First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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isleroyale18
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First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:46 am

Here is our current itinerary for 7 days on IR. Some day hiking experience but minimal backpacking experience. Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions on the route:

day 1 - ferry to RH, hike to three mile CG
day 2 - three mile to moskey basin CG (8.3mi)
day 3 - moskey basin to W. chicken bone CG (5.9mi)
day 4 - W. chickenbone to mccargoe cove to E. chickenbone CG (4.8mi)
day 5 - E. chickenbone to lane cove CG (11.2mi)
day 6 - lane cove to RH (6.9mi)
day 7 - water taxi to hidden lake, hike to lookout louise and back (2mi), catch ferry at 2:45pm

Also, we are planning to get a Sawyer squeeze for water filtration. Do you recommend purifying the water prior/after filtration?

Are there PLB's for rent available? Is is absolutely necessary to bring a PLB?

Thank you in advance!


Midwest Ed
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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Welcome to the forum. On day 7, if it happens to fall on a Tuesday or Thursday, there is a 9 am scheduled tour boat (M.V. Sandy) that goes to the Hidden Lake dock with a Ranger guide hike to Lookout Louise. You can walk back with no problems. It will save you some money unless you have 4 or more people. If you take the water taxi, make sure you book as a group in order to receive their discounts and reservations are highly recommended (for both taxi and Sandy).

Water purification tablets are generally not needed in addition to filtration. The only time I would even consider steps beyond filtration alone is if I was for some weird reason collecting water downstream from a pit toilet (or some really mangy looking puddle), which should probably never happen. Purification tablets (or UV light) alone are not approved water treatment methods for Isle Royale. Only 0.4 micron filtration or one minute rolling boil is satisfactory. Some people will sometimes pre-filter their very dirty looking collected water using a coffee filter etc. before running through their regular filter. This can prevent the regular filter from clogging too soon.
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isleroyale18
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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:36 pm

Thank you @Midwest Ed! Appreciate the info! Unfortunately our last day lands on a Friday, will miss the ranger tour by one day. We debated starting the trip at hidden lake via the water taxi but was worried that we'd run out of time day one from hidden lake to lane cove since we'd be starting at 1pm or later.

I've heard that the portion of the greenstone trail from hidden lake is one of the best parts of the trail. In the current itinerary we'd only be able to go as far as lookout louise, but will miss the portion from lookout louise to lane cove. Do you think it would be worthwhile to change the itinerary to incorporate lookout louise to lane cove?

day 1 ferry to RH, watertaxi to hidden lake, hike to lane cove (7+mi)
day 2 hike from lane cove to E chickenbone (11.2mi)
day 3 E. chickenbone to mccargoe cove to W. chickenbone (4.8mi)
day 4 W. chickenbone to moskey basin (5.9mi)
day 5 moskey basin to three mile (8.3mi)
day 6 three mile to RH (3mi)
day 7 kayak/canoe from RH to raspberry island etc/ other sightsee near RH, catch ferry at 2:45pm

Also, it is necessary to reserve the water taxi well in advance or are they usually available for same day reservations? Thanks again!


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by JerryB » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:03 pm

I suggest you drop East Chickenbone from your plans. The camp is quite a hike from the water and is generally regarded as the worst site on the island. Consider a layover day at another site instead.

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Ingo
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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by Ingo » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:31 pm

Agree about E Chickenbone--it appears you're trying to shorten the day to Lane Cove. My thought is:
Day 3: Moskey to McCargoe
Day 4: McCargoe to Daisy Farm
Day 5: Daisy Farm to Lane Cove

While the hike up to Lookout Louise is nice, I don't think it would be worth a water taxi just to do it, especially since you will have already hit Mt Ojibway and Mt Franklin with similar views. I'd suggest hiking to Scoville Pt and/or renting a canoe and paddling Tobin Harbor instead.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by torpified » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:44 am

More water taxi considerations: The Greenstone between the Mt Franklin junction and Lookout Louise is plenty nice. But I think the stretch just west of there, between the Daisy Farm junction and the Mt. Franklin junction---most of which it looks like you'll be walking---is more spectacular. It has more plentiful, and wider open, views and (in my very limited sampling) more moose than the stretch to Lookout Louise. Although the LL stretch is quieter and less trammeled-feeling, unless you place a very high priority on that, I'm not sure it would offer you much you weren't getting anyway on the more western stretch.

The trail UP to Lookout Louise from Hidden Lake, on the other hand, is pretty neat, and pretty neat in a different way from the Greenstone. One way you can have it all is (if you have time in RH -- this could all happen before the boat leaves on Friday) to rent a canoe, paddle up Tobin Harbor to Hidden Lake (it might be easier to pull out at the picnic spot just W/S of the Hidden Lake Dock than to dock at the dock), and do an out-and-back to LL from there.


