Michigan is a state of two peninsulas. People are, perhaps, more familiar with the lower peninsula, known as “The Mitten,” but the Upper Peninsula is a favorite destination for those who love the outdoors. State parks and waterfalls abound in the Upper Peninsula, and one of the most popular is Canyon Falls Michigan.
This beautiful area provides both a waterfall and gorge with magnificent scenery in every season. The Sturgeon River is wildly beautiful, and adventurous visitors can get an adrenaline fix while enjoying the gorge.
About Canyon Falls MI | Michigan’s Grand Canyon
For thousands of years, the Sturgeon River has been carving away at the local slate, which has created this gorge, known as Michigan’s Grand Canyon.
The main hiking trail is at the bottom of the gorge, but there are natural steps at several points where you can climb to the top.
The climb offers stunning views of the river and the falls. It’s about a 2-mile round trip hike, and the lower trail isn’t very difficult.
The Sturgeon River & Canyon Falls
The river and falls are fast-moving, but don’t be put off by the brown color. The tannin from the marshland trees causes the root beer color, but the water is clean.
The main waterfall is about 30 feet high, which is impressive enough. But together with the 300-foot slate gorge, it’s quite a stunning sight. When taking the marked trail, Canyon Falls is your destination, but you can get quite creative along the way.
More Waterfalls Near Michigan’s Grand Canyon
Several smaller falls are located along the Sturgeon River. If you have swimming in mind, a quiet spot at the second waterfall has a lovely pool that welcomes you. Slow-moving water provides the perfect place for a dip.
Cliff jumping into the river is a popular sport at several spots along the trail. An easy 10-foot to 15-foot jump is located past the second falls just a short hike from the trailhead.
Information About & Location of Canyon Falls
Canyon Falls is located about 15 miles south of L’Anse on US-41 in Baraga County Michigan. A well-marked trail follows the river past some smaller falls before getting to the box-like gorge and Canyon Falls.
The first small falls are just a few hundred feet down the path. The main falls are about 1 mile from the parking lot, and the trail is suitable for the entire family to enjoy.
Getting to the gorge requires a longer hike of about 4 miles round trip. If you hike long enough, you’ll connect with the North Country Trail, which runs through seven states, including Michigan.
Things to Do Near Canyon Falls Michigan
Baraga County is full of outdoor things to do. With more than 20 lakes, boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are all found in abundance. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a complete list of the lakes with fishing and boating information for state parks and campgrounds.
Hanka Homestead Finnish Museum
Scandinavians brought a lot of their culture to the upper Midwest. Hanka Homestead Finnish Museum is located on the original home site in Askel, Hanka Farm. Herman Hanka was a Finnish emigrant.
The museum preserves the late 19th-century lives of this family, who used the Homestead Act to change their fortunes after Herman was injured in a copper mining accident.
Additional Area Attractions
- Ojibwa Casino — You can stay, dine, and gamble at this Baraga location. It’s a one-stop entertainment destination with both slots and table games.
- Shrine of Bishop Baraga — This Slovenian native came to the area to minister to the Native Americans. This Shrine tells his story.
- Baraga County Fair — Held for two days every August, this is a popular event for locals and tourists alike.
- Baraga County Historical Museum — The museum holds Barga County’s vital records from 1875 to the 1970s and also features historical artifacts on display.
A Year-Round Waterfall in Michigan
No matter the time of year, Canyon Falls is a beautiful destination in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
- Spring is the time to visit the many waterfalls Baraga County has to offer. Most of them will never look better.
- Baraga County is all about the outdoors, and summer is a perfect time to explore. Hiking, biking, boating, and swimming are all favorite pastimes for locals and visitors. With beaches on Lake Superior, this is a popular destination.
- Leaf Peeping is alive and well every fall in Baraga County and most of the Upper Peninsula. Combined with visiting waterfalls and hiking trails, this season makes everything more spectacular.
- Winter brings amazing beauty to Canyon Falls. Parts of the falls freeze, and the frozen Michigan waterfalls create a stunning show for those brave enough to go on the hike.
Where to Eat Near Canyon Falls Michigan
Pasties are an Upper Peninsula favorite, and some of the best pasties in Michigan are located within a reasonable drive from Grand Canyon. These hand pies were a favorite meal for miners in Copper Country as well as England and Wales.
Located in Houghton, you can get pasties, as well as deli soup, sandwiches, and other delicious baked goods. Vegan and gluten-free pasties need to be preordered.
