our first backpacking adventure

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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greg.holcomb
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our first backpacking adventure

Post by greg.holcomb » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:58 pm

Hi, My wife and I are planning our fist visit/backpacking adventure on Isle Royale the first week in Aug. I'm still figuring out logistics such as which ferry and days (leaning tue-sat) to Rock Harbor. As it will be our first visit to the Island I'm curious as to what people recommend as must see for the 1st time visitor.

Thanks,
Greg


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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by ARRC » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:58 pm

greg.holcomb wrote:Hi, My wife and I are planning our fist visit/backpacking adventure on Isle Royale the first week in Aug. I'm still figuring out logistics such as which ferry and days (leaning tue-sat) to Rock Harbor. As it will be our first visit to the Island I'm curious as to what people recommend as must see for the 1st time visitor.

Thanks,
Greg
Hi there!
I really don't much care to do out and backs. My recommendation would be to water taxi to McCargo Cove or Chippewa Harbor and work your way back to Rock Harbor. Moskey has amazing sunrises and McCargo is a great place to swim that time of year. There is no bad place on the island. Most likely you will be making a return trip (:

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by Ingo » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:55 pm

I concur with ARRC. Get the Trails Illustrated map if you don't have it already. Plan to get up on the ridge, Mt Objibway and/or Mt Franklin. And plan to day hike out to Scoville Pt at the end of the trip--beautiful and easy shoreline trails.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by Base654 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 am

One of my favorite trips is Rock harbor-Daisy Farm (night one)-McCargoe Cove(night two), Moskey basin (night three and four), and Rock Harbor for night five.

Moskey to Rock harbor is long, but I get up early and take a long lunch at Daisy or three mile and I am still back well before dinner ( i like the restaurant's pork tenderloin). The last day you can hike Scoville buy gifts and get a hot breakfast.

There is very little out and back on this if you take the tobin trail out and Rock harbor trail back. You can go past East Chicken bone on the way out and West Chicken bone on the way back. ( I don't mind out and back anyway, I find the trails to look very different in each direction)

You really won't find a bad route anywhere on the island.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by thesneakymonkey » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:30 pm

I believe you could take the ranger III with the tuesday- saturday schedule (if you are coming from Houghton). We did our first trip there last summer (see video link below). We took the Ranger in and really liked our out and back (east side) loop. I think the island is pretty beginner friendly. I really liked the national geographic map of the island (you can find it on amazon or REI). It is very detailed and accurate. You can also check out the greenstone newspaper (you can find it here: https://www.nps.gov/isro/greenstone-newspaper.htm). I found that paper to be really helpful for planning. Have fun planning!

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by greg.holcomb » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:36 pm

Thanks all, some great ideas. Not feeling the water taxi, due to cost though.... I have the Nat Geo topo map already. We loved the videos sneaky.... Yeah, I'm planning on us taking the Ranger, just have to make sure we catch the boat back on Sat.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by greg.holcomb » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:44 pm

:?: With only 5 tent sites, Does lane cove frequently fill. I was thinking of heading there straight off the boat. It seems most people tend to flow towards three mile and daisy off the boat and I'm thinking about alternatives. I know it makes a long 13 mile day2 to MC but we'll still be fresh


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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by JerryB » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:47 pm

I have only been to Lane Cove once and it did fill up. Not like a camper can just turn around and go to the next campground. I ended up sharing with two other folks. The next day, I was the only person at Lane Cove. Maybe it was something I said.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by Base654 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:25 pm

I have been to Lane Cove a few times, sometimes it has been empty sometimes it's full. I have gone straight to McCargoe many times. it is a long trip, but the hard part is getting up to the Greenstone ridge, the rest is easier, the last is mostly downhill. I have always found it near empty in this situation. I think everybody that was there left for three mile to catch the Ranger in a couple days. Hint: early mornings make getting a site at the next camp easier.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by Rafiki » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:07 pm

I would make It a point to visit McCargoe Cove and Moskey basin, they along with Malone Bay are my favorite sites on the island. McCargoe takes the cake though. I would not swim there though...unless you like leeches.
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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by dcclark » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Rafiki wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:07 pm
I would make It a point to visit McCargoe Cove and Moskey basin, they along with Malone Bay are my favorite sites on the island. McCargoe takes the cake though. I would not swim there though...unless you like leeches.
No problem with leeches if you don't stand around in the shallows. Jump off the end of the dock instead and you'll be leach-free (and frozen solid)!

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by Rafiki » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:38 pm

Can’t leeches swim to you? I realize they don’t like the colder waters, So it is less likely that you will be sucked by one of them, but can’t they still get you if they wanted to?
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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by dcclark » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:43 pm

Rafiki wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:38 pm
Can’t leeches swim to you? I realize they don’t like the colder waters, So it is less likely that you will be sucked by one of them, but can’t they still get you if they wanted to?
Never had leech problems except in weedy shallows. They don't seem to like open water.

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Re: our first backpacking adventure

Post by MikeT » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:39 pm

For a first trip, coming into Rock Harbor and leaving from Rock Harbor, the Rock Harbor loop is probably the best. If you can get to McCargoe, that adds a good side route. So..
RH to Three-Mile to Daisy to Moskey to Lake Richie to Chickenbone West to McCargoe to Chickenbone East (water on the way) or Daisy to Three-Mile (or RH)
Split those up depending on your days and how you are doing. There are options depending on that. It is hard to put Lane Cove into your route and days because it is a in and out. A beautiful campground though.
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