Cold and Frozen Hungarian Falls

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Relishing in the weekend cold front, Katie and Jacob take Logan out for a wintertime visit of Hungarian Falls. published on by

Looking down the cold valley

Throughout the week Katie and I planned for a short trip to Hungarian Falls. When the weekend arrived it brought along a sudden drop in temperature, cold enough to claw around in your chest and make you want to cover every inch of your face. The cold didn't stop us. We were living in Houghton and possessed a wide range of scarves and hats to choose from. Bundling up nice and snug we headed up north to Calumet, even Logan sporting warm booties to protect his paws from the cold.

Golf Course Road is not plowed in the winter, leaving us with two tough routes in. We could park at Lake Linden and hike up the hill, an annoying climb to reach the falls. Since both of us knew the other route fairly well we opted to aim for that. We drove up towards Calumet and turned by the golf course, driving until the road wasn't plowed any more. This route brought us within an easy 500 yards of our normal entry point. Snowmobiles and other hikers had already packed down a nice path for us, making our walk to the falls an easy, if cold, stroll.

Deep snow over the reservoir

Deep snow over the reservoir

Once we reached the reservoir I led us north to the upper falls. Yellowed ice poked out at a few spots, showing through the thick white snow, but there were no sounds or signs of flowing water. Outside of checking out the cool ice formations I was also here to get coordinates on my GPS, so after a few quick photos and a cold fumble to save the location we headed downstream. I diligently marked each waterfall along our hike, noting where the drops of snow gave away their location.

Logan, the snow dog

Logan, the snow dog

When we reached the steep valley at the lower falls an interesting view greeted us. As usual we could make out Torch Lake in the southeast, a slight line of white before Bootjack rises up on the far side. Today's cold air mixed with the shining sun to create a thin mist rising up out of the valley, fading this view in a soft white glow. I'm not sure if the cold air was trapped in the valley or if the sun's light shining down was creating some water vapor, but it gave the area a cool dreamy effect.

Looking down the cold valley

Looking down the cold valley

Katie and Logan posing near Hungarian Falls

Katie and Logan posing near Hungarian Falls

I still held some hope that I would be able to view the unnamed creek that flows in from the southern bank without crossing the river. We headed down, following the well-trod path along the edge of the gorge, until I could just barely see a wall of ice coming down across the way. Happy I saved the coordinate and we started on the way back.

Outside of enjoying the cold weather (yes, some of us do enjoy the bitter cold of the Keweenaw) I was quite pleased to finally get accurate coordinates of one of our favorite waterfalls. Also, I had noticed something interesting about the trails. I had assumed that most people came in from our entrance, up by the reservoir, but the path along the gorge was well-traveled and continued downstream. We had only been to the lower entrance once. Maybe there was more to see here, with so much traffic willing to make the tougher walk up the hill.

Trip Photos

  • Deep snow over the reservoir
  • Yellow ice on the upper falls
  • Logan, the snow dog
  • Windswept drifts
  • Deep mounds of snow
  • Cathedrals of ice
  • Looking down the cold valley
  • Katie and Logan posing near Hungarian Falls

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