First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

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Wildcat
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First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Wildcat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:13 pm

Hi all. Let me start by way of a little bit of introduction here. My name is Keith. Retired GM employee. I live in a small town in Warren County, Ohio roughly midway between Cincinnati and Dayton. I turned 70 years old back in Sept. Wife and I celebrated our 50th anniversary this past July. We have a son and a daughter and one grandson and one granddaughter. I am in excellent health

Back in 2010 we took the grandkids and headed west to visit some of our National Parks. 26 days and 17 parks later we returned home with a deep appreciation of our National Park system and a huge desire to see as many of them as we can. While I certainly was aware of Isle Royale, I knew little about it until we traveled up to the UP to see Pictured Rocks National Seashore. We decided then to drive on up to Copper Harbor. Spent a night in Houghton and while there we visited the Isle Royale Visitor Center. After spending probably two hours talking to the ranger there about Isle Royale I was intrigued to say the least. When I got back home and talked to my grandson we decided we wanted to do a backpack there soon after he finishes his junior year of high school. My son and one of my nephews also want to do this so it will be the 4 of us.

We are a long way from deciding our final itinerary. All we have decided for sure is that we want to do Windigo to Rock Harbor and we will have a week to do it. After looking over the map here is what my grandson has suggested:

Sat Day 1 - Early ferry to Windigo then up to Island Mine
Day 2 - South Desor
Day 3 - Hatchet Lake
Day 4 - Chicken Bone
Day 5 - Moskey Basin
Day 6 - Three Mile
Fri Day 7 - Rock Harbor Lodge for the night and catch ferry back Sat morning.

We are open to any and all suggestions. Thanks, Keith

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hooky
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by hooky » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:48 pm

Welcome to the site, Keith.

Your early itinerary is fine, but has a lot of of inland camp sites. Your first 4 days of hiking is going to look a lot like southern Ohio. I personally like to be on the shore of Superior as much as possible. I would suggest that if the extra expense of taking the V to McCargoe isn't an issue, perhaps starting there and making your way to Moskey around the west end of Chicken bone might be a better experience.
Day 1 Drop off at McCargoe with a trip to the mine and stay there that night.
Day 2 Moskey
Day 3 Daisy
Day 4 Lane Cove via Mt Ojibwa
Day 5 3 Mile
Day 6 RH

You'd also have a zero day in there to play with for an extra night at Moskey (my favorite site on the island) or Lane Cove. The downside is that you're climbing up and down the Greenstone 3 times.

Another option would be the Feldtmann loop around to Island Mine then cut back east to S Desor and finish at Malone. That would let you do a sunset at Rainbow cove on the first night, a night on Siskiwit bay and maybe multiple nights at Malone, which is a dead end trail and beautiful site, before catching the V2 back to Windigo.

Regardless of what you decide, I'm sure you'll enjoy it immensely.

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Ingo
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Ingo » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:02 pm

It's a pretty typical itinerary for an end-to-end hike, but I agree with Hooky that it misses some of the best the island has to offer, specifically the Lake Superior campgrounds. Starting at McCargoe gives you a lot of different options to play with.
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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Grandpa
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Grandpa » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:33 pm

Keith,
It's nice to see another septuagenarian on the forums! I hope you have a great trip.
First visit 1982. Last visit June, 2018. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!

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philranger
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by philranger » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:41 am

In 2005, I brought my 75 year old Scoutmaster to IR. We hiked from Rock Harbor to Daisy Farm and back. Our original trek was more ambitious, but he struggled with the distance and we altered our itinerary.

Not really sure what your physical fitness level is, but I would consider doing less hiking and spending more time enjoying the island. You’re not going to see the entire island on one trip. As you can see from my tag line, I’ve been there 9 times. As others have suggested, entering at McCargoe gives you many options. There is something magical about Isle Royale. Enjoy!
Isle Royale Trips: 2005-RH to Windigo via Greenstone. 2006-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2007-RH to Daisy Farm and back. 2008-Feltmann loop. 2009-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2013-Minong Ridge. 2014-Windigo + Huginnin Cove. 2015-Lookout Louise to LC to DF to MB. 2018-McCargoe to Todd to HL to Malone Bay.


