I’m starting to plan my first trip to Isle Royal. I’ll be taking the ferry from Houghton. I’ve been able to carve an 8 night - 9 day adventure. Being it my first time to the island I have lofty goals to see as much as I can in the time I have.
Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!
I don’t plan on or want to carrying a weeks + worth of food. My plan is to make my way to the Minong Trail via Daisy Farm (night 1), McCargoe Cove (night 2), Todd Harbor (night 3), Lake Desor (night 4) and the on to Washington Creek/Windigo (night 5) to *resupply.
*I am planning on mailing a resupply box to Windigo. Is this the best and easiest way to do this?
This gives me 3 days to get back to Rock Harbor and catch the ferry back the following day. What’s my best option?id like to stay a night at Chippewa Harbor and/or Moskey Basin.
Am I crazy for trying this?
Thanks in advance !!
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If one suspects their goals are lofty, then chances are they just might be. But it all depends upon your experience and "hiking personality". Often, people that try to see as much as possible end up spending their time and effort "getting there" and they miss the journey. Moving rapidly on many sections of Isle Royale trails means that maybe you will be spending more time looking at your feet than absorbing the beauty, especially if things are wet. And you can almost be assured things will be wet at some point. It's typically a good idea to build in one "zero day" or "day off" to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Tight schedules prohibit this.
Returning to Rock Harbor in 3 days is not unheard of but 4 or 5 is more typical. Have you considered the possibility of using the Voyageur II to make the return trip while consuming only half a day. During most of the season, it departs Windigo 3 times a week at about 10 am CT for Rock Harbor. By taking advantage of this transportation you could send an extra day or two on your way to Windigo or explore the Feldtmann Loop after your supply pickup.
There are many other options such as spending the entire 9 days on the north end (and still not see it all). I believe supply pickups can be arranged with the Voyageur at other stops than just Windigo.
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Enjoy your visit.
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Due partly to awkward campground placement, such a return would involve longish days, e.g.
Washington Creek to Hatchet Lake (18.8 miles -- I did it last year fresh from the Voyageur and enjoyed it but YMMV); Hatchet to Moskey or Chippewa (13.4/15.2); thence to Rock Harbor (11/14.8 ) . (<--I had to type that weird to avoid having it auto-corrected to an emoticon!)
If you don't see everything you'd like to this trip, that's an excellent excuse to come back!
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+1 on midwested's advice on weather/rain and zero days. Lightning and rain make the ridge tops inhospitable and very slippery.
I listened to my quiet nagging doubt about getting trekking poles...they ended up being essential for me.
Without question, at the top of my best backpacking trips.. you'll be glad you went.
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