Upper Dead River Falls on Dead River

rugged drop surrounded by soaring cliffs below McClure

Looking over the pond to the roaring falls
  • Looking over the pond to the roaring falls
  • Stacked falls across the river
  • Steep southern bank
  • Snow around Dead River
  • Deep, dark pool
  • Rolling upper drops

The Dead River is surrounded by soaring rock cliffs downstream of McClure Basin. Below one of these cliffs, on a sharp twist of the river above a deep pool, the water drops over a wide, jagged set of drops that is set between jagged banks. Upper Dead River Falls is an impressive waterfall that is hard to reach and even harder to see, and is one of the taller drops on the river.


Take County Road 502 from US-41, a right turn about 2.5 miles west of Marquette, up to County Road 510. Stay on 510 for 2.5 miles before turning right on Neejee Road. Neejee Road is a winding dirt road on the north side of McClure Basin with a lot of sidetracks leading off to various housing areas. Stick to the main road for 1.2 miles before turning right on McClure Storage Basin Road which will take you to the dam after .9 miles.

The easiest route is to just head down the hill to the bottom of the dam (the top is fenced off, so don't head that way). Follow the Dead River downstream past McClure Dam Falls to Upper Dead River Falls, about a fifteen minute walk. The waterfall is difficult to view, across a steeply walled pool, unless you can find a way to cross downstream.

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