We still offer daily shuttle service!
Schedule and Rates
Pictured Rocks Planner
Special note for Sea Kayakers
North Country Trail
Reservations must be made and paid for no later than noon the day before service. Last second/day of service subject to our emergency pick up rate, which starts at $200. Yeah, make a reservation!
Why are we better than the public bus?
Well, we just are.
With any product or service, you can chose two of the following:
Low Price, Great Service, High Quality.
ALTRAN CUSTOMERS! Become a member of Trailspotters! You will receive a copy of “50 Hikes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a killer map of Pictured Rocks, and unlimited trip planning and advice from the author of the book (that is me).
Not convinced? Read On
We’ll freely admit the public bus may the be the cheaper option. But you get what you pay for. YOU are our customer from the moment you make your reservation until you are home from your trip.
We are a FULL SERVICE OUTFITTER.
Those guys? Well, they are the public bus.
Before your trip, we offer trip planning right down to the last detail. Call us anytime. Those guys? They’ll just refer you to the NPS website. Or to us.
The owner (that’s me) wrote the book on hiking in the UP. Those guys? Ask them the last time any of them hiked any part of the trail. Go ahead. Ask.
During your trip, we offer food drops, FREE rescues, and you can contact us ANYTIME for ANY reason. The bus? They tell you to call me.
We’ll track your vehicle, if you let us know, we can let someone know you are running late and coordinate getting you out of the woods.
The bus can offer dirt cheap rates because they are heavily subsidized by tax dollars. We are a family owned business who pays taxes, the very same taxes which are used to compete directly against us.
Let us earn your business.
Altran, the heavily subsidized, government-run county transit bus, has put us in a position where we have to modifying our service within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Munising to Grand Marais).
Don’t fret. We are still here. We are specializing in early morning and evening hiker shuttles, and, sea kayakers.
Due to Altran offering below market value services, we are forced to modify our schedule and rates through the summer months. Altran is $20 per person, which is well below what the market will bear and our cost. We understand if your decision is a financial one. Remember, you get what you pay for. WE TAKE CARE OF OUR CUSTOMERS from the moment you make your reservation until you are done with your trip!
Our parent company, Trailspotters of Michigan, will continue to spot outdoor enthusiasts on the North Country Trail outside of the park and on any river in the area. We still can run specialized shuttles like rescues, food drops, concierge, early morning and evening shuttles.
In the spring of 2014, we filed an informal inquiry with the US Department of Transportation regarding the public bus using taxpayer dollars to subsidize charter trips for backpackers (read their Response to Trailspotters) in Pictured Rocks. Although the USDOT ruled in our favor (see USDOT informal ruling here), Altran faced no repercussions from the UDOT. Instead, Altran changed their route, schedule, and pricing, that effectively put us out of business for the time being.
In a nutshell, taxpayers are heavily subsidizing Altran’s Backpacker Shuttle within the park, reducing the price to under market value and well below what their (and our) cost is. We firmly believe that county transit is for those county residents, for whatever reason, cannot procure transportation for themselves. It is not for out of state tourists who can afford to use a private transportation provider. By providing service to out of county/state tourists, tax funds are being diverted away from serving those in need.
For more information and/or to support our cause, follow our Facebook page www.facebook.com/trailspotters or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you object to the dial-a-ride bus or municipality using tax dollars to subsidize tourist travel anywhere in the state of Michigan, fill out the form below. We may ask you to write your congressperson or help with another easy task. Thank you in advance.