Revised 10 8/14/14

Isle Royale Kayaking Trip

Skill Level:

*Intermediate through advanced

We are going to strap our kayaks to the roof of a ferry, motor over fifty miles out to the largest island in the largest lake in the world and have a bit of a paddle. This is not a small thing. This unique island park with its Moose and Wolves is a popular destination for backpackers, but since it is an island we thought that it would make more sense to explore it from the water. Since we are budgeting nine days for this trip there will be plenty of time for day hikes, brisk swims, good lake trout fishing and listening to the loons. This is a magical place wraped up in ancient rock, thimbleberries and the unforgiving waters of Superior. To insure your safety and maintain the flexibility of small camps, we limit this trip to only five participants. This can be a challenging destination with weather conditions that can get a bit "interesting". Though not appropriate for first time paddlers, for those with a little water time, Isle Royale is truly a Superior Jewel.

Day 1: Rendez-vous in Copper Harbor at 7 p.m. for a quick backcountry packing orientation.

Day 2: 7 am boarding of the Isle Royal Queen for the 5 hr. ride to Rock Harbor. Organize and pack for the short paddle to the first campsite. Go over basic strokes, braces and rescue drills.

Fresh Blueberries!**Days 3-8: The heart of the trip--you'll find yourself paddling an average of 4 or 5 hours/day sandwiched with day hikes, fishing, shooting photos, looking for Moose and listening to the music of our largest freshwater sea. We may choose a layover at a particularly nice campsite to give us more time to explore and linger a bit. You should be prepared for temps between 40- 80...bring a wool hat and a swimsuit. We'll be covering 50 to 70 miles total with a fairly relaxed pace. You can count on learning lots of new paddle skills and having a truly spectacular experience. On the afternoon of day 8, we'll be ferried back to Copper Harbor for a fine meal at the Harbor Haus, and a good night's sleep.

Day 9: After breakfast, we'll part company for your homeward travels.

*Beginners are welcome on this trip if they participate in a basic strokes/rescue clinic with us at our base in NW Michigan or a similar program close to them.

**This part of the itinerary is extended for the 10-day version of this trip.

Dates and Costs for 2014

July 26-August 3 (9 days, including 2 travel days, $1350, from Copper Harbor)
September 7-16 (10 days, including 2 travel days, $1550, from Copper Harbor)

Trip fee includes: One night double occupancy lodging before and after in Copper Harbor, round trip ferry fees for both you and a kayak, expert instructor guides, all group gear (tents, kitchen gear, safety and camp gear), National Park Service permits and daily user fee, maps, dry bags and gourmet backcountry fare....lots of bang for your buck.

We do not include kayaks on this trip because most have their own for this level. Your own boat should be a touring kayak at least 16 feet long, with front and rear bulkheads. High performance expedition-equipped rentals are available from us for $100 for 4 day trips and $150 for one week trips with prior reservation. They include PFD, carbon hybrid paddle, sprayskirt and pump. We will transport your rental boat for you. We offer a variety of sizes and models from Valley, Wilderness Systems and NDK...most with drop skegs.

More Info

Photo Gallery
The Food
Great Lakes Equipment List


A $150 registration is required to hold your reservation and is refundable until 30 days of departure. Your balance is also due at this time. When we receive your deposit, you will receive a personal equipment list, a participant profile (so that we may tailor your trip to your interests and tastes in food), and any other pertinent info we can find.

Note: If you combine this trip with our Keewenaw Sampler, we'll give you 10% off on both trips!

Purchase This Adventure


By Snail Mail: Just fill out the Registration Form and send us a check.
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Please fill out the Participant Profile Form at your earliest convenience. It will help us - and you - prepare for this adventure!

By Snail Mail: PRINTABLE Participant Profile Form
Online: Online Participant Profile Form