Canyon River Falls on Sturgeon River

the famous slate gorge and waterfall of Baraga County

Water level with Canyon River Falls
  • Old park sign in the woods
  • Highway bridge over Sturgeon River
  • Dropping down clunky shelves of slate
  • Easy rock path at Canyon River Falls Park
  • Swollen main falls
  • River winding between tall walls
  • A churning drop above the cliff-jumping spot
  • Camping spot, complete with a fire ring
  • Icy, snow-covered falls
  • Ice shelf cluttering up the gorge
  • A familiar wooden footpath
  • Water level with Canyon River Falls

One of Baraga County's best-known tourist spots, Canyon River Falls is where the mighty Sturgeon River falls into a tight box canyon, then winds sharply back and forth between the layered slate walls, before pouring out into a swampy valley. There is a roadside park right of US-41 with a large parking lot and well-maintained paths along the river, over Bacco Creek, and to the main waterfall.

Beyond the maintained path another footpath springs up and makes its way further downstream. This path leads past two more defined drops, the first a narrow pour into a popular cliff-jumping spot and the lower (deceptively called Upper Falls) a long, split slide emptying out of the canyon into the swamp. The path is well traveled and easy to follow but is not maintained by the keepers of the park area.


10 miles south of L'Anse on US-41, the roadside park is located on the right side of the road just north of the bridge over Sturgeon River. Park at the park, which is open seasonally, and follow the crushed rock trail to the main waterfall. To get a better look you may need to have to climb down into the gorge onto some of the large, flat rocks parallel the river's flow.

To view the rest of the canyon follow the footpath down the river beyond the viewing area. There are more drops located deep in the box canyon, with Upper Falls far at the end where Sturgeon River empties out into a green, calm section of the river.

Comments (2)

  • Michelle Holdridge Jul 2, '19 Loved this falls and short hike. This is very serene and beautiful area. We continued downstream approx. another 1/3 mile (after the trail end) to view the higher canyon walls and tranquility of the river. I hope to return to enjoy this area again, when I can take the time to enjoy a picnic lunch. Gorgeous. Visited June 2019.
    • Karen Cayce May 3, '21 We tried this hike this past Friday (April 30, 2021), and we left speechless with the beauty and simplicity of this hike. You can def make it harder by scrambling the rocks! And we went way beyond the first fall, and followed the river- the rapids and topography are amazing. Can't wait to hike this in the summer and fall! We saw people with strollers, dogs, and picnics. All a choice on this lovely hike.
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