Lots of interesting flavors are available — traditional beef, turkey cranberry, bacon cheeseburger on Wednesday and Thursday, and a breakfast pasty.
Located in Negaunee, about one hour from Canyon Falls, you’ll find all your favorites at Irontown Pasties. You can get full-size or mini pasties either hot, half baked, or frozen. Try the traditional beef, chicken potpie, spicy vegan, and Bierocks. Gluten-free options are available.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at Hilltop Family Restaurant. The humongous cinnamon rolls are a local favorite for breakfast and even lunch. Located in L’Anse, this restaurant boasts affordable meals and generous portions.
In Covington, Hardwood Steakhouse has full bar service and a high-quality menu with plenty of appetizers to enjoy. It’s just a short drive from Canyon Falls.
Meals come with a salad bar, and alongside steak options, the menu features seafood, chicken, pork, and combo platters. Kid’s meals and luscious desserts round out the menu.
Where to Stay Near Canyon Falls Michigan
No matter what you prefer for lodging, you’ll find something to suit your tastes within about 20 miles of Canyon Falls. Since this area is rather rural, the closest accommodations are rental cabins. However, you have your choice of rustic, cozy, and luxury amenities.
This is the closest local cabin to Canyon Falls. You can see Tioga Falls from the porch of the cabin. Six people can sleep here, and the cabin is well stocked with all the things you need for an outdoor adventure. Those who choose this cabin should be environmentally conscientious.
You’ll need to disconnect to enjoy your stay at Double Eagle Lodge because there’s no cell reception and no internet. This comfortable log cabin uses solar energy with a backup generator for power, and it has a flush toilet and shower.
The lodge is a great family destination that can sleep six people. The fully functioning kitchen allows you to cook and store food.
Located directly on Long Lake, fishing is a popular activity. Also, you can bike, hike, swim, snowshoe, and enjoy the peaceful location. Sit around the fire pit, and enjoy the show in the sky with s’mores!
This 68-room modern inn is located on the Lake Superior shore. It has comfortable rooms with lots of amenities, including a hot tub, sauna, indoor pool, pillowtop mattresses, microwaves, refrigerators, a coffee maker, a sandy swimming beach, guest laundry, a fitness center, plus free Wi-Fi.
You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner during your stay while overlooking stunning Keweenaw Bay.
This is no cookie-cutter accommodation. The 10 rooms are individually decorated and overlook Lake Superior. The motel is pet friendly (except for cats) and some of the rooms have a coffee maker, free Wi-Fi, a fridge, and a microwave.
Parking right outside your room is an additional benefit. The restaurant is open for dinner only from Tuesday through Saturday, In the winter, it’s only open on Friday and Saturday evenings.
On the shores of Big Lake, there are 12 rustic campsites with a hand-pumped water source, a vault toilet, and picnic tables. Fishing is offered in Big Lake., and you can hike, paddle on the lake, and just enjoy the outdoors. Only tents and small campers are allowed, and there are no electric hookups.
Located just 2 miles from L’Anse, this campground has 30 campsites with electric hookups, a shower building, a beach on Lake Superior, a playground, and free Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect place for families.
Located directly on Lake Superior, these campsites rest among the trees and offer electrical hookups. Two camping areas are available — Pow-wow and Sandpoint. This recreation area is located about 15 miles from Canyon Falls and offers plenty of amenities.
More Michigan Waterfalls to Explore Nearby
Michigan has more than 300 waterfalls and, luckily, most of them are located in the Upper Peninsula.
Silver Falls is a twofer. The falls that are closest to the parking lot are smaller but plunge into a very nice pool that’s ideal for swimming. The larger waterfall requires taking a poorly-marked 0.25-mile trail. But, it’s worth the effort!
Black Slate Falls
Black Slate Falls is on the Slate River. From the bridge, you head upriver. Then, the river flows down from an old slate quarry in a series of steps. It isn’t an easy walk since there’s no defined trail, but it goes on for about 0.5 miles.
Quartzite Falls is also on the Slate River. You just head downriver from the bridge. The trail is easier to follow, and it leads to a pool. Be on the lookout for the veins of quartzite that sparkle under the water.
These falls are very pretty and fall into a pond that’s quite close to the road. Look for the sign for the falls, and you’ll have an easier hike.
If you want to visit a very attractive waterfall that doesn’t require a long hike, Tioga Falls fits the bill nicely. It’s just a short stroll from a state rest stop on US-41, 20 miles south of L’Anse in Covington Michigan.
What the falls lack in height they make up for with the peacefulness of the location. A larger waterfall is located just another short walk through the woods.