Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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brophyn4
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Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by brophyn4 »

Hi,

Due to some issues with the ferry from Michigan being cancelled I am going to be limited to one night in IR. I was curious how long it takes to go from Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor. If I arrive in rock harbor at 3pm would I be able to make it to Chippewa before dark so that I could be ready for the 9am ferry home from Chippewa the next day? Normally I wouldn't consider this kind of mileage in on a mountainous backpacking trip, but Im not sure how fast you can move on IR.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by Ingo »

Even though there isn't any elevation gain, there are a lot of small ups and downs that add up, but more importantly, very rocky, roots, and poor footing in many (most) places. I doubt you could make Chippewa by dark this time of year. I would suggest Daisy Farm (7 mi), enjoy the evening, and get picked up there in the morning.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by brophyn4 »

Thanks for the reply Ingo. Would you say this route would be more scenic than going from Windigo to Huginnin Cove? I would have more time on the Windigo side of the island but I have heard the Rock harbor side is more scenic and unique to isle royale.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by dcclark »

Huginnin Cove is one of the gems of Isle Royale -- if I only had one night, I'd probably do that. Likely to be fewer people, too!
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by Ingo »

Heck yes, I'd do Huginnin, too! Should've thought of that! Beautiful spot. I can see how some may say the hike is not as scenic, but to me the campground makes up for that. Likely a lot fewer folks and will feel much more remote. And with only 1 night, I would take as much time on the island as I could.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by Midwest Ed »

Unless I REALLY liked riding the boat up one side of the Island and down the other, that is not how I would spend the majority of the two days and one night I had available. An overnight at Huginnin Cove is a good idea but even camping in Windigo and day hiking to Huginnin and/or elsewhere would be preferable to seeing Rock Harbor.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by brophyn4 »

Well then it's settled, I'll go to Windigo and do Huginnin. Thanks for the input, everyone!
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by Bobcat1 »

+1 for Huginin Cove loop! I did the loop for my first night about six weeks ago. Just be aware of the time zone thing - your ferry is on Central time. Windigo will be very quiet this time of year - no showers, maybe no drinking water although you have plenty of water available to filter.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by torpified »

+2 for the Huginnin loop! Especially if the services at Windigo are offline, I'd camp there too. It's a very cool spot!

If you do decide to camp there, and want to stretch your legs on Day 1, consider taking the Feldtmann Lake trail to the Grace Creek overlook, before doubling back to Windigo and carrying on to Huginnin. ([ETA:] It's 3.6 miles out and back to the overlook, then maybe 4 the shorter way to Huginnin. I'm mentioning this in case you were relishing the prospect of the 17 mile walk from RH to Chippewa!)
Last edited by torpified on Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by Midwest Ed »

torpified wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:18 pmI'm mentioning this in case you were relishing the prospect of the 17 mile walk from RH to Chippewa!)
On a related side note, I'd like to challenge anyone to step off the Voyageur II at Rock Harbor and then beat it to the Malone Bay campground, 33 miles distant, for a pickup the next day. Or maybe even better, catch it in Windigo the next day (41 miles) :D
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by hooky »

Midwest Ed wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:06 pm
torpified wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:18 pmI'm mentioning this in case you were relishing the prospect of the 17 mile walk from RH to Chippewa!)

On a related side note, I'd like to challenge anyone to step off the Voyageur II at Rock Harbor and then beat it to the Malone Bay campground, 33 miles distant, for a pickup the next day. Or maybe even better, catch it in Windigo the next day (41 miles) :D
I was a bit lost on that logic myself.
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by dcclark »

That is totally something an ultramarathoner would try. I have a friend who regularly does the 100 mile ultra on the Superior Hiking Trail and would love the chance to do all of Isle Royale in ~24 hours. It's not my style, and probably not the OP's either, but I bet we do get those folks on Isle Royale!
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by backwoods doc »

torpified wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:18 pm I think it's about 8 miles out and back to the overlook)
3.6 miles, round trip, to the Grace Creek overlook: https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/ ... e_2015.pdf
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Re: Rock Harbor to Chippewa Harbor in one day

Post by torpified »

backwoods doc wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 7:01 am
torpified wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:18 pm I think it's about 8 miles out and back to the overlook)
3.6 miles, round trip, to the Grace Creek overlook: https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/ ... e_2015.pdf
that makes the double even more plausible!
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