Late June 2023 Minong Itinerary

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

Moderator: MikeT

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2023 3:15 pm
Has thanked: 2 times

Late June 2023 Minong Itinerary

Post by postie »

Hello everyone, I'm planning my first trip to IR with a group of 6 total. The dates are looking to be 6/25-6/30, arriving and leaving by sea-plane. Everyone in the group is in their 20's and either familiar with camping in Northern WI/MN or hiking in the Mountain West, or both.

For planning, I've been doing a lot of reading from this forum as well as few pieces from the park website and the IR subreddit. This site has been an amazing resource so far, and I'm hoping to gather a bit more insight from the collective knowledge on here. Our plan is to hike the Minong Ridge, crossing the entire island from Windigo to RH, taking the hit on the hardest part of the hike at the beginning.

Windigo -> ND-> LT -> TH -> MC -> TM -> RH

6/25 - Windigo to N Lake Desor
This is quite a haul, around 13 miles. Taking the sea plane in around 9, checking in, picking up fuel and then hopefully hitting trails by 10:30 or earlier. This would put us in N Desor sometime around 7 as best I can tell from the trails topography. I've seen a few people mention in other forum posts that they have completed this leg.

6/26 N Desor -> Little Todd
Not expecting much of a challenge here.

6/27 Little Todd -> Todd Harbor
Hopefully some time to check out the mine in the area.

6/28 Todd -> McCargoe Cove
Again not expecting much challenge here.

6/29 McCargoe Cove -> Three Mile
Longer hike here, but trying to get close to RH so the next day is not stressful to get to RH.

6/30 Three Mile -> Rock Harbor
Short hike before the 2PM flight out.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
IR Expert
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:06 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 6
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Has thanked: 249 times
Been thanked: 123 times

Re: Late June 2023 Minong Itinerary

Post by torpified »

Day 1: it's a haul but in late June you'll have scads of daylight to work with. Pack light, take your time, and enjoy it!

Day 4: lots of choices here for routing. You really can't go wrong. My totally subjective vote would be to take the trail on the east side of Chickenbone Lake, then follow the GRT along the ridge to the Lane Cove/3 mile junction. (Unless there's lightning, in which case I'd scurry straight to Daisy!)

A possible wrench in the works: Sea plane delays. So a backup plan or plans, in case the plane delivers you too late to make it to ND on day 1, would be good to have!
May actually live on IR
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am
Isle Royale Visits: 14
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Late June 2023 Minong Itinerary

Post by JerryB »

I think it is all doable. I suspect you will get into N Desor a little earlier than you predict. Parts of the Minong, including those for which you foresee no issues, are treacherous if wet. I fell three times on the exposed ridge in one day. Just a warning and no reason to change your plans. One suggestion I would make is to build in a layover day, although this may be only my personal preference. It gives you flexibility in case of bad weather, illness or injury. And some of the sites on the island are great places for a layover. (Chippewa would be on that list, in my opinion.)

A few notes on sites you have scheduled: At Todd, if you walk through group site 1 (obviously with permission), through the brush on the far side, there are huge boulders in the lake. It is a nice place to kick back and relax. Just before McCargo, make sure you check out the mine. I believe it is marked and is fun to look around. Finally, i don’t see how you can do it unless you add days, but if you have a night at Rock Harbor, the Stoll day hike is fantastic.

May actually live on IR
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:01 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Pickerington, Ohio
Has thanked: 56 times
Been thanked: 99 times

Re: Late June 2023 Minong Itinerary

Post by Bobcat1 »

If you all are cruising through the miles without struggling, the last day you can easily be back in RH in time to dayhike the Stoll Trail out to Scoville Point , and still have time for a shower before making your 2pm flight. On the other hand, by that point, if you are tired, then just hauling into RH, grab a shelter to hang out, and then catch your flight after an easy day. It literally takes less than an hour from 3M to RH if you are moving well. The reason we mention the Stoll Trail is that it's got great views of the eastern end of the island, and it's arguably the most scenic trail on the Isle. Even just taking the first mile and back to RH will afford you open views of RH and its eastern islands.

If you are moving well, you can also gain a day by skipping LTH and heading straight for TH, or by doubling up on a day and skipping through McCargoe Cove.
19 RH-ML-TI-RH by kayak
16 RH-DF-MB-TI-RH-3M-RH by kayak
Post Reply