HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

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liam
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HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by liam » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:13 am

I dont mean to be long, but I have a feeling this post may end up as such. So here it goes: I am 18 years old, (19 next summer). Every July, my 3 friends (all within 1 year of my own age) take a summer trip. We are all from Wisconsin, and have experience both hiking, and free climbing. We have moderate experience fishing, camping and canoeing. We are not the average group of young men. We are all highly intelligent and in my opinion possess greater common sense than our peers. To set a context, we visited Copper Harbor alone 2 years ago, making a 6.5 hour drive north, camping and mountain biking. This past summer we drove all the way out to South Dakota and backcountry camped the Badlands and Wind Cave. We've toured caves, free climbed cliffs, and driven across the country. This summer we want to go back to Copper Harbor, but in a different way. We want to stay one night in Copper Harbor, then take the Queen IV to Isle Royale the following morning. We are looking for a great adventure. Ideally, we want to be as far away from humanity as possible. We would be arriving in Rock Harbor and we will bring a canoe. My questions are such: which campgrounds are never visited? Or are there sites/areas that we could just set up? We would like to portage to our site (thinking this will get us further away from the crowds). We would like to set up on a lake or bay, because we plan to provide sustenance through fishing. Which lakes are the best for fishing and also never visited? We will be on the island for 5 days, but would like to remain in 1 camp the entire time, possibly taking small day trips to other portions of the island. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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MikeT
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by MikeT » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:35 am

liam,
Welcome to the forums!
First of all, there are stay limits at the campgrounds of 1-3 days anytime before Labor Day so, you will have to move at least once. This is so people do not "park" at a site and it allows others to enjoy it too. That is no big deal and I would advise moving as you will enjoy the island more.
The second thing is there are no campgrounds that are not used, especially that time of year. There are some that are used less of course and they tend to be on the north side of the island.
Coming from Wisconsin, as an alternative, I would look into leaving from Grand Portage, Minnesota as it might be a shorter drive and is a shorter boat ride.

You will find a lot of information by searching this site and detailed planning info on my site which is listed below.
Good luck!
Mike T.
"Isle Royale Info - A Comprehensive Guide to Isle Royale National Park" available at: http://www.isleroyale.info
"Isle Royale Itinerary Generator" an intuitive program to create and manage itineraries. Description at: http://www.isleroyale.info/ig_description.html
"Half the fun is in the planning"

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jrwiesz
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by jrwiesz » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:44 am

Welcome to the forum.

First you may want to check out the NPS web site for Isle Royale. Read all of that info, and you will find that staying at one base camp for the 5 days is not really an option in July(peak season). Rules you know, limit the time at one site, to minimize the impact we have on the park.

Read the threads here on this forum, a lot of info can be obtained from these two sites alone.

You will need to do a little homework.

But, be assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to get away from the crowd.

Good luck with your planning.

Looks like Mike T has the same advise; oh yeah, check out Mikes' site also.
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
Jim DuFresne


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liam
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by liam » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:20 pm

Mike,

Thank you. I've taken a look at your site a few times, it is very helpful. Is late July less busy than early? I forgot to inform you we are coming from Green Bay, so Michigan's UP is only a couple hours away; hence Copper Harbor is our quickest route. You said less travelled sites are more to the northern end of the Island, does this include sites like Duncan Bay or Duncan Narrows? Do you have experience at either of these sites?

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MikeT
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by MikeT » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:48 pm

liam,
July is about even throughout except the 4th of July area.
Yes, any of the north side sites tend to have less traffic including Duncan Bay and Narrows (both nice campgrounds). Duncan Narrows tends to get more boaters due to its location. For a paddling trip coming from Rock Harbor, if you are willing to due the tough portage from Tobin to Duncan Bay, this is an excellent place to go and there are a few options once you are in the bay.
Mike T.
"Isle Royale Info - A Comprehensive Guide to Isle Royale National Park" available at: http://www.isleroyale.info
"Isle Royale Itinerary Generator" an intuitive program to create and manage itineraries. Description at: http://www.isleroyale.info/ig_description.html
"Half the fun is in the planning"

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Lucky Chicken
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by Lucky Chicken » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:55 am

I am going to throw it out there since noone has yet. With "moderate" experience canoeing, be carefull with open lake superior waters, they can quickly get rough!

Be safe and have fun!!

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philranger
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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by philranger » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:18 am

Hi Liam,

You are coming to Isle Royale during the peak season, so you're probably going to run into other folks. That said, you should enbrace this and get to know your fellow campers. You will find out that it takes some effort to get to Isle Royale. People who come here are not car campers. If you are coming to the island for five days, you have the opportunity to see many locations. There are lots of beautiful sites, so get out and explore it. Good Luck.
Isle Royale Trips: 2005-RH to Windigo via Greenstone. 2006-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2007-RH to Daisy Farm and back. 2008-Feltmann loop. 2009-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2013-Minong Ridge. 2014-Windigo + Huginnin Cove. 2015-Lookout Louise to LC to DF to MB. 2018-McCargoe to Todd to HL to Malone Bay.


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Re: HELP! (Expert Advice Needed)

Post by jerry » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:46 am

Liam,
If you want to avoid crowds, there tends to be less people in the western half of the island. I actually spent a night at Hatchet Lake in July all by myself. It's not in the canoe country however. There tends to be less folks along the Minong trail even in July (when I hiked it). I went 30 hours without talking to someone when I camped at So. Desor and hiked down to Malone Bay.
jerry

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