Isle Royale National Park, MI

Isle Royale National Park is one of the most beautiful and isolated ecosystems in our country. Situated in the middle Lake Superior, it is a several hour boat ride from Minnesota, Ontario or Michigan. Isle Royale boasts charismatic megafauna such as Moose, Wolves, Fox, Eagles, Osprey and the ubiquitous Red Squirrel.

There are swimming opportunities almost every day in either Lake Superior or in several warm, inland lakes.

Botanical bonus: We will be visiting Isle Royale during the wildflower season. Not to mention the abundance of tasty berries such as raspberries, blueberries, ubiquitous thimbleberries and the not-so-amazing serviceberries. As the insanely long days of Summer unfold, it's prime time to visit, so why not join us to see a wonderful place, improve your fitness level and lose some weight (or more accurately, alter body composition)?


The Isle Royale Fitpacking Trip will be from July 9-17, 2013. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Our trek will begin in Grand Portage, MN where we board the Voyageur II for an unforgettable, most-of-the-day cruise in the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. We'll start hiking at Rock Harbor on the far East portion of Isle Royale. Every day, we'll walk Westward on soaring ridges atop a geologic syncline (fold in rock layers) working our way towards Windigo almost 50 miles away, having traversed the entire island.


Although the trails are quite rugged, our hiking distances that are not overly aggressive, especially when considering that we'll have up to 16 hours of daylight this time of year. Elevation changes are fairly moderate as well, making this trip both fun and accessible.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Summer is the ideal time to hike in Isle Royale. In fact, July is the warmest month of the year in this region. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 50s. Remember too that weather along the coast can vary greatly from weather mid-island. Here are the historical weather averages Be prepared with lots of rain protection, bug protection and water containers that add up to 4 liters of capacity.

Trip Leaders

Deb Lusk, lives in Phoenix, AZ and has hiked all over the Arizona Desert. She had guided Fitpacking trips all over the country is a SOLO certified Wilderness First Responder and a Certified Food Handler.

Donna Farber lives in West Bloomfield, MI and is a WMI certified Wilderness First Responder.

She has guided Fitpacking trips all over the country and also guides the Grand Canyon's South Rim and Havasupai. She has spent many summers directing 7-9 year olds and staff at Camp Tamakwa, in Algonquin Park, Canada.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Traverse Outfitters, Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it all trip long, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Duluth International Airport (DLH), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, campground fees, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the parks, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and awesome guides.