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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by torpified » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:10 am

I also like hooky's itinerary, although I understand the aesthetic appeal of walking from one end to the other. Either way you go, be sure to take a victory lap out to Scoville Point from Rock Harbor when the backpacking bit is over!

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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by dcclark » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:50 pm

One more vote that an end-to-end isn't the best choice for your first trip to the island. There are some wonderful places to see on along the Superior shore that you'd be missing. McCargoe and Moskey are two of the very best in my book.

Also, you might be surprised by the island's terrain. My wife and I are young and reasonably fit and spent years hiking in the UP, but we got wrecked by the island the first time we visited. The constant up-and-down, especially on the ridges, can be really hard on the knees especially.

So, I'd recommend a slower itinerary that hits McCargoe and Moskey, and probably adding a rest day if you can manage it. Sitting back and enjoying the scenery is half of the fun!


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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Wildcat » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:46 pm

Thanks for all the input so far. Probably after Thanksgiving dinner we are going to start getting down to working out the details. Most certainly, I will present these comments to the gang. Please keep these comments coming. You can only tell so much by looking at the maps so we will be heavily influenced by those of you have actually visited. I really want to do this right as it will probably be my only shot at this. Though my health is really good, the same cannot be said for my wife and this, most likely, will be my only chance

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Ingo
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Ingo » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:59 pm

I noticed your itinerary doesn't exactly fit the boat schedule--the Voyageur II goes out on Mon, Wed, and Sat, and back on Tue, Thu, and Sun. So you wouldn't be leaving Rock Harbor until Sunday and have an extra day (it doesn't sound like you'd want to come back Thur). Here's the schedule for the Voyageur II and Seahunter (only goes to Windigo) https://www.isleroyaleboats.com/schedules.html. The dates should be very similar next year--it's usually updated in Jan after it's approved by the park service.

Another thought for starting at McCargoe is to go to Chippewa Harbor, and then Moskey. You would add another favorite campground of many.
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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philranger
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by philranger » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:24 pm

Here’s a trek I’ve done twice because it’s a nice walk without any death marches. If you use the Voyageur, you can do the following:

Sat - Grand Portage - Windigo - McCargoe Cove
Sun - McCargoe - W. Chickenbone
Mon - W. Chickenbone - Moskey Basin
Tues - Moskey Basin - Lake Ritchie
Wed - Lake Ritchie- Chippewa Harbor
Thur - Chippewa - Windigo - Grand Portage
Isle Royale Trips: 2005-RH to Windigo via Greenstone. 2006-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2007-RH to Daisy Farm and back. 2008-Feltmann loop. 2009-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2013-Minong Ridge. 2014-Windigo + Huginnin Cove. 2015-Lookout Louise to LC to DF to MB. 2018-McCargoe to Todd to HL to Malone Bay.


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Wildcat
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Wildcat » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:55 pm

Ingo wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:59 pm
I noticed your itinerary doesn't exactly fit the boat schedule--the Voyageur II goes out on Mon, Wed, and Sat, and back on Tue, Thu, and Sun. So you wouldn't be leaving Rock Harbor until Sunday and have an extra day (it doesn't sound like you'd want to come back Thur). Here's the schedule for the Voyageur II and Seahunter (only goes to Windigo) https://www.isleroyaleboats.com/schedules.html. The dates should be very similar next year--it's usually updated in Jan after it's approved by the park service.

Another thought for starting at McCargoe is to go to Chippewa Harbor, and then Moskey. You would add another favorite campground of many.
Thanks for the ferry link. I will check in January when the 2019 sked comes out.


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Wildcat
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Re: First Timer perhaps 1st week of June 2019

Post by Wildcat » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:01 pm

philranger wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:24 pm
Here’s a trek I’ve done twice because it’s a nice walk without any death marches. If you use the Voyageur, you can do the following:

Sat - Grand Portage - Windigo - McCargoe Cove
Sun - McCargoe - W. Chickenbone
Mon - W. Chickenbone - Moskey Basin
Tues - Moskey Basin - Lake Ritchie
Wed - Lake Ritchie- Chippewa Harbor
Thur - Chippewa - Windigo - Grand Portage
Looking hard at this but think I would like to add Ojibway and Daisy Farm. Thanks

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