Isle Royale National Park: Island Traverse

Capture the renowned mystique of Lake Superior's solitary atoll on this 61.2-mile traverse of Isle Royale, a pristine archipelago untouched by development and home to thriving wolf and moose populations.
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Capture the renowned mystique of Lake Superior's solitary atoll on this 61.2-mile traverse of Isle Royale, a pristine archipelago untouched by development and home to thriving wolf and moose populations.

-Mapped by Steffan Fay

PERMITS: All campers must secure a permit. Go to nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/permits.htm for more details.
MORE PARK INFO: Isle Royal National Park, (906) 482-0984; nps.gov/isro

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 96.8

Waypoints

IRT001

Location: 47.911826, -89.157915

From Windigo Visitor Center, head southwest toward Grace Harbor then south to Feldtmann Lake

IRT002

Location: 47.847525, -89.182334

Feldtmann Lake, moose haven and jump-off for views of Rock of Ages lighthouse from Superior's Rainbow Cove

IRT003

Location: 47.901097, -89.001701

Stop at Feldtmann lookout tower before dropping to Skiskiwit Bay.
Option: Skip the trail and hike along the sandy beach

IRT004

Location: 47.935006, -89.04346

Turn R @ 3-way onto Greenstone Ridge Trail

IRT005

Location: 47.969554, -88.975954

Drift asleep at South Desor Campground to an evening choir of wildlife sounds

IRT006

Location: 48.017343, -88.844032

Hit Greenstone Ridge Trail; turn L @ Hatchet Lake

IRT007

Location: 48.04006, -88.84311

R @ 3-way onto Minong Ridge Trail for some of Isle Royale's best summer berries

IRT008

Location: 48.07405, -88.757708

Enjoy endless views N to Thunder Bay

IRT009

Location: 48.087454, -88.708377

McCargoe Cove Campground. Option: Hike 1 mile W to visit one of the island's late mining camps

IRT010

Location: 48.08238, -88.713377

Bear L onto E Chickenbone Trail

IRT011

Location: 48.076688, -88.709557

Pass inland bogs, a wildlife haven for moose, wolves, fox, and osprey

IRT012

Location: 48.098461, -88.629434

Straight @ 3-way onto Daisy Farm Trail

IRT013

Location: 48.122273, -88.532231

Follow Rock Harbor along Lake Superior Shore capped by numerous barrier islands, home to the park headquarters

IRT014

Location: 48.145984, -88.486182

Route ends in Rock Harbor. Head to the lodge for a well-earned meal and frosty mug

Dawn at McCargoe Cove

Location: 48.094839, -88.707242

Rock Harbor

Location: 48.122405, -88.531903