Isle Royale or Apostle Islands?


i will take 2 weeks vaca in sept and go for a sea kayak trip in one of these 2 places. i’ve got all the maps/guides/etc for Isle Royale, but the cost of getting there is very high for 2 people. a friend just came back from the Apostles and has advised me to go there. much less expensive.

i am an experienced lake Superior sea kayaker looking for an exciting wilderness trip with challenging water. if anyone out there has opinions about either place or has been to both i would love for you to opine away.

thanks and happy paddling.

One vote for IR
I don’t think you can beat Isle Royale for a wilderness experience. It also qualifies under your challenging water requirement. September is a great time to go.

I’m doing both! I’m planning a trip to A.I. at the end of Aug and I.R. at the end of Sept.

I’ve been to A.I. already and the caves are awesome (did Oak, Rasberry, York and Sand Islands). Because I haven’t been there, I’m really looking forward to I.R.

Isle Royale

– Last Updated: Jun-27-05 11:28 PM EST –

I went up last year in Sept to the Five Fingers area. Paddled around Blake Point (there is your adventure!!) to Belle Isle. Saw 2 wolves feeding on a moose carcass. More expensive to get there, but well worth the $$ IMO. Lot less crowded (both in motor boat and other kayaker traffic).
Did a spring trip this year in May.
I am going back in Sept to the Five Fingers area again.
I was talking to one of the Park Personel and was told IR has one of the highest % of return visitors.

Isle Royale
Hey John,

We’re headed up to paddle the island in August and are taking a north route from Rock Harbor crossing Blake Point to the north shore area…what was your experiences with Blake Point?..I’ve heard a lot from different people and I won’t make the crossing without obviously checking the weather. Are the clapotis waves pretty rough there?



BTW…we’re also hitting the Apostles in July…can’t wait

Ken, those pics are incredible…thanks for posting them!


Blake Point

– Last Updated: Jun-29-05 8:58 AM EST –

When we rounded Blake Point going to the Five Fingers, flat calm, not a ripple!
Coming back, the wind was out of the NE all day, 10-15 with 2-3 waves. The paddle cross to Hill Point was fine. We ducked into Five Finger Bay and did the portage to Duncan Bay as we wanted to check out the Duncan Bay campground, which is nice. We paddled down to the Narrows and stopped for lunch. Paddling down towards Blake Point, we stayed far away from the Palisades at least 1/4 mile from shore. Even then the current along there had us on an angle while paddling forward. We ran into the ranger we were with when we saw the wolves the previous day. He had just come around the point and said there were 4' swells and to stay away from the shore which we had planned. We were 1/3-1/2 mile from shore when we went around and we were fine.
Check your weather radio or VHF for weather reports and plan your paddle accordingly. If the winds are out of the N, NE, E, SE, expect some kind of swell or breaking wave around the point, but as long as you stay away from the shore clapotti shouldn't be a problem.

Enjoy the Apostles!!

I haven’t been to Isle Royale, but the Apostles are unbelieveable and very inexpensive. No shuttle to get there, and there are two good places to put in at (town of Bayfield and Little Sand Bay).

One thing, if you want a hotel room the night before or after your trip you’ll need to make a reservation before you go. They fill up quickly and some are pretty expensive. Ironwood MI is (almost) on the way back for us here near Chicago, and has some good & cheap hotels if you need - and you’ll have a better chance finding something available. It’s an hour or so East of Bayfield.

SeaKayaker Magazine and the Apostles
There is a good article in SeaKayaker Magazine this month about the hazzards of paddling The Apostles, check it out!!

I just read that…but it seems it goes along with a lot of other accidents I’ve read about involving sea kayakers…

A chain of events that stacked up against the paddlers straight from the beginning. I can’t particularly quote the article, but from what I remember the father and son team headed out during a small craft advisory and reached a sea cave area with strong currents and clapotis. They got too close to the cliff face and the son capsized getting pushed into one of the sea caves…

Man, what a tradegy…We’re gonna be out in the same area in a couple of weeks.

Signs to be posted
Hopefully, others will benefit from the tragedy.

In the article it was mentioned the father and Park Service were trying to get a sign warning of the hazardous conditions that can occur in similar circumstances posted near the launch area.

I hate to read of these incidents.

Meyers Beach
I was there a week later (Labor Day) and although it was calm, clear, sunny and 80 degrees - we measured the water temperature at 46 degrees (due to an offshore breeze, but were in the lee where we were at).

Most people paddling that day didn’t have wetsuits and/or PFD’s (at least wearing them).