2024 trip- Wolves

Questions regarding the Flora and Fauna on the island.

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Danakrisann
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2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Danakrisann »

Hello,

I’m planning a 2024 trip to IR. My main goal is wolf sighting…I use a scope to stay a distance away. In Yellowstone the wolves tend to venture closer to roads and campgrounds in winter due to fewer people. Are wolves easier to sight in May? Any campgrounds more close to pack dens? I saw a posting about Washington Creek.

Is bicycle a common mode of transportation on the island when traveling east-west?

I appreciate any information to assist my planning.

Thank you and cheers,

Dana
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by dcclark »

Hi Dana, and welcome!

NO wheeled vehicles can be brought to the island, including bicycles. You'll have to hike or paddle. (Edit: This is because it's a federally recognized wilderness area.)

Wolf sightings are extremely rare. They've seemed to be up slightly this year (based entirely on anecdotes), but I haven't noticed any pattern in terms of time of year nor location. If den locations are known (I don't think they are), they're definitely not made public. Your best bet is probably to spend a lot of time on the island (like, a week or two), stay put in quiet places for a long time, and hope!
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by jerry »

Seeing a wolf anywhere is pure luck, for any of us. Somehow, I've seen them on Isle Royale NP, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, & else where can not be planned. It just happens.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by backwoods doc »

The International Wolf Center in Ely, MN is a great place to see wolves :)

I just made my first pilgrimage there, and was very impressed.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by JerryB »

For what it is worth, i have been on the island many times and experienced one, very fleeting, glimpse of a wolf. It was when there were only two wolves left and i was at Lane Cove. In my experience on the island, wolves very rarely come anywhere near humans. Another problem is the topography of the island. Unobstructed views may be hard to come by which won’t help your luck with a scope. That all said, you may be able to find a good spot with wide views, so hunker down and hope! Good luck.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by jerry »

In the Windigo/Washington Creek and Rock Harbor areas are where you can often see a moose or two. They know that the wolf in normally not in those areas.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Bobcat1 »

Isle Royale is a really different place than Yellowstone. Almost all of the land parts of IsRo are densely forested so there are rarely open views of the type I experienced at Yellowstone such as looking across the LaMar valley. But there are chances to sit on a shoreline and scan the opposite shore across a bay or over to an island. Or, breaking out of the forest cover to a successional clearing around an old beaver pond. The chances of a wolf at any given clearing, though, are slim. Mt Franklin is a great overlook for birds 🦅 , and the forest is thick with birds, so sitting quietly with small binocs at hand works well even right in a campsite. But I wouldn’t set your hopes on seeing a wolf. You can go to the International Wolf Center in Ely MN and they have a resident pack of wolves in a large habitat that you can usually see through picture windows.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Dogger »

About bicycles. Last june took the ranger to windigo. Paddled the north side. Got to rock harbor and next to the public canoe/kayak was a bick rack. There was a mountain bike in it. Went back the end of August, the bike was gone but the bike rack was still there. Non wilderness areas can have wheels. If you look at the maps for the planning download there are quite a few non wilderness areas on the island.
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Ingo »

Dogger wrote: Sun Nov 05, 2023 12:40 pm About bicycles. Last june took the ranger to windigo. Paddled the north side. Got to rock harbor and next to the public canoe/kayak was a bick rack. There was a mountain bike in it. Went back the end of August, the bike was gone but the bike rack was still there. Non wilderness areas can have wheels. If you look at the maps for the planning download there are quite a few non wilderness areas on the island.
Apparently crossing the lake with a bike has become popular enough to warrant the rack, but since there are no roads, you can't use it on the island (unless they consider the paved trails around R.H. and the gravel trail in Windigo "roads").

From the NPS FAQs:
"Can we bring a bicycle?
Bicycles are allowed at Rock Harbor or Windigo. No off-road biking is permitted in the park. Most bicycles are brought by those doing long bicycle trips in the Upper Midwest, and they use one of Isle Royale's ferry services to go from one mainland location to another by overnighting in the park. If you would like to bring your bike to Isle Royale, please contact the park for additional information."
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Dogger »

The ranger even has a fare for a bicycle
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Re: 2024 trip- Wolves

Post by Bobcat1 »

About bikes, I have friends who do long bike tours, and go from Copper Harbor to Grand Portage via the ferry hop using Rock Harbor as an overnight. They are not riding on Isle Royale. This lets them do a long-ish tour with less backtracking, but not crossing into Canada.
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