Sturgeon River Falls on Sturgeon River

a powerful drop along a mighty river in a deep valley

Impressive Sturgeon River Falls
  • Camping site above the falls
  • Impressive Sturgeon River Falls
  • Fall leaves on the narrow trail
  • Swollen Sturgeon River Falls
  • A dark chute above
  • Bright sun over the even break
  • Sandstone wall beyond the falls
  • A sunny day on the river

Deep in a protected gorge and designated wilderness area lies Stugeon River Falls. The trees grow tall and thick in the huge river valley, which cuts through the west section of Baraga Plains. Sturgeon River, whose watershed stretches from Curwood to Bob Lake, is a strong river here, over thirty feet wide in some spots.

The waterfall is large, one of the most powerful drops in the area. First an odd, uniform break cuts across the river, dropping the level an even foot. A few dozen yards downstream the river narrows into a tiny chute a couple of feet wide through solid basalt. This sudden change causes the water to foam and boil as it rushes quickly to a sudden plunge over a tall, twenty foot cascade into a deep pool. Downstream the river calms a bit, flowing over some minor rapids before settling back down to a slow, meandering flow.


There are a few ways to access this remote spot of Baraga Plains. One of the easiest starts in Baraga and follows M-38 west out of town, past the casino. After 9.5 miles turn left towards Prickett Dam. At 2.3 miles bear right onto NF-2270, staying on this road and following signs for Sturgeon River Falls for 9.8 miles. The parking area is on the left side of the road before Clear Creek Road.

Follow the path across the road to the west. When it hits the edge of the gorge follow it to the right, ignoring any sideroutes down the steep hill. Eventually the footpath does head downhill, along a narrow spur that lessens the slope. Take it down through a small pine forest and to the waterfall, which is just on the other side of a large camping clearing.

Comments (2)

  • Aaron Miner Jul 29, '16 Was at this falls back '89 I think. Couldn't really remember it as I was only 5 then, was more of a faint memory. That has changed however, was there just a couple weeks ago! Definitely a great falls to visit! For being July, there was more water going over than what you have pictured here. Oh, and that downed tree stuck between two others in your first picture is still there.
    • Jacob Emerick Aug 11, '16 Oh wow, still a lot of water in July? That's pretty cool. And nice on that tree... This picture has got to be at least five years old now, surprised that a spring flow didn't knock it out yet.
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