Conglomerate Falls on Gratiot River

slow-motion tumble down a mild conglomerate grade

Wide, shallow slides
  • Slick conglomerate river bed
  • Skidding water over conglomerate rock
  • Wide, shallow slides
  • Lower set of falls
  • A big red bluff
  • Long downstream slide
  • Cluttered path to the river
  • Flat, undisturbed snow on the river

Conglomerate Falls (or Upper Gratiot River Falls) is a long slope over conglomerate rock that is hard to classify as a waterfall. The river slips and drops over a rugged riverbed for over 500 yards, a constant stream of foam and bubbling water, weaving and bending from one bank to the next and around a few small rocky islands. There is no defined drop, no single plunge, just a steady gentle slide.

Aside from the waterfall this area is part of a larger conservancy, complete with large wetlands downstream and an impressive red stone bluff overlooking the river. Overall this area is a pretty neat destination.


Directly before entering Ahmeek on northbound US-41 bear left at a sign for Five Mile Point. Follow the signs for Five Mile Point through town. After leaving Ahmeek stay on Five Mile for 2.1 miles, driving past the Ahmeek cemetery, before turning left on Farmer's Block. This road bends north after one mile but a small two-track continues straight. Drive down Farmer's Block, staying straight on the narrow two-track, and park at the end.

After parking head down the trail to the left. This trail will take you directly to the river, high above the water. The easiest route will probably involve following the river upstream, staying on the bank, until the trail disspates. Drop down to the riverbed here and follow the water downstream back to the red bluff and the trail.

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