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Isle Royale National Park Question
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Justin Baccary
(baccaryj) - F
Isle Royale National Park Question on 01/09/2007 12:33:22 MST Print View

Hi All,

I am contemplating a trip to Isle Royale National Park this July. Can anyone comment on whether or not this is a good time to visit? Bugs are my primary concern. Also, has anyone hiked the Greenstone Ridge Trail or the Minong Ridge Trail? I would appreciate any advice on an itinerary. Thanks in advance!


Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
Re: Isle Royale National Park Question on 01/09/2007 16:56:28 MST Print View

I was there a couple years ago in early Aug. Bugs weren't too bad except at one campsite. I'd expect Jul to be worse, but you might check out some trip reports at

I normally wouldn't direct someone to the forums over at (the magazine), but there seem to be a lot of Isle Royale enthusiasts hanging out in the MidWest forum. So you might try asking for advice there.

My trip was mostly along the Greenstone from Windigo to Rock Harbor (with a few detours, including a section of the Minong). I'd think those would be good options for avoiding the bugs as much as possible since you're high up most of the time or on the nw coast getting the most wind. But I've heard the Minong isn't the place to be in bad weather (we lucked out and had excellent weather the whole week).

My own trip report is at:

Hope this helps,

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Isle Royale bugs on 01/09/2007 17:25:17 MST Print View

I've been to Isle Royale twice: once in August, and once the week after Labor Day. Bugs were not a problem either time. They were there; I didn't try sleeping outside my tent, but they weren't horrifyingly bad. (I've had a lot worse in Kentucky in August.)

Late July through Labor Day is a wonderful time to go. The crowds aren't too bad; after Labor Day, they're non-existent. That trip, we camped mostly along the inner harbor at the "popular" sites, and never had more than 12 people in the site (4 of them were us.)

Enjoy the trip.

Justin Baccary
(baccaryj) - F
Thanks! on 01/10/2007 14:25:00 MST Print View

Thanks Adam and Glenn, I appreciate the help.

Edited by baccaryj on 01/10/2007 14:25:39 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Isle Royale National Park Question on 01/10/2007 17:01:57 MST Print View

Myself and three friends spent six days on the Island this the first week of June, 2006. The bugs were as bad as I've ever seen in my life and I spent the first two decades of my life living in Minnesota so I know bugs.

Reports from other backpackers who stuck to the Minong Ridge their whole trip (we did half that and half Greenstone) were that the wind on the NW side of the Island helped to keep the bugs at bay.

Tarp camping w/o a bug net would have been out of the question. I found myself putting my raincoat with hood up and gloves on during rest stops to keep the literal swarm of skeeters away.

ryan g
(ryan_g) - F

Locale: around
Isle Royale on 01/26/2007 11:21:10 MST Print View

I visited Isle Royale in late May a few years ago. A little chilly, but no bugs whatsoever, and very few people.