The western U.P. is even less compact than the eastern half, especially when you consider isolated Isle Royale , the protruding Keweenaw Peninsula , and the stretch between Escanaba  and Menominee . The easiest way to traverse this vast region is via vehicle. Of course, you’ll need to rely on canoes, bicycles, boats, or your own feet if you want to explore the wilderness.
Luckily, several major highways snake across this region. From Wisconsin, take U.S. 2 or U.S. 51 to Ironwood, U.S. 45 to Watersmeet, U.S. 141 to Iron Mountain, and U.S. 41 to Menominee. From the Mackinac Bridge , head west on U.S. 2 to Escanaba, or drive north on I-75 and take M-28 to Marquette. Either U.S. 41 or M-26 can guide you north onto the Keweenaw Peninsula, from which ferries and small planes can take you to Isle Royale.
Although much of the western U.P. comprises untamed land, with sizable towns few and far between, it is possible to reach this part of Michigan via commercial transportation. Greyhound serves several towns, including Hancock , Ironwood , Iron River , Iron Mountain , Escanaba , and Marquette . The region’s primary airport is the Sawyer International Airport, south of Marquette; it’s served by Northwest Airlines and American Eagle. Smaller airports also exist in the Houghton , Ironwood, and Escanaba areas.
Still, the relative difficulty of reaching the western U.P. promises fewer tourists throughout the year—which is ideal for those seeking solitude. So, your seasonal interests will likely determine when you decide to visit this region and how long you plan to stay. If you intend to hit the highlights of Isle Royale , the Keweenaw Peninsula , and Marquette , then three days should be sufficient. A week or more is necessary for those who appreciate the great outdoors; after all, average visitors can spend at least three days just exploring Isle Royale.
During your visit to the western U.P., you should keep in mind the matter of time zones. While most of the Upper Peninsula  is situated, as with the Lower Peninsula, in the eastern standard time (EST) zone, the four counties bordering Wisconsin—Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, and Menominee—are in the central standard time (CST) zone.
For more information about this area, consult the Western U.P. Convention and Visitor Bureau (P.O. Box 706, Ironwood, MI 49938, 906/932-4850, www.westernup.info ).