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Isle Royale National Park

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - Wednesday, June 19, 2024 -- $1800 ★★

Isle Royale National Park is one of the most beautiful and isolated ecosystems in the 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 (less than 20 remain on the island), Fox, Eagles, Osprey, Rabbits and the Red Squirrel.

There are swimming opportunities most days in either tolerably cold Lake Superior or in several warmer, inland lakes: Chickenbone, Desor and Hatchet.

Botanical bonus: We will be visiting Isle Royale during berry season: raspberries, blueberries, ubiquitous thimbleberries and the not-so-tasty serviceberries.

Our trek will begin in Grand Portage, MN where we board the Voyageur II for "a 3 hour tour" in the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. We'll start hiking at Windigo on the far West portion of Isle Royale. Every day, we'll walk Eastward on soaring ridges atop a geologic syncline (fold in rock layers) working our way towards Rock Harbor almost 50 miles away having traversed the entire island.

The long days of Summer are prime time to visit the North Country. So why not join us to see a wonderful place, improve your fitness level and lose some fat?

Topographical Map of Proposed Route

See CalTopo map


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Summer is the ideal time to hike on 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 markedly 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.

Probable Trip Leaders

Guide(s) TBD


Although the trails are rugged in places, our hiking distances that are not overly aggressive, especially when considering that we'll have up to 14 hours of daylight this time of year. Elevation changes are fairly moderate as well, making this trip both fun and accessible.

Ruggedness of the trails are dependent upon how recently crews have maintained them. In 2012, the trails were free and clear so walking was unimpeded. In 2014 and 2020, the trails were overgrown and made the trail somewhat more difficult in places.


$1800 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 1 hotel night You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Duluth, MN (DLH), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 1 campground night, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, ferry transport, park fees, park permits and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.

Important Notes

While Chickenbone Lake has the warmest swimming, Lake Desor is the "best" swimming (sandy beach).

Our itinerary will change depending upon our group size. If we are 6 or fewer, we will change our route to hug the shore and use smaller campsites instead of the ones listed in the itinerary

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Fly or drive into Duluth (DLH). Please plan to arrive by 2PM if you can as we have a 3 hour drive up to Grand Marais when the entire group is assembled. Since flights to Duluth can be limited, let us know if you can't make it by 2PM so we can make arrangements.

If you fly in, take the airport shuttle to our local hotel where we will be set up in either a breakfast room, lobby or a conference room. If you drive in, just meet us here.

We will assemble at: Econo Lodge Duluth Airport, 4197 Haines Rd., Duluth, MN, 55811, (218) 722-5522.

Mini equipment shakedown. We double-check your pack for any items you may have omitted or forgotten after your pre-trip online shakedown.

Trail mix distribution from our make-your-own Trail Mix Bar

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go to the Trailfitters Store, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802, 218-722-6776 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase if necessary. Store is open unitl 9PM.

At around 3PM, shuttle to campsite: TBD, To Be Determined Site(s) TBD

Shuttling will take about 2.5 hours

Guides prepare dinner in camp. On some trips with longer shuttle times, we may opt to go out for an opening dinner at a local restaurant. (Cost of restaurant dinner not included in trip price)

Camp at TBD, To Be Determined Site(s) TBD

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Very early wake-up this morning (5AM)

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage

We will provide a Continental Breakfast in the morning

Shuttle to the Grand Portage boat dock. We must be there by 6:00AM

IMPORTANT: Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone, Michigan (Isle Royale) is in the Eastern Time Zone. Your phone may pick up signals from towers in either time zone so make sure you know precisely what time it is.

Board the Voyaguer II at 7:00AM for a 3 hour boat ride to Windigo

IMPORTANT: There is a 40 pound weight limit to your pack (yay!) but it means that you may not be able to bring every comfort item you desire. However, you can (and likely will) bring more stuff in a carry-on. Don't pack water in your pack, but get it on the Island at Windigo.

Short (15 minute?) ranger orientation

Begin Hiking at Windigo, elevation 600' (Lake Superior is at 600' above Sea Level)

Hike 6.2 miles on the Greenstone Ridge Trail to the Island Mine Trail, elevation 1300'

Hike 0.4 miles on the Island Mine Campsite spur, elevation 1100'

Camp at Island Mine Campsite, elevation 1100'

Miles today: 6.6. Total miles: 6.6

Possible Bailout: Windigo

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hike 0.4 miles on the Island Mine Campsite spur to the Greenstone Ridge Trail, elevation 1300'

Hike 4.8 miles on the Greenstone Ridge Trail to the Lake Desor Spur Trail, elevation 950'

Hike 0.3 miles to the South Lake Desor Campsite, elevation 850'

Camp at South Lake Desor Campsite, elevation 850'

Miles today: 5.5. Total miles: 12.1

Possible bailout: Siskiwit Bay

Friday, June 14, 2024

Hike 3.8 miles to Ishpeming Point Fire Tower, elevation 1377'

The view is disappointing here.

Hike 4.3 miles to the Hatchet Lake Campsite, elevation 754'

Camp at Hatchet Lake Campsite, elevation 754'

Miles today: 8.1. Total miles: 20.2

Possible bailout: Todd Harbor Dock

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hike 7.9 miles on Greenstone Ridge Trail to West Chickenbone Lake Campsite, elevation 675'

Camp at West Chickenbone Lake Campsite, elevation 675'

Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 28.1

Possible bailout: Todd Harbor Dock

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Hike 7.5 miles on the Greenstone Ridge Trail to Mt. Ojibway Fire Tower, elevation 1133'

Great views here

Hike 1.7 miles on the Daisy Farm Trail to Daisy Farm Campsite, elevation 600'

Camp at Daisy Farm Campsite, elevation 600'

Miles today: 9.2. Total miles: 37.3

Possible bailout: Daisy Farm Dock

Monday, June 17, 2024

Hike 4.2 miles on the Rock Harbor Trail past Siskowit Mine to the Mt. Franklin Trail, elevation 600'

Hike 0.5 miles on the Mt. Franklin Trail to the Tobin Harbor Trail, elevation 600'

Hike 3.0 miles on the Tobin Harbor Trail to Rock Harbor, elevation 600'

Camp at Rock Harbor Campsite, elevation 600'

End of Hiking

Miles today: 7.7. Total miles: 45.0

Possible bailout: Windigo

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Board the Voyageur II at 8:00AM for a 7+ hour boat ride back to Grand Portage

Shuttle almost 3 hours back to Duluth

We will assemble at: Econo Lodge Duluth Airport, 4197 Haines Rd., Duluth, MN, 55811, (218) 722-5522.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Take Free Shuttle to Airport or we will pay for a shared cab/Uber

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