Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

Photos of Isle Royale national park taken during a 5 day backpacking visit in June 2018 as part of a 2 year journey/roadtrip to all 60 national parks in the USA. Transportation taken back and forth from Grand Portage. 


Isle Royale backpack hike from Mccargo Cove to Rock Harbor

Early morning parked my car at the overnight parking in Grand Portage. Slowly the area filled with people, all carrying an enormous backpack. While waiting in line to board the captain did a checklist of everybody was present. At 7:15am the boat departed to my first stop Windigo.
It was a nice and calm boat ride with a cool breeze. At windigo everybody left the boat for a welcome talk from one of the rangers. The rangers in the visitor center were waiting for me to arrange a overnight permit.
When a loud horn sounded it was time to board because the Voygeur2 was leaving for the second part of the trip. Along the north shore to Mccargo Cove. There were some small patches snow visible on the coastline facing the north direction.

In Mccargo, I put my backpack on and started my journey into the isle Royale wilderness. At the dock there were some moose antlers collected. A short 1 mile brought me to chicken bone lake and the west campground. From here my path continued to lake Ritchie. Between lake Livermore and Lake ritchie I met two people who mentioned there was a large bull moose a couple of minutes ahead of me. This was exciting news, but the moose already left the place they described. I heard the moose walking through the forest but was not able to have a small glimpse of this creature. The wet parts of the hike had nice boardwalks. These were the places where I saw some small snakes and frogs. At Lake Richie  there was nobody camping so I decided to continue another 2.4 mike to Moskey Basin. Beautiful shelters protect you from all bugs and wildlife. Awesome sunset and sunrise over a mirroring Moskey Basin.

Because there was not enough water left in my tank (yes you need to bring a filter) I had to walk all te way back to Rock Harbor with the last 2 liters of water.
Nice walk, a lot of spider webs because I was the first one on a big part of te trail.  From Moskey to daisy farm it was a 3.9 mike hike over some rocky parts. From Daisy farm offers nice views over the lake and the lighthouse. From here it is  another 4 mile to three mile campground and from there 2.7mile to rock harbor. Don’t forget to visit the guesthouse of the rock harbor lodge it offers stunning views east/ south over the lake.  For sunset I decided to go to Tobin harbor. Nice idyllic and quiet lake with beautiful reflection of the trees in the water.

My alarm woke me up at 5:30.. put on my clothes and ran to the guesthouse to see the orange/ red color of Sunrise from the outdoor deck facing Lake Superior. When the sun reaches the horizon I started walking down the stoll memorial trail and found another awesome spot to capture the orange colored sky above the rocky coastline.
Later in the morning the weather changed drastically. A storm boasted the waves against the rocks and the wind was blowing heavily, temperatures dropped and my boat trip to the passage island lighthouse was canceled.

Evening sunset trip with the sandy to raspberry island. A lot of moose scat and traces… but no moose.Beautiful colorful sunset above the island seen from the boat.

Hike to mount Franklin. 10 mile round trip. Frogs, pileated woodpecker and all colors of wildflowers. From Rock Harbor I took the Tobin harbor trail, passed Suzy’s cove and took a right at mount franklin trail.  Foggy during the last evening on the island. After sunshine and rain this was another way of seeing the beauty and mysteriousness of the island.

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