The saying goes something like “you’ll find it when you are not looking for it”. Yellow Dog Falls is that waterfall for me! I found it one day
when I was out looking for another waterfall and I’m happy I did!
Free, wild, and beautiful.
Yellow Dog Falls are a collection of drops at the on the lower Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay. They are relatively easy to access, only a short .75 mile from the road to the main drop. The riverside trail is pretty well marked by footprints of other waterfall enthusiasts. You do have to cross a creek or two, but there are makeshift bridges along the way.
The best part about this waterfall (besides it being gorgeous) is the fact that you can take the trail past the main drop and find more drops, some small and some big. You can spend a good amount of time at this spot, so I would not rush it! Wildlife is abundant here as well; I have seen plenty of deer and signs of other wild animals. I have heard that fishing is good above the drops, so if you want to bring your fishing line out- give her a try!
My experience at Yellow Dog Falls
As I mentioned before, I found this waterfall when I was not looking for it. My man and I were searching for ‘Pinnacle Falls’, a waterfall also off of County Road 510. We searched for a couple hours and could not find it! Finally we stumbled across the Yellow Dog River Bridge and figured that maybe if we hiked the river we could find Pinnacle Falls.
Well, we did not- we found this one instead! The photographer/outdoor enthusiast in me was still very happy, I love remote and wild waterfalls.
I returned in April for Marquette’s ‘Waterfall Week’ and boy was the water flowing then! The snow melt had only helped the wild factor of this river. It was quite muddy and snowy however, so if you are planning on heading out in early spring, I would bring snowshoes or at least some rain boots!
Bottom Line: This waterfall is easy to find and get to if you are looking for a remote beauty.
Other Things to Note: Mosquitos and ticks are in abundance during the heat of the summer, so keep repellent in the bag and check often for ticks!
How to get there? Take 550 from Marquette almost to Big Bay. Turn left on County Road 510 and take that for approximately six miles. (This is a dirt road, so high clearance or four wheel drive is recommended. During the dry summer months a regular car could make it, but it’s not a guarantee.) You know you’ve reached the trailhead when you cross a little steel bridge. There is a little parking area on the side of the road.