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:08 pm

Thank you everyone for your input!! Really appreciate it! I've modified the itinerary but would love your recommendations on which routes to take on day 1 and 5; and any other modifications we should add!

day 1 - ferry to RH, hike to three mile CG ***
day 2 - three mile to moskey basin CG (8.3mi)
day 3 - moskey basin to mccargoe (8.4mi)
day 4 - mccargoe to daisy farms (8.2mi)
day 5 - daisy farm to lane cove CG (6.9mi) via mt ojibway and mt franklin ***
day 6 - lane cove to RH (6.9mi)
day 7 - canoe Tobin Harbor, catch ferry at 2:45pm

*** day 1 - which is the best route - along tobin OR along rock harbor?
*** day 5 - which is the best route - slightly NW route to greenstone first then turn E for mt ojibway OR slightly NE route directly to mt ojibway?

Thank you again!


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:15 pm

torpified wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:44 am
this could all happen before the boat leaves on Friday) to rent a canoe, paddle up Tobin Harbor to Hidden Lake (it might be easier to pull out at the picnic spot just W/S of the Hidden Lake Dock than to dock at the dock), and do an out-and-back to LL from there.
What time do you recommend starting the canoe trip to make ferry at 2:45?
Is it safe to leave the canoe to hike up to LL?
Thank you again!

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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by Ingo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:25 pm

isleroyale18 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:08 pm
*** day 1 - which is the best route - along tobin OR along rock harbor?
Most folks recommend the Tobin Harbor trail because it's an easier trail. The RH lakeshore trail is rather rocky, although more scenic. Coming off the boat with full packs, probably go for the Tobin Harbor side, definitely if it's wet.
isleroyale18 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:08 pm
*** day 5 - which is the best route - slightly NW route to greenstone first then turn E for mt ojibway OR slightly NE route directly to mt ojibway?
The only reason to take the NW route is it's less steep. But the direct route isn't that bad (esp. compared to say coming out of Lane Cove).
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by Ingo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:42 pm

isleroyale18 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:46 am
Are there PLB's for rent available? Is is absolutely necessary to bring a PLB?
Some people bring them, but I don't think most do. Personally, going into the woods with some risk and being self-sufficient is part of the experience for me, but it's a personal decision. When I went solo I considered it, but couldn't find a practical place to rent from and wasn't willing to make the investment for a 1 week trip. Some have found cell service on the ridge, but you can't count on it. If your plan includes Canada, your odds are better.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by torpified » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:08 am

[/quote]
isleroyale18 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:15 pm

What time do you recommend starting the canoe trip to make ferry at 2:45?
Is it safe to leave the canoe to hike up to LL?
It took us (who are mildly experienced at both aspects of this biathlon) about 3 hrs to complete the Tobin Harbor Canoe/LL hike combo a few weeks ago. This included about an hour out and back on the GRT added to the LL hike, as well as quite a bit of noodling around Tobin Harbor on the return trip. Particularly if you laid the ground work for a quick canoe/ferry transition, I expect you'd be fine if you left by 9 or 9:30.

The canoe should be safe at Hidden Lake, which isn't a high crime area --- just be sure to pull it up on shore so it doesn't drift away!


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:44 pm

Thank you for taking the time to address all my questions Ingo and torpified and all the great info!!

Is it necessary to reserve a canoe ahead of time? I tried to call the Rock Harbor Lodge twice but the line was busy.

Also I couldn't find the hours of rentals on the website, just half day/full day. Do you know what time they open?

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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by Ingo » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:04 pm

isleroyale18 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:44 pm
Is it necessary to reserve a canoe ahead of time? I tried to call the Rock Harbor Lodge twice but the line was busy.
Also I couldn't find the hours of rentals on the website, just half day/full day. Do you know what time they open?
Not at all necessary. Just inquire at the dockside store--it's all pretty laid back. Wouldn't hurt to ask the day before when you get in to RH.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by isleroyale18 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm

Thank you!! Took a look at the routes and was wondering if you'd share your experiences on the following -

What's the best route from moskey to mccargoe?

What's the best route from mccargoe to daisy?


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Re: First time to IR - a couple of questions. TIA!

Post by torpified » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:43 pm

isleroyale18 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm

What's the best route from moskey to mccargoe?

What's the best route from mccargoe to daisy?
You can't really lose. But here's my vote:

Moskey to McCargoe: I don't find the stretch of the GRT between the two chickenbone junctions that inspiring. So I'd go west on the lake ritchie trail, then follow the Indian Portage trail all the way to McCargoe

McCargoe to Daisy: the trail past east chickenbone, then across on the GRT to whichever of the spur trails to Daisy Farm maximizes variety, given the rest of your itinerary. (I'd take the Daisy Farm Trail down, then go to Lane Cove via the Mt Ojibway and GRT trails.)

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