Our water taxi service provides round-trip travel to the Apostle Islands. We will pick you up in Bayfield or Madeline Island on a power boat and transport you and your gear to the island of your choice. Then, at the agreed upon time, usually a few days later, we will pick you up!
There are several details to consider when camping in the Apostle Islands. Where you want to camp, what gear you should bring, and how much you want to spend can all play a role in finalizing the plans for your camping trip! Click here for information from the National Park Service about camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Please read below for more information regarding camping out on the Islands and using our services. We hope the information we provide helps answer any questions you have before we confirm your plans!
For inquiries or reservations email [email protected].
Picking which island you want to camp on is an important aspect of booking your trip. Each Island has its own unique appeal and offers something for every type of explorer. You can find details about each Island and their campsites in the parks campsite directory. Below, you will find information on a few of the most popular islands people inquire about for our water taxis, and what makes each so special.
Stockton Island: Stockton Island is the most popular of all the Apostle Islands to camp on and there are many reasons for this: 21 campsites (most easily accessible), relative closeness to the mainland and Madeline, potable water available seasonally, large vault toilet facilities, and a newly built amphitheater. Park rangers are stationed there throughout the summer season. Stockton Island has something to offer for everyone in your group – extensive hiking trails, famous singing sand beaches, sea caves and more! You can’t go wrong camping on Stockton! Click here for campsite information on Stockton.
Sand Island: The beauty of Sand Island cannot be disputed and makes a wonderful spot to camp in the Apostles. There are amazing sea caves, beaches and a beautiful, historical lighthouse. The campsites are scattered along the shores of the island and can be anywhere from 200 yards to about a 2 mile hike from the dock, depending on the campsite. Site 6 is a staff favorite, and about a mile hike from the dock. Potable water is available seasonally. For more information on each individual campsite on Sand Island click here.
Oak Island: Oak Island, the tallest of the Apostles, is especially known for its hiking trails and vistas of Lake Superior and the surrounding islands. The campsites vary in distance from the dock, anywhere from a quarter mile to a little over 3.5 miles. There is an overlook, the highest point on the island, about 200ft above the lake with a view of 10 of the islands. There is a nice beach near campsite 4, at a 2.5 mile hike from the dock. Further details for the campsites on Oak Island can be found here.
*Camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore requires reservations that can only be booked up to 30 days from your desired trip date. Make your camping reservations through the park services online at recreation.gov.
Packing is a crucial step to planning your camping adventure! Camping in the Apostle Islands is not like car camping; there is limited space, and a weight limit in the boat that must be taken into consideration when packing for your trip. We suggest one 40-50lb pack/bag per person (not a bunch of smaller bags), and then one food pack and/or cooler for the group. Some of your cookware, sleeping bags/pads, and other camp gear should be packed and spread out across the individual packs per person, along with personal items such as clothing and toiletries. Again, please be mindful when packing for your island camping trip – not only is this for the safety of you and your group’s ride to the island, but it is also easier to carry and load into the boat, and for you to hike to your campsite once you arrive on the island. And remember, you must pack out what you pack in! The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore follows a Leave No Trace philosophy.
Some people want to bring additional gear such as paddle boards or kayaks; extra fees apply: $65 tandem hardshell kayak; $50 single kayak, $30 inflatable kayak and $20 inflatable SUP. We do not transport canoes.
Pricing is something to consider when thinking of camping in the Apostle Islands. While the cost of a camping permit is around $30/night, a water taxi to the islands will cost significantly more. The Apostle Islands take up about 500 square miles of Lake Superior, and can take anywhere from 45 minutes up to almost two hours (one way) to get to the islands from the mainland/Madeline. Therefore, the price of gas and the time it takes to run these taxis are taken into consideration when setting the price of our services.
Price Per Island Boat Taxi (round trip)
|Destination||Taxi Price for 1-2 ppl||Taxi Price for 3-6 ppl|
|Stockton: Quarry Bay||$460||$500|
|Stockton: Presque Isle||$500||$540|
|South Twin Island||$580||$620|
|Outer Island Dock||$760||$800|
Island Boat Taxi Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How do I make a reservation for one of your boat taxis?
- When you are ready to book a water taxi, please email us at [email protected]. Provide your name, number of people, trip dates and island destination. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.
- Once your date(s) are verified on our calendar as open, we will send you an invoice asking you to pay a 50% deposit via PayPal. (You do not need a PayPal account to make the deposit payment.) After you pay your deposit, we will send you a confirmation email, then, be in touch with you the day before your departure in order to finalize the pickup time, and answer any questions you have.
Q: What if there is bad weather at the time of our camping trip?
- Due to the unpredictable waters of Lake Superior, sometimes the weather can hinder your planned trip. Your safety is our highest concern. We are regularly checking the weather and will be in touch with you if the weather does not look good for your scheduled taxi. We ask that you please be flexible when planning these types of trips as the weather is out of our control. Depending on the conditions there are many options for you:
- We may have to adjust your departure/pick up times, possibly even a day before or after your original dates. The Park Service will help you adjust your camping reservations, if needed.
- If your plans are not flexible, and the weather does not allow for a safe departure and return, we will refund any deposit made to your reservation.
- If you arrive at your camping destination and inclement weather prohibits us from picking you up at your scheduled time, we will attempt to reach you in order to
reschedule your pickup for when it is safe to do so. Typically, we try to reschedule before the original planned pickup time, however, this is not always guaranteed and is weather dependent.
Q: Is there cell phone service in the Apostle Islands?
- Over the recent years, the mainland has built a cell phone tower that allows much better cell phone reception. In our experience, we are able to connect with clients, on an as needed/emergency basis, via text message and/or email. Depending on your provider, some cell phones work better than others. If the island has a Park Ranger, they have satellite phones. If there is no cell phone service we will pick you up at the agreed upon date / time, or we will be there the next day depending on the weather.
Q: Can we bring our dog?
- Yes! You are welcome to bring your dog on our water taxis, and camping in the Apostle Islands. Please be aware of the NPS’s rules and guidelines of bringing your pets. This information can be found here.
Q: How many people fit in your water taxis?
- Our boats seat 6 people, per coast guard regulations. Our prices per taxi are based on 1-2 people or 3-6 people. We can accommodate larger groups, with multiple trips.
Q: What time do your water taxis depart?
- Our water taxis for island camping typically depart early in the morning, around 8/9am or in the afternoon around 4pm. This can change depending on weather, and your availability. We try our best to accommodate your availability.
Q: When is your season for water taxis?
- Typically, our season starts Memorial Day weekend to the end of September. Both the beginning and the end of the season are more limited due to the weather and our capacity.