Before this summer, the only way I knew how to get to the Upper Carp River Falls was to hike/crawl/rock climb your way up the river from Morgan Falls. And while that trail was always an adventure, it was not exactly family friendly or safe by any means.
But guess what? I’m here to share a new [to me] and better way to get there!
Do not worry, there is still plenty of room for adventure and perilous hiking if you are interested.
The Carp River is a 21.9 mile long river that flows from Ishpeming to Lake Superior. There are plenty of cascades along the river, making it hard to classify which drops are really ‘Upper Carp River Falls’. Even Google Images doesn’t know. But for all means and purposes, most locals know this trail as the trail to the Upper Falls.
To get here, take the same directions is you take to get to Morgan Falls and follow the road just a little farther (.25 to .5 miles). You’ll come to a junction in the road and a pull out area right past that. Park here! If you miss it and drive over a bridge, you have gone too far. To your left you will see a trail that crosses an aquaduct- this is the right trail! This trail will lead you down and up another hill, just keep following that aquaduct. Sooner or later, maybe a half a mile in, it turns into a two track and you will see another trail on the left. Follow that one to the river!
If you turn left at the river you will see a large waterfall and you can crawl down to the riverbed. If you turn right you can take a trail that runs along the top of the gorge, or you can crawl down and rock climb/carefully hike your way along the river and get up close and personal with the water.
There are numerous waterfalls you can see along this river- they continue all the way down to Morgan Falls!
My experience at Upper Carp River Falls
If you did not know yet, I am a bit of a risk taker- I usually take things one step past dangerous. Luckily, I have a few friends that are willing to put up with me and join the party.
While the first waterfall that you come to on the right of the trail is awesome and all, I knew that there was more drops and I had to get to them! So I strapped up my day-pack, fastened my camera bag, hooked my camera over my shoulder and proceeded to boulder my way down the river.
I was not disappointed at all! If you have the time, energy, and guts to do this- please do it. It is 100 times better than hiking on the trail above.
Bottom Line: If you are headed to see Morgan Falls, why not go a little farther? (If you were not headed to Morgan Falls, then you should change your plans).
Other Things to Note: If you are going to take my way down the river, please be careful! Lots of loose rock and I’d hate to hear about an accident.