Minnesota to Isle Royale

I’m hoping to get more information on where to launch and camp in Minnesota, to do the shortest crossing to Isle Royale?

grand portage
I think the only campground in Grand Portage is at the hotel/casino


found this on www.isleroyaleboats.com:

Q. When we get to Grand Portage can we set camp at

There’s a state park in Grand Portage but I don’t think camping is allowed.

A. Camping in Grand Portage is only allowed at the campground/ RV park. It is located down the hill from the trading post and gas station, tent sites, showers and fire rings are available. There is NO camping allowed at Hat Point Marina.

NPS web site

– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 12:36 AM EST –

You might check here:



Also if you are planning on the ferry from Grand Portage check before you go. The NPS site above says that the water level is too low for the bigger boat. A friend of mine went up last week and neither boat was running due to water levels at GP. He had to go to Houghton to get the ferry. Looks like you intend to kayak, but just a heads up in any event.

The shortest crossing is from Pigeon Point. You may be able to secure permission to camp at Hole-in-the-Wall. You need to check with the tribe. The crossing is about 15 miles, but you’ll need to have reserves to find a good landing site.

If you haven’t done a crossing of that size, Lake Superior isn’t the best place to try it. The channel between the Point and the Isle can be rough.

Good luck.

Crossing info
Thanks for the information. I understand what I’m getting into. I have much respect for Lake Superior. Would you happen to know how to contact the tribe?



– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 12:55 PM EST –

Google Grand Portage tribe or casino and you should get some numbers that you can call. The tribal hq is located in Grand Portage.

I was going to do the crossing and circumnavigation last fall solo, but ended up hitting the Black Hills instead. Maybe this year. :)

BTW, there is a bit of land on the point that is DNR, and it's is designated as emergency landing only. I've heard of people using it to camp before the crossing.

Paddling info
Thanks for the information. I checked out your website, great information. I’m interested in the Greenland Skin on frame you have for sale. Would you be around for me to take a look at it this Saturday. It would give me a chance to get north paddling this weekend.

Just wanted to write this here also, although we emailed. I’ll be around at Lutsen this Sat.

Be Careful
Only do this crossing if you really know what you are doing. The lake can change in minutes. I made this crossing last year and at the time we were supposed to launch a freak system came down from Canada featuring 90mph winds. Yes, 90mph. We launched the following day and still had chunky chop and thick fog for most of the crossing.

On the crossing back after circumnavigating the island, we had waters like glass. Neither of these conditions were in the marine forecasts.

On long Superior crossing you need to comfortable in almost everything the lake might throw at you. We really don’t need any more kayaker deaths on the lake this year.

Long Crossing
Thanks for the information, I appreciate it. It seems that none of the real calm days are in the weather forecast, and some of the rough ones aren’t either. What does a person have to do to make arrangements to stay at “hole in the wall” I assume that you made your crossing from Pigeon Point.

From the Mouth of the Pidgeon
You can actually just head out from the mouth of the Pidgeon River. There is a park there. A car can be left at the gas station at the border for $10 I think. The mouth to Pidgeon Point is just a few miles.

Hole in the Wall is private and on reservation land.