lake, a rope and net would have worked almost as well.
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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by jerry » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 am

MWEd, Do you remember approximately how much it cost to take the Sandy out to Passage Island?

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Ingo
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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Ingo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:02 am

jerry wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 am
MWEd, Do you remember approximately how much it cost to take the Sandy out to Passage Island?
It's $38, sounds about what we paid a few years ago. Here's the schedule and cost of the MV Sandy trips: http://www.rockharborlodge.com/sightseeing-schedule


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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:01 am

jerry wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 am
MWEd, Do you remember approximately how much it cost to take the Sandy out to Passage Island?
Ingo's info is correct. There is also a summary on page 9 of the Greenstone. Each tour is offered 2 to 3 times per week and there are 2 to 3 different ones each day. You can spend all day on the boat if you like. The lodge will also pack you a lunch to take. Additionally, you can use the tour as a taxi, meaning that you can hike back to the lodge if you prefer. This is popular for the Hidden Lake tour and the Edisen Fishery, as they will drop you off at Daisy Farm if you ask. The Edisen Tour offers access to the Bangsund Cabin as well. The Passage Island tour is occasionally cancelled due to weather. The Hidden Lake tour includes a Park Ranger guided hike to Lookout Louise.
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Re: Adding Rock Harbor Lodge to your itinerary

Post by treeplanter » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:54 am

Midwest Ed wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:01 am
........The Passage Island tour is occasionally cancelled due to weather.....
I can vouch for this. When I was there last August, I really wanted to show my friend Passage Island. Rough seas, so they cancelled that trip and went ended up going to the Rock Harbor lighthouse instead.

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