Big Garlic Falls

May 2005

State: Michigan

Location: Big Bay, 20 miles north of Marquette

Height: 30' in multiple drops

Crest: varies

Water Source: Big Garlic River

Waypoint: 46.66763N 87.61922W

Summary: A complicated, out of the way wild waterfall near Marquette. This is not an especially scenic waterfall, nor is it particularly easy to get to. There are plenty of other waterfalls you might want to check out before visiting this one.

Big Garlic Falls is located about 20 miles north of Marquette. This is a wild waterfall, consisting of number of small drops and chutes. There are two distinct sections to the falls. The river is forced through a narrow rocky gorge. There really is no vantage point from which to see the whole thing, and you have to settle for different views as you carefully hike along the rocks.

To reach the falls head north on Country Road 550 from Marquette. This is the road to Big Bay, which is about 25 northwest of Marquette. After about 15 miles, turn left on to Gold Mine road. This is an unpaved road, but a regular car should not have any problems with it. Follow this for 2.8 miles, staying to the left. There is no sign for the falls, but there is a two track on the left. This quickly ends in a little turn around where you can find the the trailhead to the falls. Just beyond the two track a private road with a marker saying N79 branches off of Gold Mine Road to the right. So if you see that, you have gone too far. The waypoint for the two track is roughly 46.66926N 87.61837W.

The trail to the falls is just a few hundred feet and leaves you near the top of the falls. Rough trails follow the river downstream to the rest of the falls. There are some steep, rocky drop offs, and you have to climb down to the river to get a good look at the lower section of the falls.

'Big Garlic' is the name of the river. It is not a very big river, but apparently it is bigger than the Little Garlic River. The falls themselves are not especially big.

[Lake Superior] [Marquette & Baraga County] Nearby Falls

Marquette County has dozens of waterfalls, many of them are in remote locations in the wild area north and west of the city of Marquette, and many of them are better described as rapids as they tend not be very high or steep. Alder Falls, one of the most scenic of the bunch, is about 10 miles to the north. The much larger and more scenic Dead River Falls are 20 miles to the southeast. The Yellow Dog River to the north west has a number of falls, including Yellow Dog Falls, and Pinnacle Falls.

Photo Gallery

Uppermost drop

Lower section

Final chute

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