Logan and I were restless. Sure, we were just out a few days ago and found some waterfalls by Copper City through the thick snow. Now it was Friday afternoon with plenty of daylight left after work and no new destinations in mind. So I decided to revisit Hungarian Falls. This would be the fifth visit this year.
Steele drove us up past Hancock on the winter roads. It was mild out, which gave the thick layers of snow a damp consistency slightly beyond prime snowball. When we got to the end of 6th Street in Tamarack we noticed that Golf Course Road is not plowed. His jeep could handle this. He shifted drives and plowed through, sliding and slipping from one side of the road to another as we steadily climbed the slope.
Passing by the first entrance, which I didn't know well enough to attempt today, we barely made it up to the top gate by the reservoir. He skidded to the shoulder and slammed on the breaks. Logan and I tumbled out, glad to have made it so far up the hill but also thankful to be out safely. The three of us walked over to the gate and headed down the path.
There had been a few previous visitors on snowshoes and skis who had packed the path down. It didn't help. Every third or fourth step one of us would plunge through the damp snow, breaking our stride in a knee-deep stumble. Our progress was painfully slow.
I did have a goal today. I wanted to check out a side drop that I had spotted on a previous trip here. An unnamed creek flowed down into the steep downstream gorge, forming an impressively tall waterfall below the lower drop of Hungarian Falls. The going was tough so we skipped out on a few of the sights, passing by the upper falls and reservoir. Everything was too choked with snow to view, anyways.
We continued the quick walk down to the valley view, bypassing the buried waterfalls. The barren valley created a stark view out over Tamarack and Torch Lake. I pushed on across the creek on the south bank, away from the main route, and we headed towards the unnamed creek. When we reached it I did find a frozen path of the creek leading down a steep sandstone wall, clearly visible from a spur reaching out into the gorge. Getting a good picture from above the falls was not possible, though.
We headed back to the main creek and followed the north bank this time. I hoped to get a view across the gorge at this new drop, if only to get an idea of the height and size. It was hard to spot through the trees, though, and we eventually gave up. I'm not sure how I'm going to photograph this drop in the spring, being so deeply embedded in the gorge. Maybe a bottom-up view would be best, although it would involve some tough bushwhacking along the bottom of Dover Creek.
After this we just headed back. I had gotten a few pictures and found a new waterfall but was still a bit disappointed. Winter snow was here, a real hindrance to my Keweenaw adventuring, and I wasn't sure if I was okay with that.