What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Questions on general information and things that do not fit into any other categories.

Moderator: srparr

Post Reply
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:35 pm

What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by sabinajiles »

I am planning my first trip the the island the last few days of Aug until just into Sept. I was just curious as to what to expect as far as number of campers, bugs, weather, etc. I expect the flies to not be too bad at that time and I know the mosquitoes will be weather dependent. From what I have researched the weather and temperatures should be pretty moderate but there is a better chance of some rains in September than in August. The Ranger III information goes to off-season rates after 8/24 so I am planning to take the boat on 8/29 to take advantage of the lower rates but is it really off-season as far as the number of campers? Will the east side campgrounds fill early or be crowded? It's also my understanding all facilities in Rock Harbor will still be open till mid-September. Yes or no? Any other tips? Thanks.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 1775
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:10 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 33
Location: Big Rock, IL

Re: What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by johnhens »

Campers are fewer as most families are off the island as kids start back to school. May have more folks over Labor Day weekend. Bugs should be ok as it is "late" in the season. Temps are mild, but could get a cold front come through and drop the temps. After Labor day, restrictions for number of nights at a CG end. Rock Harbor will be busy the night before a ferry leaves. After Labor Day things begin to shut down.

May actually live on IR
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 12
Location: Dayton, Ohio

Re: What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by jerry »

The two times I've been at ISRO in September, storms caused high waves on Lake Superior. The ferry from Copper Harbor was supposed to pick us up I believe on a Sunday. Because of waves of up to 15 feet it finally got there on Tuesday. The ferry from Grand Portage picked us on time, but we had 6-8 waves going back to Minnesota. Like you, I thought about coming near the end of August this year. I'm leaning to early or mid August. Of course, if we go early, there probably won't be any storms in early September.

User avatar
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 8:51 am
Isle Royale Visits: 15
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Re: What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by Base654 »

I do two trips a year, one over Memorial day and one over Labor day. These are my two favorite times to be there. For your trip, depending on the year, berries may be in in prime season. Most years bugs are minimal if any. Cool temps and rain are more likely. Expect trails to be mostly muddy. campers really do drop off, shelters are available more often than not. The lake can get angry that late in the year but the Ranger III almost never cancels because it is a massive boat and can handle it; bring some Dramamine. The store stays fairly well stocked, but not guaranteed. Don't plan on buying anything there, but you will be able to survive on what they have if needed.

useless trivia: The Ranger III is the largest piece of moving equipment the Park Service owns.

May actually live on IR
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:57 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 12

Re: What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by treeplanter »

Very little I can add from what others have said. Labor Day, and shortly after, are my favorite times to visit the Island. Virtually no bugs and minimal people. No difficulty in finding a shelter. Temperatures are still mostly summer-like. Maybe the warmest water of the season, if you like to swim. The days are growing shorter, quickly, so evenings can be long. Lake Superior may or may not be rough (I’ve seen rough seas and water as smooth as glass). Still some park services available too.

I’m talking myself into a early-September trip.

Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL

Re: What to expect in late Aug-early Sept.

Post by Midwest Ed »

The Lodge and concessions at both Rock Harbor and Windigo seem to keep staying open later and later in the season. They used to close right after Labor day. Then the last day became the weekend after Labor Day. This year it is published as the 13th, a Friday of the SECOND week after Labor Day. Still, I think one should not expect totally full service regarding everything, especially when it comes to things like choices of food and supplies. Certain things do start winding down a bit beginning on Labor day (and maybe a little before for some things).
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

Post Reply