1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Post by kateridearie » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:54 am

Hi all! First and foremost, this forum has been a LIFESAVER, and I want to thank you all for all the posts that I have scrounged through, and all the advice and tips you've given - I'm so excited to put them to use!

I'm planning a solo 5day/4nite trip to IR in September: seaplane from Houghton/Hancock to Windigo, then hiking up to Rock Harbor and taking the Ranger back to Houghton. I roughly plotted out my trip utilizing various trail maps, and then the handy-dandy trip planner spreadsheet listed on one of the boards (thank you! thank you!). Just wanted to get some general advice and recommendations on the itinerary I have drafted up for myself...and any tips/suggestions you can think of that might be better, please! I know some of the days look long...to preface: I'm a pretty active/in-shape person that frequently has done high mileage hikes/runs/etc. - BUT - I would like honest advice if you feel it is "too much" or not advisable. :) My last full day I was planning on just taking it easy...maybe hitting up the Rock Harbor Lodge for a "real meal" (and a bevo or two, perhaps! :wink: )...and then just crashing out early before boarding the ferry back to the mainland in the morning.

Anyway, thanks for listening to all the rambling, and in advance: thanks for all your help!

Day 1:
Hancock -> Windigo; Seaplane
Windigo -> S. Lake Desor Campground; ~11.6 miles

Day 2:
S. Lake Desor Campground -> W. Chickenbone Campground; ~15 miles

Day 3:
W. Chickenbone Campground -> Three Mile Campground; ~12.5 miles

Day 4:
Three Mile Campground -> Rock Harbor Campground; ~3.10 miles

Day 5:
Rock Harbor -> Houghton; Ferry

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Re: 1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Post by torpified » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:40 am

that looks sound to me! I'm over 50 and in decent (but not fanatical) aerobic shape, and I'd be comfortable hiking that itinerary. (NB I travel light-- my IR pack rarely weighs more than 20 pounds.)

A good feature of your itinerary is that if it turns out that you've planned more miles than you enjoy walking, you can shorten days earlier in the itinerary and compensate by walking longer on Day 4.

YMMV, but I find it's EASIER to cover ground when I hike alone. There are fewer bathroom breaks and unanimity is quickly reached on pauses to consider what to do next. So if you're liking your planned mileage, or hankering for more, think about making your way to RH via Lane Cove.

Even if you stick with your present itinerary, you'll have a choice on Day 3: to follow the ridge then drop down to 3 miles on the Mt Franklin Trail, or to drop down off the ridge earlier and follow the Rock Harbor Trail from Daisy Farm to 3 mile. Visiting Lane Cove would be a variation on the first option, around the same mileage on Day 3, around 8 miles to Rock Harbor on Day 4. ALL of the options in play sound like splendid walks --- I bet you'll love it no matter what exactly you wind up doing.

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Re: 1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Post by Ingo » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:33 pm

Too much? That all depends on you--it's not for Torpified :), but definitely for me (but I mostly canoe).
Agree that having some extra time at the end is good. Keep in mind that the seaplane is the least reliable transportation (i.e. most affected by weather), so making S Desor the first day may not be feasible if you were to get delayed into the afternoon.
Also, make sure you carry enough water--last week 3 hikers were airlifted off due to severe dehydration. You can't rely on any streams along the Greenstone trail especially at that time of year. You can detour to Hatchet for water on day 2, although it does have a steep climb back up.
Have a great trip!
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: 1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Post by Base654 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:07 am

I would have a backup plan in case the plane is delayed. I flew over earlier this year and we left houghton 3 hours late. it's not a big deal unless the planes are full. They operate like an airliner, if your 1:00 flight is late, the 2:00 people take it when the sky opens and they try to fit you in somewhere. Don't get me wrong they bend over backwards for us, but...

The Greenstone is a faster trip than the Minong if you need to.

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Re: 1st Time IR Trip 5day/4nite Solo Advice Needed Please

Post by philranger » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:49 pm

Instead of going from Chickenbone to 3 Mile to Rock Harbor. I would go to Moskey Basin to 3 Mile. Rock Harbor is pretty busy and I would rather spend my last night at 3 Mile instead of RH.
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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