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Isle Royale National Park, MI

Jun 22 - Jun 30, 2021 -- $1400 ★★, Only 2 Spots Left

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 (only 17 remain on the island as of Summer 2020), Fox, Eagles, Osprey and the Red Squirrel.

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

Botanical bonus: We will be visiting Isle Royale during the wildflower season and the beginning of 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 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.

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?


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 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.

Probable Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Beau Devlin


$1400 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, MN (DLH), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation, ferry transport, park fees, permits and 2 awesome guides.


Although the trails are rugged in places, our hiking distances that are not overly aggressive, especially when considering that we'll have up to 15 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.


Here is an online map, of our route.

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
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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Fly or drive into Duluth (DLH). - Please plan to arrive by 1PM as we have a 3 hour drive up to Grand Portage when the entire group is assembled. Let us know if you can't make it by 1PM.

Take free airport shuttle to La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Duluth, 1805 Maple Grove Rd, Duluth, MN 55811, 218-722-0700 where we will be set up in either a breakfast room, lobby or a conference room.

Equipment shakedown. We go through your pack and examine everything you brought, looking for any items you may have omitted or forgotten

Trail mix distribution, Covid permitting

"Before" body composition measurements and temperatures 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, we will drive to The Outpost Motel, 2935 East Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604, 218-387-1833

The Outpost Motel is a rustic motel right on the shores of Lake Superior with a Trip Advisor 4.5 star rating. Every participant (other than couples and guides) will have a solo room.

Either before we leave Duluth or along the way, go out for opening dinner / late lunch and trip orientation. With Covid, this will possibly be a take-out, socially distanced meal. Cost of dinner is not included in the trip cost.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Early wake-up as we are a half hour away from Grand Portage and must arrive by 7AM

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, possibly a unit, possibly the hotel, possibly in shuttle vehicles.

Shuttle to the Grand Portage boat dock. We must be there by 7AM

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.

Board the Voygeur II at 7:30AM for a 7 hour boat ride to Rock Harbor

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.

We will provide a Continental Breakfast as well as lunch on the boat

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

Hike 3.6 miles on the Rock Harbor Trail past a cave to Threemile Campsite

Camp at Threemile Campsite, Elevation 600'

Miles today: 3.6. Total miles: 3.6

Bailout: Rock Harbor

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Hike 0.2 miles on the Rock Harbor Trail to the Mount Franklin Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on the Mount Franklin Trail to the Greenstone Ridge Trail

Hike 2.5 miles on the Greenstone Ridge Trail to the Mt. Ojibway Fire Tower, elevation 1133'. Nice view from the tower.

Hike 1.7 miles to Daisy Farm Campsite

Camp at Daisy Farm Campsite, elevation 600'

Miles today: 5.9. Total miles: 9.5

Possible bailout: Daisy Farm Dock

Friday, June 25, 2021

Hike 0.2 miles to the Daisy Farm Trail

Hike 1.7 miles on the Daisy Farm Trail to the Greenstone Ridge Trail, elevation 975'

Hike 5.8 miles on the Greenstone Ridge Trail to the Indian Portage Trail, elevation 825'

Hike 0.2 miles to West Chickenbone Lake Campsite

Camp at West Chickenbone Lake Campsite, elevation 675'

Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 17.4

Possible bailout: McCargoe Cove Dock

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hike 0.2 miles to Greenstone Ridge Trail, elevation 825'

Hike 7.7 miles on Greenstone Ridge Trail to Hatchet Lake Campsite

Camp at Hatchet Lake Campsite, elevation 725'

Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 25.3

Possible bailout: Todd Harbor Dock

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Hike 4.3 miles to Ishpeming Point Fire Tower, elevation 1377'

The view is disappointing here.

Hike 8.3 miles to the Island Mind Trail, elevation 1300'

Hike 0.4 miles to the Island Mind Campsite spur, elevatino 1100'

Camp at Island Mine Campsite, elevation 1100'

Miles today: 13.0. Total miles: 38.3

Possible bailout: Todd Harbor Dock

Monday, June 28, 2021

Hike 0.4 miles to the Greenstone Ridge Trail, elevation 1300'

Hike 6.2 miles to Washington Creek Campsite (almost all downhill)

Camp at Washington Creek Campsite, elevation 600'

Miles today: 6.6. Total miles: 44.9

Possible bailout: Windigo

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Optional Morning Day-Hike, TBD

Hike 0.3 miles to Windigo

Miles today: 0.3. Total miles: 45.2

Take the 1PM Voyageur II boat to Grand Portage, arrives 3PM

Shuttle back to Duluth

Check into La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Duluth, 1805 Maple Grove Rd, Duluth, MN 55811, 218-722-0700

After measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

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 30, 2021

Free breakfast in Hotel

Free Airport shuttle.

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