July 27-Aug 1, 2019 -- Isle Royale - Full Traverse by Backpack

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July 27-Aug 1, 2019 -- Isle Royale - Full Traverse by Backpack

1,525.00

Saturday, July 27 at 6:45 am - Thursday, Aug. 1 at 3:00 pm

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Isle Royale - West-to-East Traverse by Backpack - July 27 - Aug. 1, 2019

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Limited to only 5 Participants.

Enjoy a 6-day backpacking trip traversing Michigan’s rugged Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes.  This island trip is specifically geared toward adults with some prior backpacking experience who would like to continue developing backpacking skills while logging 7-12 miles each day through beautiful wilderness with a certified trip leader. Spend your days backpacking stunning trails and your nights in campsites along the West-to-East full traverse of the Island, while also staying in some shoreline campsites.. Trail mileage will be 49.3 miles, if everything goes as planned.

Independence and Empowerment

We include all major high-end, lightweight gear for participants to use. We also provide all food for the 6 days on Isle Royale. If you have gear you wish to use, we will want to ensure that it is trail-worthy before stepping into the wilderness.

Each participant will need to be able to carry a full backpack (about 30 pounds) approximately 7-12 miles each day on designated trails. With professional guidance, participants will set up their own tent, prepare their own food, and filter their own water.

Your trip leader is a NOLS-Certified Wilderness First Responder with over 25 years of wilderness backpacking experience. Instead of having your guide handling everything, this is an opportunity for you to continue learning the skills needed to make this sport your own. You will continue perfecting how to set up a tent, use a backcountry stove and water filter, protect your food, and more. If there is something specific you wish to learn, please let us know and we will do our best to help you develop those skills, whether it is menu planning or learning to pack food for a solo trip.

Scenery

With over 100,000 acres of protected wilderness, Isle Royale is home to myriad songbirds, colorful migrating waterfowl, a large moose population, Red Fox, turtles, a handful of Gray Wolves and more. If we listen carefully, the Common Loon will lull us to sleep with its extraordinary call. Maybe we will even hear the Wolf’s coveted howl.

The entire island of Isle Royale is a National Park accessible only by boat or plane. This place is remote. All 36 campsites are accessible only by watercraft or on foot. There are no roads and no vehicles. And no bears. Campsites on the periphery of the island have traditional campsites as well as sheltered camping facilities that we can use, if vacant.

We will be deep in a lush boreal forest in its Summer splendor, surrounded by flowers unique to the island and the exciting potential to hear or see the Grey Wolves recently reintroduced to the Island’s ecosystem. We will reach great viewpoints, including a fire lookout tower and Mt. Franklin.

Staying in Touch with Loved Ones

Trip leaders always carry a beacon locator device, which can be pre-programmed to send “check-in” messages to loved ones by text or email so that your loved ones know where you are currently located and that everything is going well. In the unlikely event of an emergency, the beacon locator device can also be used to trigger search and rescue help.

Goals

Our goal is to create peers on the trail and to help you leap-frog the hard lessons. And to have a lot of fun doing so!

Trip Rating: 3 - Moderate Backpacker (Click here for Ratings Descriptions)

$1,525*

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*Want to save 6% ($91.50)? We accept Zelle and personal checks. Please contact us to arrange this (612-388-5623 or info@backpackthetrails.com).

Friendly note:  If you are newer to backpacking or just rusty, “Backpacking 101 - Classroom Orientation” (FREE) is highly recommended prior to departure (see "Upcoming Trips" for orientation schedule). This separate orientation provides hands-on instruction to familiarize you with gear, clothing and lists prior to hitting the trail.  Learn key essentials such as how to pack a backpack, use a water filter and stove, set up a tent, run through your gear list, and more. If you live outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, we can discuss alternatives to the Classroom Orientation.


Itinerary: 

Note: All times listed below use Central Daylight Saving Time, even though Isle Royale is located in Michigan.

Saturday, July 27th - Ferry to Isle Royale, backpack to our 1st night’s wilderness campsite

  • 6:45 am - Meet at Ferry Launch in Grand Portage, MN for check in

  • 7:30 am - Voyageur II departs Grand Portage, MN for Windigo, Isle Royale

  • ~9:30 am - Arrive at Windigo, MI (on Isle Royale)

  • Start our West-to-East full traverse of the Island

  • Backpack to our 1st night’s wilderness campsite

  • Set up camp and enjoy dinner

  • ~6:30 pm - Dinner in camp

  • Spend our 1st night sleeping in the lush wilderness

  • 10-12 miles, lunch and dinner included (breakfast is on your own)

Sunday, July 28th - Backpacking to our 2nd night’s wilderness campsite (a lighter mileage day)

  • ~6:30 am - Rise and shine, eat breakfast and break camp

  • ~7:45 am - Aim to be on trail

  • Continue our West-to-East full traverse of the Island

  • Backpack to our 2nd night’s wilderness campsite

  • Set up camp and enjoy dinner

  • ~6:30 pm - Dinner in camp

  • 8-9 miles, includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks

Monday, July 29th - Backpacking to our 3rd night’s wilderness campsite

  • ~6:30 am - Rise and shine, eat breakfast and break camp

  • ~7:45 am - Aim to be on trail

  • Continue our West-to-East full traverse of the Island

  • Backpack to our 3rd night’s wilderness campsite

  • Set up camp and enjoy dinner

  • ~6:30 pm - Dinner in camp

  • Another glorious 10-12 miles, includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks

