Gold Mine Falls on Birch Creek

few small drops near a failed gold exploration

Smooth drops on Birch Creek
  • Immature snowy valley
  • Smooth drops on Birch Creek
  • Close up of the smooth, even drops
  • A cluttered lower chute

Originally named Gold River after the two unsuccessful prospects on its banks, Birch Creek contains two small waterfalls before it joins the Big Garlic River via a swampy inlet. The upper drop is an odd, smooth swell over flat rounded bedrock that barely breaks the water into a foam. The lower drop of Gold Mine Falls is a tight, angry chute foaming over broken rocks surrounded by towering cliffs.

There have been numerous attempts to find gold here in the 1890s under the general name of Saux Head Company. Copper, silver, and gold were all pulled from the earth but never in enough quantity or quality to sustain a long term investment. Little remains in the area from the prospects outside of a few local naming conventions.


Follow County Road 550 13 miles north from Marquette before turning right left (west) onto Gold Mine Road. Park or walk about a half mile up the road and head south to the river. Falls are within a few hundred feet of each other.

Comments (4)

  • Mark Piotrowski Jul 18, '15 I found it easier to park on roadside of 550, south of Gold mine Road, go up and down the hill on the west side, and the creek is right there.
    • Jacob Emerick Jul 18, '15 Ah, good point. I usually try to drive up off of 550 because of traffic, but the road widens out there, doesn't it?
    • Mark Piotrowski May 2, '16 Yes, room to park. Also is it not a left turn to head west?
    • Jacob P Emerick May 9, '16 Ah, it totally is! Corrected above. Thanks Mark!
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