• Backpacking Isle Royale National Park, Grand Portage, MN, August 15-24, 2022

Backpacking Isle Royale National Park, Grand Portage, MN, August 15-24, 2022

  • August 15, 2022
  • August 24, 2022
  • Isle Royale National Park, Grand Portage, MN


  • Wait List Payment is due at sign up. This registration DOES NOT QUARANTEE a place on the trip. You will be notified when space becomes available.

Backpacking Isle Royale National Park

Grand Portage, MN

August 15-24, 2022

Co-Trip Leaders: Bob Hart, Barb Shanks and Jimmy Hodges

Type of Trip: Backpacking

Trip Cost/Deposit: $845/$495

Cancellation Date and full payment: June 15, 2022

Wilderness Level: 4 - Very high risk with EMS, more than 1/2 day away         

Trip Difficulty: Strenuous: 45-50 miles. Some long days over hard/rocky trails.

Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment 

Level 3: Applies to backpacking trips in which we hike with 25-35 pound backpacks. In one day, we can hike up to 7 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 5 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged trails. For a Level 3 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack.

Level 4: Denotes backpacking trips on established but rugged, unmaintained trail with multi-day backpacks (30-40 pounds). The hiking can be steep and sustained with long daily distances (up to 9 miles) and significant elevation change (up to 4000 feet). You should be comfortable running/biking/hiking for several hours without many breaks.

Group Size: 6/6 Maximum/Minimum

Adults Only and Experienced Backpacker ONLY

***Before registering***

While considering your participation in CIWC trips, be aware that some trips will involve shared transportation, lodging, and other activities. Each participant is encouraged to evaluate your comfort level with such arrangements based on your health condition, vaccination status, and unknown COVID positivity rates at the time of the trip.  Members are encouraged to review the COVID waiver as a part of this evaluation.

Overview:  Isle Royale is North America’s least visited, but most re-visited National Park. This will be a 10-day trip including 4 travel days due to the distance from Indiana to Minnesota. We will be backpacking the length of the Isle Royal primarily on the Greenstone Trail (with some deviations) over 6 days and 5 nights.  Our backpacking trip begins at Windigo Ranger station and will end at Rock Harbor or 3 Mile Camp. 

Itinerary:  We will leave the Indianapolis area at 8:00 AM on August 15 and stay in a motel en-route, in Wisconsin.  Continue to Grand Portage area the following day.  Upon arrival to Grand Portage we will visit the Grand Portage National Monument.  A stop at the Heritage Center, with two floors of exhibits and a series of short feature films, will show us the importance of the partnership between the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the Northwest Company during the North American fur trade.  We will take a short hike on the Mount Rose loop trail for a stunning overlook of the historic depot, Grand Portage Bay and Mount Josephine.  Stay in Motel again that night. 

On August 17 we’ll embark on the Voyager II Ferry to Windigo Harbor / Ranger Station where we register and will begin our hike.  Campsites include Island Mine, Hatchet, Chicken Bone (or possibly McCargo Cove), Daisy Farm and either 3 Mile or Rock Harbor. Daily backpacking distances estimated at 7-13 miles per day.  Water availability and ferry schedules are variables. 

Meals:  Participants will bring, carry and prepare all of their own food.  Leaders will furnish Jet boils for heating water.  Also, each participant will be responsible for cleanup and carrying out their own trash.  Also, travel meals are on your own. More details and guidance will be provided as we get closer to our departure.

Motel Rooms:  On the way up we will stay Monday night at Rice Lake Wisconsin, 3 rooms, with 2 per room.  On Tuesday night we stay at Grand Marais, MN, 3 rooms, with 2 per room.

On the return trip we motel one night in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, 3 rooms, 2 per room. 

Clothing and Gear:  Prepare for rain and summer weather in the Lake Superior area.  Part of the hike will be on uneven-rock terrain requiring robust hiking boots.

Preparations:  Participants must be experienced backpackers, in good physical shape and able to hike carrying a minimum of 30-35 lb. The amount of water we must carry will be 3-4 liters each.  We will be having a mandatory overnight backpacking shakedown hike to insure we are all ready for this trip.  Leaders will determine the readiness of each participant.

Trip Price:  You must pay ½ of the trip price upfront and the balance by the cancellation date.  Trip price includes travel expenses, (we plan to rent a van), three nights lodging at motels while traveling to and from Minnesota, ferry fees, and daily use fees to be on the island.

Questions may be submitted to ciwcinfo@gmail.com.

All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form  and Long Waiver Form.  

Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 non refundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e. those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee. 

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