Campground in Grand Portage

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

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Tightlines01
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Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tightlines01 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:45 am

Hey all,

8th trip to the Isle for me, but the 1st time coming from MN this year. Excited to try the Voyager as so many always have good things to say about it, but I'm a bit surprised about the lodging options (at least for my intended time frame).... I realize I'll be going during peak season for tourism (Aug 19 - 24th) and Friday night reservations are always harder than mid week, but any hotel rooms I've found are extreemly expensive (like over 150.00 for one night) or completely booked up.

While not thrilled about camping (setting up the camp site and breaking it down prior to getting on the boat) I'll likely be camping simply due to costs.... I tried calling the casino about two months ago and they said all they could do was email my info to the marina/campground to get in touch with me in April. As April is here and I'm a planner.... I tried calling again today and they said that the marina/campground wouldn't open until Mid May :shock:

What are decent options for a guy whose looking to secure his family plans ahead of time?

Good campgrounds close to the Voyager?
Is there something I'm not aware of?

Thanks
Andy

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Ingo
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Ingo » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:16 pm

Not too many options... Some years ago we (family of 4) camped at Judge C.R. Magney St Pk about 20-25 miles down the road. We used car camping tent and gear for the night so we didn't have to worry about packing/repacking I.R. gear before the crack of dawn (just sleeping bags and pads). Was fine except for the thunderstorm during the night and the wet tent subsequently left sealed up in the car for a week--it was quite ripe when we got off the boat. After that I decide I would pony up for a room the night before, no matter how painful... Too bad Ryden's isn't an option anymore.


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:42 pm

There are at least half a dozen hotel/motel options in Grand Marais and it is less than an hour's drive. Or maybe get up a 2 am and drive from Duluth?
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tortuga » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:37 pm

While I've never been to IR via GP, I've been hiking the Superior Hiking Trail for several years. The problem you'll run into is a lot of hotels require a 2-day minimum stay that time of year. I have stayed at both the Cascade Lodge a bit south of Grand Marais, and the Mangy Moose in Grand Marais. Both were about 120/night. I've also camped at Judge Magney as well and love it.


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by jerry » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:01 pm

The marina campground is seldom full. It'll be the week before you're considering for a pow wow. Ingo's suggested Magney St Park is nice and you can currently make a reservation for it.

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Tom
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tom » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:07 am

Grand Marais would be your next closest community that has traditional lodging, with the exception of Naniboujou Lodge in-between. However, that's prime season for Marais. The Casino hotel is about all there is anymore in Portage proper (campground excluded.)
If you call the casino hotel, be sure to mention that you're heading out on the boat to Isle Royale the next morning, and they should apply (or you should ask) for a 25% discount, if that helps.
Last, if you're arriving late anyway, you can sleep in your car at the Pigeon River rest stop at the US/Canada border for 6 hours... I did that once when a last minute trip plan had me arriving in the area around 1:30AM... No sense booking a hotel.


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by JerryB » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:20 pm

I just made a reservation at the casino. The discount is 10%. Just an FYI

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Tom
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tom » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:27 am

JerryB wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:20 pm
I just made a reservation at the casino. The discount is 10%. Just an FYI
Well, Boo. The only thing that's consistent is the inconsistency. (Pretty sure it used to be 25%, but I guess that's changed this year...)


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:11 am

After researching the the north shore a bit more I discovered what was said here earlier. Two night stay is a standard almost everywhere. The north shore's popularity has outpaced the housing supply. That, or those Grand Marais folks sure are proud of their community. I know there's been talk of a bus or limo service but nothing has ever come of it.
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by hooky » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:04 pm

I wonder if you could split your 2 night stay up and do a night before you head to the boat and the night you come back off the island?

We're doing an August BW trip Sunday - Thursday and staying Thursday - Saturday in Lutsen. All along the north shore it's a 2 night minimum.


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:55 pm

hooky wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:04 pm
I wonder if you could split your 2 night stay up and do a night before you head to the boat and the night you come back off the island?

We're doing an August BW trip Sunday - Thursday and staying Thursday - Saturday in Lutsen. All along the north shore it's a 2 night minimum.
It seems rates go up and restrictions get tighter on weekends. In the past I've negotiated with rental property owners elsewhere when my booking desire was "last minute". A place that is desiring a minimum stay of 2 or even 7 nights can sometimes be very open to a shorter stay if you contact them a few days or even a week or 2 out. That method can work if you have a backup plan, such as camping.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tortuga » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:43 pm

Midwest Ed wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:55 pm
hooky wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:04 pm
I wonder if you could split your 2 night stay up and do a night before you head to the boat and the night you come back off the island?

We're doing an August BW trip Sunday - Thursday and staying Thursday - Saturday in Lutsen. All along the north shore it's a 2 night minimum.
It seems rates go up and restrictions get tighter on weekends. In the past I've negotiated with rental property owners elsewhere when my booking desire was "last minute". A place that is desiring a minimum stay of 2 or even 7 nights can sometimes be very open to a shorter stay if you contact them a few days or even a week or 2 out. That method can work if you have a backup plan, such as camping.
It's always worth a call to the motel. Don't rely on online booking sites. A lot of those folks really like hikers and I've never been disappointed. I've gotten plenty of last minute bookings up there that way. Also the state parks in MN are top rate and not expensive. God I love it up there.

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hooky
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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by hooky » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:33 pm

Tortuga wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:43 pm
It's always worth a call to the motel. Don't rely on online booking sites. A lot of those folks really like hikers and I've never been disappointed. I've gotten plenty of last minute bookings up there that way. Also the state parks in MN are top rate and not expensive. God I love it up there.
The first time I went to MN State Park, I was floored. They do an incredible job with them. So far, I've seen nothing like them anywhere else I've been.


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Tightlines01 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:30 pm

hooky wrote:
Tortuga wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:43 pm
It's always worth a call to the motel. Don't rely on online booking sites. A lot of those folks really like hikers and I've never been disappointed. I've gotten plenty of last minute bookings up there that way. Also the state parks in MN are top rate and not expensive. God I love it up there.
The first time I went to MN State Park, I was floored. They do an incredible job with them. So far, I've seen nothing like them anywhere else I've been.
So where is the closest one to Grand Portage?


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Re: Campground in Grand Portage

Post by Ingo » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Tightlines01 wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:30 pm
hooky wrote:
Tortuga wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:43 pm
It's always worth a call to the motel. Don't rely on online booking sites. A lot of those folks really like hikers and I've never been disappointed. I've gotten plenty of last minute bookings up there that way. Also the state parks in MN are top rate and not expensive. God I love it up there.
The first time I went to MN State Park, I was floored. They do an incredible job with them. So far, I've seen nothing like them anywhere else I've been.
So where is the closest one to Grand Portage?


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Judge Magney St Pk is the closest with camping--23 miles (Grand Portage St Pk does not have camping).

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