Early Season transport

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

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Early Season transport

Post by bobcat »

Due to major project schedules, the time slot for my “summer” vacation this year will be April 24-May 11.

Not seeing any transport options in that timeframe to get to Isle Royale. Is there something I missed, or is the Park still kinda frozen up? I see that technically it is open and legal to be there.

I’m thinking I may have to go elsewhere for my vacation.

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Re: Early Season transport

Post by mean_ass_raccoon »

im no expert on isle royale but i did live in the U.P. for a couple years and you could def still have ice on the lake in places in late april.

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Re: Early Season transport

Post by Tom »

There are no public transportation options available that early. I think most consider the 'first boat' of the Voyageur II (AKA: The Polar Express, for that first trip) to be the 'opening' of the Island. That's May 9th this year; and some years that can even get delayed as ice might still be in the harbors.
Prior to that sail, the Ranger III has typically been making supply and crew runs (typically to Mott) slightly before that, and while it's not advertised, I have heard of folks (and met them) that have been able to book passage on an early trip. I think seating is variable/random, but I suppose if they have room, maybe they'll get you out there. (You might also need to have a boat, like a kayak, as they may very well might not be going to Rock Harbor.)
Otherwise, you'd need to find a private boat to get you out there, or borrow a jet-ski from a buddy in Grand Portage... :wink:

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Re: Early Season transport

Post by Nick »

I know that George Desort got an early boat, but he had to apply as he was doing the 50 Lakes; One Island documentary at the time. If you go by private boat, be very careful. There are no commercial vessels licensed to carry passengers to ISRO other than the Queen, Ranger, or Voyageur. If a "commercial" captain offers to take you early, he/she is subject to fines. I saw that happen one May at Malone. He got ticketed as did his unpermitted passengers.

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Re: Early Season transport

Post by Base654 »

I took the early boat last year. It is just a ride. no food, no drink. You do have to have a boat. the Ranger stops at Mott and you get off.

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