Tuesday, July 30th - Backpacking to our 4th night’s campsite

  • ~6:30 am - Rise and shine, eat breakfast and break camp

  • ~7:45 am - Aim to be on trail

  • Continue our West-to-East full backpacking traverse of the Island

  • Backpack to our 4th night on Isle Royale

  • Set up camp and enjoy dinner

  • ~6:30 pm - Dinner in camp

  • Another glorious 10-12 miles, includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks

Wednesday, July 31st - Backpacking to Rock Harbor (a lighter mileage day)

  • ~6:30 am - Rise and shine, eat breakfast and break camp

  • ~7:45 am - Aim to be on trail

  • Continue our West-to-East full backpacking traverse of the Island

  • Backpack to our 5th night on Isle Royale

  • ~2:00 pm - Aim to arrive in Rock Harbor (on Isle Royale)

  • Set up camp or check into the Lodge or a Cabin

    • NOTE: Rock Harbor has several accommodation choices. Camping is included in trip fees. If you choose to stay at the cozy Rock Harbor Lodge or a Housekeeping Cabin, those costs are not included in the trip fees. Be sure to make your own lodging reservations well in advance.

  • Relish a shower and clean up

  • Enjoy dinner at a quaint restaurant at Rock Harbor (included in trip fees)

  • Spend the rest of the afternoon Exploring Rock Harbor

    • Day hike to beautiful Scoville Point, relax in Rock Harbor, shoot photography, and more

    • Rock Harbor also rents out canoes or kayaks to explore beautiful Tobin’s Harbor (these options are not included in our trip fees and are not guided by Backpack The Trails LLC)

  • ~6:30 pm - Group dinner at a Rock Harbor restaurant

  • 7 miles, all meals included

Thursday, August 1st - Return to the mainland from Isle Royale’s Rock Harbor

  • Enjoy breakfast at a quaint restaurant in Rock Harbor (included in trip fees)

  • 7:15 am - Prepare to board the Voyageur II in Rock Harbor for the return trip to Grand Portage, MN (included in trip fees)

  • 8:00 am - Ferry launches

  • 3:00 pm - Voyageur II arrives at Grand Portage, MN

  • All meals included


Maximum of 5 Participants.

POLICIES FOR ISLE ROYALE FULL ISLAND TRAVERSE BY BACKPACK TRIP

REGISTRATION:  

Once you have signed up for a trip, you will receive a receipt by email with a link to Waiver and Health Assessments, which need to be signed and returned to us prior to trip departure.

Registration for a trip is not complete until we have had the opportunity to speak with you via telephone about the demands of the trip.

To get the most out of your trip, we suggest that you have a medical physical 90 days prior to departure.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN TRIP FEES:  

  • Roundtrip ferry transport between Grand Portage, MN to Windigo, MI and from Rock Harbor, MI (Isle Royale)

  • National Park Fees for all 6 days

  • All food while on Isle Royale, which includes restaurant meals

  • All camping while on Isle Royale

  • A hot shower, if you opt to camp your final night on Isle Royale

  • All major gear while on Isle Royale: solo tent or shared double tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, hiking poles, water filtration equipment, cooking and eating gear, or determination of trail-worthiness of existing gear you wish to use

    • We use only high-end, lightweight equipment to help you have a comfortable trip

  • We will share with you our comprehensive packing list indicating exactly which personal items to bring. This list can also be used for your future backpacking trips in similar climates and time of year.

  • Coaching to help you learn to backpack on your own

  • Experienced trip leader who is a NOLS-Certified Wilderness First Responder

  • Group first-aid kit

  • Beacon-locator device

  • Transaction processing fees

  • Commercial use authorization fees

  • An e-photo album of your trip

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN TRIP FEES:

  • Transportation to/from Grand Portage, MN

  • Lodging or camping at Grand Portage, MN prior to ferry launch

  • Meals in Grand Portage, MN

  • Car parking at Grand Portage, MN

  • Indoor lodging options at Rock Harbor the final night on Isle Royale. (Camping at Rock Harbor and a hot shower are included in trip fees, if you choose that option.)

  • Personal items as indicated on our packing list which we will share with you

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Gratuity for your trip leader is at your discretion

  • Personal trip insurance is not included

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING:  

To have a successful trip, you need to have appropriate footwear (backpacking boots or trail shoes that have been broken in) and adequate rain gear, in addition to your clothing and personal items, which will be clearly indicated on the gear list that we provide to you.  You must arrive prepared with these or we reserve the right to refuse admission onto the trip in order to keep you and other trip participants safe. If this unlikely event happens, we will unfortunately be unable to refund the cost of your trip.

CANCELATION AND REFUND POLICY FOR ISLE ROYALE:

If you wish to cancel your registration, please note the following deadlines:

  • 21 days prior to your scheduled trip, we will refund 85% of the trip cost

  • 10 days prior to your scheduled trip, we will refund 50% of the trip cost

  • Less than 5 days of a scheduled trip, we will be unable to refund any portion of the trip cost

Backpack The Trails LLC reserves the right to cancel a trip without cause. We will do our best to ensure that this never happens. In the unlikely event that this happens, you will be notified as soon as possible, upon which time you can request a full refund or choose a different, similarly-priced trip, if there is still space available.

TRANSFER POLICY: 

If you wish to transfer your registration to a different trip, please note the following deadlines:

  • 21 days prior to your originally-scheduled trip, 85% of your trip cost is transferable

  • 10 days prior to your originally-scheduled trip, 50% of your trip cost is transferable

  • Less than 5 days of your originally-scheduled trip, none of the trip cost is transferable

INSURANCE:

Backpack The Trails LLC carries business insurance and does not provide travel insurance to clients. You may wish to consider purchasing your own travel insurance before heading out on trail.