Report: Yellow Dog Falls

Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan
Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan

With this post I will begin a new feature for my blog, the “Report”, where I will give a little more information than just some random musings.  For example, I have three photos today, all of Yellow Dog Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula… or UP.  This one takes a bit of getting to.  Most directions that you will find on the internet make it sound absurdly easy, but it’s not quite so.  Now, Missy and I are both out-of-shape, I’ll admit that, and it’s not too hard, but there is more to it than one would think.  I will give some directions here, so hopefully that will help.  I can say that the locals had nothing but good things to say regarding this location, and I now know why.

Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan
Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan

Directions:  Leave Marquette heading toward Big Bay on Big Bay Road, aka County Road (CR) 550.  You will go approximately 21-ish miles then turn left on CR 510.  Go approximately 2 miles to what is described as a fork in the road, but is really a ‘tee’ intersection.  CR AAA veers off to the right and is a nice paved road.  CR 510 takes a sharp left and immediately becomes a decent dirt road under a tree canopy.  Continue down CR 510 for approximately 6.5 miles, to the second river crossing.  This is Yellow Dog River.  There are no signs.  The river looks more like a creek, and you will be at the only guard rails on the road as the road crosses over the river.

Park on the south side of the crossing, on the east side of the road.  The trail begins here.  The trail is approximately 0.7 miles long, but is not always intuitive.  Again, there are no signs or markers, but it is relatively well-traveled and reasonably obvious.  The trail has some fallen trees crossing it, and crosses four streams.  Someone had laid branches across the streams, which helps, though they were only trickles when we hiked.  Just when you begin to wonder if you’re lost you hear the roar of the falls and you’re there.

Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan
Yellow Dog Falls, Yellow Dog River, near Big Bay, Marquette County, Michigan

And what a “there” it is!  That little creek we saw at the road produces these magnificent waterfall?  Well worth the drive and the hike.  The journey is just enough to keep most people away, but not so difficult as to discourage those who want to see it bad enough.  We had the fortune of being the only people there for a couple hours, which helps my composition immensely.  I was able to “work” the falls for over three hours.  It was quite peaceful and serene.

As a general rule, I prefer the blurred water shots in a waterfall.  I’m not a big fan of “frozen” shots, though I took many of each.  I give three different perspectives here.  The first shot is about half the falls, and is probably my favorite of the three and it gives a nice balance of the waterfall and the fall colors.  The second shot isolates a small area that appealed to me.  The last shot is an overall view done with my fisheye lens, that I think gives a nice perspective.

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