Looking for the Real Dault's Falls

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Warm afternoon weather pushes Cory, Jacob, and Katie down for some quick visits in the L'Anse and Baraga area. published on by

Snowy bend in the creek

The warm afternoon forced me out of the house for yet another round of waterfall adventures. Cory had been asking if he could come along for a trip, so Katie and I picked him up from the dorms on our way down towards L'Anse. With the snowmelt and warm weather I hoped to catch a view of Powerhouse Falls in full force while we down this way.

Somewhat swollen waters over the falls

Somewhat swollen waters over the falls

Powerhouse Falls did not look that different, though. We must have missed the surge on Falls River by a few weeks. With some time to spare Cory and I bushwhacked upstream. I had heard some rumors that there may be the remains of an old dam or extra drops above the old power station but didn't notice anything too strange. There were some old foundations right above the station along with some stepping rapids, and a decent set of drops much farther upstream (also known as Power Dam Falls), though nothing that rivaled the main falls.

Snow on the upper drops

Snow on the upper drops

This did get me wondering. For a location with a power station, and a name like Powerhouse Falls, where exactly did the reservoir sit? There was a suspicious open area further upstream near the equally suspiciously named Dam Road, but it's not situated in a valley. If there was a reservoir in this area it must have been a long shallow one with low power generation.

Shrugging off this question we left L'Anse behind and continued south to Herman Road, parking just a few miles away from US-41. I told Cory and Katie to stay behind for this stop. I had visited Dault's Falls last year and found a small but scenic roadside drop near a driveway culvert. Things didn't fit, though.

One consistent piece of information about this waterfall claimed that it was difficult to reach due to private property. A roadside waterfall is not difficult to reach. While some kayaking websites agreed with my find last year, topographic maps did not. I decided to get a reading on my new GPS to get to the bottom of this.

Quickly I made my way down to the drop, overly aware of the proximity to the private driveway. I snapped a few pictures and saved a waypoint. Later, I was able to use this coordinate to discover out that I was actually a few hundred yards upstream from the real Dault's Falls. For now I just climbed back up the riverbank and drove back to US-41 towards our last stop.

Snowy bend in the creek

Snowy bend in the creek

I had visited Ogemaw Falls a few times last year by myself and wanted to return this time with friends. Katie had been with me on the first visit here, though she had chosen not to clambor down the steep creek bank, staying up on the logging road above and finding a bear cub in the process. Today I took both Cory and Katie on the easy route, following the creek in from the road downstream to the fall instead of following the two-track that climbs quickly up the hillside.

Springtime at Ogemaw Falls

Springtime at Ogemaw Falls

The little waterfall did not disappoint, even if it wasn't swollen with spring melt, and the three of us meandered around below the drops exploring and chatting and enjoying the cool little valley around the waterfalls. As the sun's light continued to fade around us we reluctantly headed back upstream to the car. By the time we made it back to Houghton night had fallen on another day of waterfalling.

Trip Photos

  • Somewhat swollen waters over the falls
  • Few banks of snow along the creek
  • Smooth river above the plunge
  • Snow on the upper drops
  • Snow cap between the two drops
  • Dark shadows on the river
  • Dull walk back to the car
  • Sign for the falls
  • Barren ground around the falls
  • Closer to the drop
  • Snowy bend in the creek
  • Springtime on Baraga Plains Road
  • Icy pond across the road
  • Looking down on the spread falls
  • Snowbank shoved to the side
  • The bashful waterfall hiding under the shade

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