Rainbow Falls and the Waterfalls of the Black River

Rainbow Falls Ottawa National Forest

Rainbow Falls, Ottawa National Forest, photo by John McCormick

GoWaterfalling’s page on the Waterfalls of the Black River Scenic Byway explains that this section of the river is Michigan’s waterfall alley:

The Black River Scenic Byway is located in the western corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Dedicated in 1992 as a National Forest Scenic Byway, it starts just north of Bessemer Michigan and ends at the Black River Harbor in the Ottawa National Forest, following the Black River on its way towards Lake Superior.

Along the way it passes five main waterfalls, as well as some minor ones. The five main waterfalls are all located on the last three miles of the river before it reaches Lake Superior.

The waterfalls are Great Conglomerate Falls (profiled last week), Potawatomi, Gorge, Sandstone, and Rainbow Falls which is:

the last of the main falls on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior…The waterfall has carved out a large pothole. Most of the river falls into the pothole, but some of the water, depending on how high the river is, goes around or jumps clear over this hole.

Head over to GoWaterfalling for more pics, directions, and info about the falls in the area.

Check out John’s photo bigger, see more in his Michigan Waterfalls slideshow, and definitely follow John’s Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook for lots more like this shot of nearby Gabbro Falls, also on the Black River!

Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Waterfall Wednesday: Great Conglomerate Falls on the Black River

Great Conglomerate Falls

Great Conglomerate Falls, photo by Gray McCormick

GoWaterfalling’s entry on Great Conglomerate Falls says (in part):

The first of the five main waterfalls on the Black River. This waterfall is named for the large piece of conglomerate rock that divides the two segments. It is hard to see all of this waterfall at once, but that is no reason not to visit.

Great Conglomerate Falls is the first of the five main waterfalls on the Black River Scenic Byway. Here the river slides down 20 feet around a large chunk of conglomerate rock, hence the name of the falls. It is hard to get a picture of the full waterfall from the observation area. The two segments of the waterfall are pictured separately below plus a composited image of the entire falls.

Read on for directions and info about other nearby falls!

View Gary’s photo background big and see more in his Black River slideshow.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Get away from it all at Alder Falls

Alder Falls Marquette Michigan

Alder Falls, photo by David Marvin

GoWaterfalling’s page on Alder Falls says this waterfall:

…is located about 20 miles north of Marquette on County Road 550. This is Canadian Shield country and the falls is typical of the falls found there. The falls is a slide about 30 feet high cascading down at a 45 degree angle. It falls into a deep, secluded and well shaded gorge. The gorge adds to the sense of wildness and isolation of the falls, even though it is only a mile from the main road.

Finding this waterfall is not trivial because Marquette does not seem big on marking their waterfalls or their rivers and creeks…

Upstream of the main falls are three more drops each around 5 feet high. The first of these is a short distance above the main falls and easy to reach from the north side of the creek. Upstream of that the creek has carved its way through an enormous rock, creating a narrow gorge. A second, not easily seen, drop is in the gorge. A third drop is beyond that.

Read more including detailed directions to what appears to be one of the more difficult waterfalls to get to at Go Waterfalling.

View David’s photo background bigtacular and see a bunch more shots from Alder Falls in his slideshow.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Behind O-Kun-de-Kun Falls

Behind O-Kun-de-Kun Falls

Behind O-Kun-de-Kun Falls, photo by Michigan Nut Photography

See a view from the front and get directions in Don’t Lose Your Bowl at O-Kun-de-Kun FallsThe waterfall is in Ontonagon which came to be named in a pretty hilarious story:

The name “Ontonagon” is derived from the Ojibway word “nontounagon,” which means “I lost my bowl.” Local legend surrounding the name stems from the story that a member of Chief O-Kun-De-Kun’s band was washing bowls near the mouth of the river when she was startled by an unkempt stranger in a canoe. The woman inadvertently dropped one of the bowls into the river and exclaimed “nontounagon”. The white man took her declaration to be a reply to his question about the name of the area.

John writes that a few years ago, he didn’t see a way to get behind the wild and scenic O-Kun-de-Kun Falls, but he found a way this time … and got a nice shower in the process!

See his photo bigger and view & purchase photos at Michigan Nut Photography.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures.

Taking the plunge at Shining Cloud Falls

Shining Cloud Falls

Shining Cloud Falls, photo by Paul Wojtkowski

GoWaterfalling shares that Shining Cloud Falls is the largest and one of the wildest backcountry waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains State Park:

You will have to hike at least 5 miles in to see the falls, and another 5 miles to get back. If you are looking for a good long day hike this is a winner. In addition to the main falls there are also a number of smaller cascades, and whatever route you take there is lots of wilderness scenery.

The total drop of the falls is about 20′. The falls consists of two parts, a slide on the left, and a plunge on the right. In higher water the two parts merge, but in lower water the two parts are distinct, as can be seen in the photos on this page. Plunge falls are rare around Lake Superior.

…Downstream of Shining Cloud Falls are a number of unnamed falls and rapids. Several of these are larger than some of the named falls on the Little Carp River. The last drop near the Lake is known as Bathtub Falls. If you are hiking upstream to the falls, do not be fooled by the smaller drops. The trail follows the river closely, but it climbs away from the river before reaching Shining Cloud Falls. There is no sign marking Shining Cloud Falls, but it is very distinctive.

You can read on for more including directions. FYI, “plunge falls” are those where the water descends vertically without contact with the surface.

View Paul’s photo background bigtacular, see more in his slideshow, and view & purchase his photos in his Especially in Michigan gallery at the-woj.com.

Lots more waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

River Roar

Bay City River Roar

Bay City River Roar, photo by Jeff Caverly

Summertime in Michigan is perfect if you enjoy things that go fast. From the Belle Isle Grand Prix to last weekend’s Bay City River Roar, Michiganders get a healthy dose of go fast. It doesn’t stop on land and see, as a lot of aerial teams are in our skies including the cream of the crop, the Blue Angels in Traverse City all weekend for the National Cherry Festival.

View Jeff’s photo background big, see more action in his slideshow, and view and purchase photos from Bay City & elsewhere on his website.

Union Gorge Falls

For some reason this post went to May 26th when I published it this morning. Not sure what I did, but I will try not to do it again!

Union Gorge Waterfalls

Union River Waterfalls, photo by David Clark

Every time I think I know every waterfall in Michigan, one more comes a long. Great Lakes Waterfall Adventures shares that Little Union Gorge Falls is:

Located inside an outpost campground off of South Boundary Rd. in the beautiful Porcupine Mountains State Park, the Union Gorge Falls slide shallow water over a 100 plus foot drop in a forested setting. It is a short hike to reach the start of the falls, and the trail follows the river bank for a quarter mile, intersecting several times with the Union Mine Interpretive Trail. Several sections of 10-25 feet highlight the area, thin water most of the year, most likely the best time to visit is in the spring.

…The first long drop has a small, three foot deep pool below it, adding to the calm of the area.

View the photo background bigtacular, see more in his Waterfalls slideshow, and check out David’s blog for a report with more from the Porcupine Mountains!