Isle Royale

Isle Royale was a true delight. It took me a long time to write this for various reasons but here we go. First things first, wow how remote and delightful. All you read about it is true. Go, just go. You won’t regret it!

This hike challenged me but at no point did I think I couldn’t make it. Some well timed breaks along with a non-negotiable stop time helped to push onward. Highlights include all the beautiful vistas from up the stairs of the fire tower to the many openings along the way. Things like being ‘sniffed’ by what I assume was a wolf at Chickenbone Lake West in the middle of night and seeing moose scrapings reminded me how unique this island truly is. Unfortunately, I did not see any moose but the evidence they were around were plentiful. Below is a breakdown of the itinerary followed by a menu for 2.


Day 1: Wednesday: Ferry to Washington Creek (Wendigo) to Lake Desor (13.5 miles)

  • Island Mine (7 miles) – status checked and decided to continue on
  • Sugar Mountain or Mount Desor (1394’ highest point) – Lunch?

Day 2: Thursday: Lake Desor-to Chickenbone Lake West (15 miles)

  • Ishpeming Point (1377’), Hatchet Lake (6.5 miles)
  • Mount Siskiwit (1205’-3 more miles to Chickenbone)

Day 3: Friday: Chickenbone Lake West to Three Mile (13 miles)

  • Mount Ojibway (fire tower), Mount Franklin

Day 4: Saturday: Three Mile to Rock Harbor (3 miles)

  • Secured a shelter, snacks, and a pile of beer from the shop

Day 5: Sunday: 7:15am ferry station back to vehicle




Day 1
Breakfast: Before/On Ferry – fast-food/gas station (trading post)
Lunch/Snacks: bagel, 2 bars, candy
Dinner: Knorr Thai, meat packages, carrots
Day 2
Breakfast: 2 bagels, peanut butter
Lunch: 2 tortillas, meat, cheese
Snacks: trail mix, 3 bars
Dinner: couscous, space ice cream bar
Day 3
Breakfast: Pop tarts
Lunch: 2 tortillas, peanut butter, trail mix
Snacks: 4 bars, dried fruit
Dinner: Peppered Beef with Rice
Day 4
Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros, bacon bits, 2 tortillas
Lunch: 2 tortillas, peanut butter, trail mix
Snacks: 3 bars, whatever is left: trail mix, dried fruit, peanut butter, candy
Dinner: mashed potatoes, bacon bits
Day 5
Breakfast: Lodge breakfast
Lunch: Store/On Ferry
Snacks: Leftovers or Rock Harbor store
Dinner: Stop on drive back

We pushed pretty hard and party equally hard in Rock Harbor. We could have spread out one of the days and did the last hike early but decided to push and have extra time at the lodge to relax, wander around, shower, and have breakfast before the 8 hour ferry back to the vehicle. Don’t do what we did and put all your snacks in the bag. You will be starving by the time that hella long ferry gets back.


Thanks for reading. Up next some random hikes I’m doing in preparation for my Superior Hiking Trail thru hike summer 2023!

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Comments 1

  • KB : Oct 19th

    Just got back from Isle Royale as well,..We took the seaplane in and out. Our choice of last week of August into September turned
    out to be well chosen, not ONE mosquito! Only a swarm of gnats at the copper mine site. We saw high temps, maybe 88 plus with
    equal parts humidity and low 50’s high in the low 60’s with rain. The winds went from 0 to gusts in the 20′ to 30’s. Quite a place.
    Best memory. Last night in Windigo, clear sky, amazing celestial view and wolves howling for an hour and half. Did not see a
    moose or hear a loon though I stepped in a large “pile” of moose scat, and did see two wolves running a ridge along the Feldtman
    lake trail. Interesting that we saw moose tracks everywhere, big and small, but the not one sighting. What really made me post, you ate way better
    than we did. LOL


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