Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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mean_ass_raccoon
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Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Post by mean_ass_raccoon »

Hello,
My FIance and I are backpacking Isle Royale for our honeymoon here VERY soon, and neither of us have been there. I definitely wouldn't say we are expert backpackers, but we are by no means novices. We generally will do things along the lines of a 10 mile weekend trip in the Manistee NF, and we have done three trips this year. Right now our packs are at 42 lbs for me (190 lbs) and 35 lbs for her (165 lbs). This is with all consumables, including (2) full Nalgenes each and (2) 8 oz fuel canisters that we have reserved on the Island.

4 nights scheduled to depart Hancock at 2 pm.

Night One: Daisy Farm - 7.1 Miles
Night Two: Chickenbone Lake West - 7.9 Miles
Night Three: Lane Cove - 12.9 Miles
Night Four: RH - 6.9 miles

Plane Departs at 11 am

Any and all suggestions or general FYIs are greatly appreciated! Will water be of huge concern for this loop? Are there still lakes or streams that you shouldn't drink from? What has the visitor density/shelter availability been like during Covid compared to years past?

TopCarrot
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Re: Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Post by TopCarrot »

Water shouldn’t be an issue one the shorter days. Not much available on the ridge So watch the long day if it is hot. Shelters should have space if you arrive at a reasonable time each day. (Chickenbone and lane don’t have shelters.) I would estimate 80% fewer hikers
20 HC-FL-SB-SD-MB-MB-RH
19 TH-ND-WC-SD-ML Via Voyager McC
18 DF-CH-DF
18 LC-DF-LR-RH
17 CW-SD-WC greenstone in 50hrs

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dcclark
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Re: Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Post by dcclark »

Nice itinerary overall, you'll see lots of lovely places and fun stretches of trail. If you have it in you, continue on to McCargoe on day 2 (about 3 more miles). It's gorgeous, right on Lake Superior, and has shelters and a community fire pit. Plus, it only adds 0.4 miles on day 3 if you take the trail past East Chickenbone, which is also scenic.

My main concern is that you'll spend your honeymoon hiking lots of miles, and not relaxing and enjoying the beautiful sights. Unless you are *really* committed to putting in the miles, it's nicer to stop and enjoy time sitting on the dock or relaxing at your shelter. Definitely consider some ditch options to keep your days shorter. Also, the terrain on IR is very different than Manistee NF -- I'm very familiar with both. The extra rocky trails and constant up-and-down can really wear you out.

Related, the seaplane is often delayed due to wether. If you arrive late on day 1, you might want to rethink your target and stop at Three Mile instead. Then on day 2 you could do ~12.5 miles to either West Chickenbone or McCargoe, or ~8 miles to Moskey instead (which is another really fantastic campsite). From there, you can go 11.1 miles to Lane Cover on day 3 and finish up the same way. I'd encourage considering the Moskey option even if you arrive on time, since it's so nice and leaves you with a much shorter overall itinerary.

Either way, have a great trip!

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thesneakymonkey
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Re: Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Post by thesneakymonkey »

That itinerary will work just fine! Nice sites and good mileage, your packs are a bit heavy for my taste but thats all personal preference. I would be happy to look over a gear list if you want to bring that weight down a bit. Regarding your route I would do moskey instead of chicken-bone personally. :) have fun!
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife

mean_ass_raccoon
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Re: Itinerary Critique, Suggestions or General Need-to-know.

Post by mean_ass_raccoon »

thesneakymonkey wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:30 pm
That itinerary will work just fine! Nice sites and good mileage, your packs are a bit heavy for my taste but thats all personal preference. I would be happy to look over a gear list if you want to bring that weight down a bit. Regarding your route I would do moskey instead of chicken-bone personally. :) have fun!
yes i have since changed it to RH-LC-MB-RL-TM-RH so as to be closer to the dock for our plane at 11 am. Thanks! Also I'm carrying a 1.6 lb camera and a fishing rod and reel which is whats putting me over 40.

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