Day 1 -- (4 p.m. sea plane into Windigo) -- [CAMP WINDIGO]
Day 2 -- early start because it will be our longest and hardest day -- Windigo to N. Desor. [CAMP N. DESOR] (this is the day I'm most worried about)
Day 3 -- N. Desor to Little Todd [CAMP LITTLE TODD]
Day 3 -- Little Todd to Todd Harbor [CAMP TODD HARBOR]
Day 4 -- Todd to McCargoe [CAMP McCARGOE]
Day 5 -- Water taxi from McCargoe to Rock Harbor [STAY AT ROCK HARBOR CABIN]
Day 6 -- Seaplane out from Rock Harbor
- Posts: 33
- Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:36 am
- Isle Royale Visits: 1
- Location: Missoula, Montana
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- Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:06 pm
- Isle Royale Visits: 4
- Location: Ann Arbor, MI
One last note: Plan now for a contingency hiking plan if the sea plane is delayed or the weather gets really bad and you decide to stay over an extra night at some site. The most likely option would be to skip Todd, which would be unfortunate, but if it is necessary,....
The Minong is a difficult trail. DuFresne's book says it' a 1 mile per hour trail and he's right. By comparison, the Greenstone can be hiked at 2 to 2.5 miles in an hour. You would also be hiking the difficult portions of the Minong with all of your food - meaning maximum pack weight. I saw some of the video our other crew took of their trip on the Minong and it looked like rough going in spots. Also, it's not clear from your schedule if you are staying overnight in Little Todd Harbor (you have Day 3 listed twice). If not then the hike from North Desor to Todd Harbor is a second long day on a difficult trail.
Now the good news. Todd Harbor is fantastic. The beach is nice and the dock is good to swim from. If you came on the Greenstone Trail from Windigo to South Desor, you go to Todd Harbor by way of the Hatchet Lake Trail. The portion of the Hatchet Lake Trail on the south side of Hatchet Lake is a beautiful birch forest with fern and thimbleberry undergrowth.
The hike from Todd Harbor to McCargoe Cove is excellent. It mostly runs along a high ridge of rock with views of Lake Superior. Be sure to take the side trail to the Minong Mine. You can go into the mine and see the trailings piled behind it. Acres of rocks moved without machines. I turned my phone on to use my GPS app about half way between Todd Harbor and McCargoe Cove and (surprisingly) had a little cell phone signal from Canada. I got a text from Bell Canada offering me a $5 per day data package. I didn't take them up on the offer, but it was nice to know I could get enough signal to text if I needed it.
You asked about bugs and weather. I was there in late July. Mosquitos are a part of the island, but we found that they were no issue at all until the sun started to set. However, by that time we were ready to head for our tents anyway. I'm not sure when the black flies peak on Isle Royal. I looked through my trip folder and found a note I left for myself that in July, the average high is 74 and average low is 51. The record high is 94 and record low is 37. I'm not sure exactly where I got that information. Our trip was sunny and 70 during the day and around 50 at night. Rain is a regular occurrence, so come prepared.
You can rent canoes at Rock Harbor and canoe in Tobin Harbor for a different perspective on the island. Don't go out on Lake Superior in a canoe.
Probably I've written such a long reply because it's been 2 years since we went and I'm getting the itch to go back. I especially envy you the seaplane ride. I hope the weather is clear for you and you get to fully take in the scale of Lake Superior. Enjoy your trip.