The Dead River Falls
At A Glance
The Dead River Falls are a series of falls and rapids located just west of Marquette Michigan. In a half mile stretch the river drops 90 feet. There are three drops over 15′, and a number of smaller drops. This is one of the best waterfall adventures in Michigan.
Back Country Hiking
The Dead River has a number of dams and diversions, but it runs wild for a half mile just west of Marquette, with three significant falls and several more lesser drops.
The Dead River Falls is easily one of the best waterfall adventures that the Upper Peninsula has to offer. A set of sudden plunges in a rocky gorge about a half mile in length sits just outside of Marquette, dropping close to a hundred feet in total, making a destination that is accessible and incredibly scenic. Even with a large dam upstream diverting some of the water for power, there is plenty of flow over the falls throughout the year.
The lower drops are all small cascades surrounded by dramatic rock cuts and outcroppings. Dirt paths network along the path, providing plenty of vantage points for these drops before heading up a steep bank before the first main drop (also known as Stoney Mill), a split set of blocky cascades over well-worn volcanic rock. A tall, direct plunge is a short distance upstream, forcing the river into a narrow chute before emptying it into a deep canyon. There is one more drop, beyond deep, calm pools, a jagged cascade squeezed between two large mounds of rock.