Project Description

Isle Royale Backpacking


About this Trip

Volumes are written about this majestic and pure wilderness island in Lake Superior, actually closer to Canada than the United States! Designated an International Biosphere Reserve, Isle Royale National Park sets a scientific purity standard for air and water quality, and is home to numerous moose, a handful of wolves, and countless rabbits, fox, and grey squirrels – all too eager for a morsel of left-behind granola. This Northpoint trip to Isle Royale marks the beginning of a new level of challenge and difficulty in the series. Begun in 2002, the trip covers approximately 40 miles over 6 all-backcountry hiking days. A seventh day is added to the itinerary for travel to and from Camp Nicolet. From Three Mile to Moskey Basin and McCargoe Cove, to Daisy Farm and ultimately Rock Harbor – the campsite moves each night, providing an exhilarating wilderness journey on this incredible island, which incidentally is one of the least-visited National Parks in the nation. Past participants report writing college entrance essays about their trip experiences, indicating the formative nature of this adventure. True emphasis is placed on supporting one another, working together as a team, and taking care of one another emotionally and physically in the backcountry context. From the rugged beauty of the Rock Harbor trail, the anthropological history of the Indian Portage Trail and McCargoe Cove settlements, to a sunrise hike to the Ojibway tower – Isle Royale Backpacking is a trip not to be missed.


Isle Royale Backpacking teaches participants advanced level wilderness skills including; the importance of Leave No Trace ethics in the context of minimal impact on a Biosphere Reserve, the importance of good decision-making and safety in remote wilderness, how to support every member of the group during a challenging wilderness experience, goal-setting and debriefing accomplishments throughout, honing map, compass, and navigation skills, wilderness first aid basics, all about wilderness hygiene on a 6+ day experience, and tasty food preparation skills.  The trip is led by veteran leaders Katie Singleton, Lauren Reich, and 2023 Northpoint Director Blaire Williams.  Guides have current certification in 1st Aid/CPR, Lifeguarding, and Wilderness First Aid.

  • July 5th through July 11th, 2024

  • Offered during Session I

  • Recommended for Participants ages 14/15+

  • Advanced level backpacking experience – 40 miles over 6 days



Trip Length

7 Days

Who’s Coming?

Participating in this season’s trip:


  • To Be Announced

Trip Leaders:

  • Valentina Illera Mejia

  • Lauren “LP” Price

  • Lucy Darrow

Packing List

The following items are necessary for a safe and comfortable Isle Royale experience. If you have questions, please e-mail Northpoint Adventures.

2 pair Smartwool Brand Hiking Socks – these are a MUST for Isle Royale
1 pair Nylon Athletic Shorts
1 pair breathable Hiking Pants – recommend zip-off hiking pants (shorts and pants in one)
1 short-sleeve Polypropylene Hiking Shirt – a shirt other than a cotton t-shirt works well
1 long-sleeve Polypropylene Hiking Shirt – if you only have long-sleeve cotton, that’s fine
1 Polar Fleece Top – not cotton, NO sweatshirts
1 pair Rain Pants
1 Rain Jacket – no ponchos, please – Nylon Raingear recommended
1 T-Shirt for sleeping
1 pair lightweight Pajama Pants
1 pair Socks for sleeping/campsite
4 pair Underwear (or enough for 7 days)
Sports Bras as necessary
1 Swimsuit
1 Baseball Cap, Visor, or Bandana

1 pair of Hiking Boots – Hiking or All-Terrain Shoes DO NOT WORK for Isle Royale! Supportive boots are a MUST!
1 pair of Sandals you can strap to your feet (Chacos, Tevas, etc.)

EXTRAS (but still important…)
1 Chapstick or Blistex
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
1 Headlamp – important to have your own
Bug Spray – preferably Black Fly Formula
1 Pocket Knife or Leatherman tool
1 package of Wet Ones or similar hand wipes
1 small Towel or “Pack Towel”
1 small Sleeping Bag
2 Nalgene-brand Water Bottles (wide-mouth, one-quart size. MUST be Nalgene-brand to work with our water purifiers.)
1 Crazy Creek Chair or Sleeping Pad – not both, space is limited*

*denotes optional item

Northpoint Adventures will supply packs, bungees, eating and cooking equipment, and the rest of the gear for the trip.


This mini-gallery is from our past trips! Additional photos are found on our Facebook Page.


Check out the route!

Isle Royal Trip Map