For me, trying to narrow down a list of my favorite waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is like trying to pick my favorite ice cream- which for the record just happens to be whatever’s on sale. The U.P. is filled with many really super awesome waterfalls and to be honest, this list has changed probably 25 times in the couple days it took me to put it together. I tried to rank them, but that was just impossible. How can you compare a fall like Morgan Creek Falls, which is on the smaller side but very peaceful and one you can get right up to, to Tahquamenon Falls whose sheer volume of water make it a true beauty to behold? In alphabetical order, my 10 (plus 1) favorite waterfalls of the U.P. are as follows:
The view from the bottom is much better, though you must be careful getting down a steep hill from the platform. I often will see bald eagles close by when traveling to these falls
Au Sable Falls
Located in Grand Marais, Mi. If you continue to follow the path past the falls, you’ll come to Agate Beach on the shores of Lake Superior where agates aplenty can be found
Close to Agate Falls, it would be a shame to go see one and not the other. On more than one occasion I’ve seen multiple black bears on the drive to see these falls, making it even more worth the visit.
Located a bit west of L’anse, these falls are an easy hike. I’m a terrible swimmer, but I’ve seen many people swim across the river at the base of the falls. Thankfully I’ve never seen anyone not succeed in making it, though I did see one guy who said it was too hard and he was afraid to come back.
Dead River Falls
These falls are a little bit more of a hike to get to, but still not too bad. This picture was taken in the fall, but in the spring the river goes across the entire rock formation making it an even cooler fall. There’s also a swimming hole at the base of this one where people can jump off the rocks, making for a refreshing time on a hot day.
Laughing Whitefish Falls
If you can manage over 100+ steps to get to the bottom, you can get right into the river! If you’d rather not, there is a nice viewing platform where you can see the falls from the top.
Don’t tell the others, but this is my all time favorite waterfall in the U.P. This is just one of a series of falls that eventually empty into Lake Superior, and honestly this picture doesn’t do justice. I haven’t been there in a number of years and I hear they’ve updated the hiking trail and the road to get there. If not, then be careful on this hike as many parts of it are along eroding cliffs (though not extremely high) that tumble into Superior. It’s well worth the hike though and it’s more worth it to hike the extra upstream to see more falls.
Morgan Creek Falls
When I lived in Marquette, this was often the quick fix to my itch to get out in nature when I didn’t have a lot of time. Though the smallest of the falls on my list, it’s extremely peaceful and fun and very easy to get to.
Speaking of easy to get to, of the falls on my list this one is probably the easiest to get to. The path is only about 500 ft. long and maintained by the National Park Service.
If easy to get to is what you’re looking for, then Spray falls is not the one for you. By land you have to hike more than 3 miles and can only view from the top, looking over the edge into Superior about 75 feet down. You can also get to the falls by boat which offer a more complete view such as the one above.
Tahquamenon (Upper) Falls
Michigan’s largest waterfall, and second largest in the U.S. east of the Mississippi river (behind the mighty Niagara, of course). Definitely worth getting the boat and rowing across the river for a more complete view.
If you like travelling in Michigan’s beautiful upper peninsula, be sure to also check out my 10 favorite places (link coming soon) to visit in the U.P, all of which offer a synergistic blend of beauty, peace, and serenity.
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