Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

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LunaHiker
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Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

Post by LunaHiker » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:19 pm

We are planning our first trip to Isle Royale the first full week of June (not sure on exact dates yet). What should we expect as far as running into people this time of year? We are hoping to get as much peace and quiet as we can. For people that have gone in early June: would you frequently run into people on the trail? Would you have to share campsites often?

We will be coming from Copper Harbor and decided to stay on the east side of the island and do a loop starting and ending in Rock Harbor.

Our tentative itinerary:

(Arrival) Rock Harbor to Lane Cove... 6.9 miles
Lane Cove to McCargoe................ 13 miles
McCargoe Cove to Moskey Basin...... 8.4 miles
Moskey Basin to Three Mile............ 8.3 miles
Three Mile to Rock Harbor (Depart)... 2.7 miles

Any critiques on our route?

I also have one other question: why does everyone hate the Chickenbone East campsite?? I see a lot of comments about it but I was not sure why!

Thank you!
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ingo
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Re: Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

Post by Ingo » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:54 pm

Last year I went out on Memorial Day, but on the west end--I went 24 hrs without seeing anyone else, 48 hrs passing only 2 other hikers. And then a night with 4 parties. It may be a little busier on the east end, but I think it's pretty unlikely you'd have to share a campsite. In any case, most folk who go that time of year are also looking for the same, even if you do all happen to converge.

East Chickenbone is not on the lake and it's a little hike to get water. Probably fine, but relative to the rest kinda blah--just a spot in the woods.


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Re: Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

Post by Tortuga » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:09 pm

Lane to McCargoe is a long day, but very doable. Just an FYI to expect Lane to be busy. It seems to be a normal destination for people getting off the ferry to rush to. I split camp two years ago with some folks using bivy sacks.

E Chickenbone didn't look all that bad, but during my trek through the campground en route to McCargoe last year (at the same time you'll be there this year), I disliked the lack of water access and the bugs (midges and mosquitoes) were actually out.

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Re: Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

Post by dcclark » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:12 pm

Another vote against East Chickenbone. We had a rest day at McCargoe last year and hiked to East Chickenbone just to see what all the fuss was about. It's not exactly a howling pit of hell -- it's perfectly campable if you need to stay there. But the big strikes against it (in my book) are:

1. Very exposed -- few tall trees, on a high ridge. You'll get direct sun, wind, rain, and everything else. No protection from the elements.
2. Water access is down a steep hill and at least half a mile away. No good options besides that, either.

There are also no shelters and one very unpleasant pit toilet (missing a board on the door last time I saw it), and not even a good view of the lake. It's worth the extra miles to McCargoe or West Chickenbone if you're headed west.

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Re: Busyness of Island in Early June/Itinerary

Post by LunaHiker » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:59 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice.
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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