With hundreds of waterfalls to choose from in the Upper Peninsula, you can view them in varied conditions all year long. But if you’re looking for activity — the roaring sound that makes you raise your voice a few decibels so you can be heard, the mist splashing back on your face — then you need to see our waterfalls in the spring!
Spring is the best time to see our waterfalls
So what makes the waterfalls go crazy in the spring? Well, you can thank our famous U.P. winters for that! When all of that snow and ice eventually does give way to the spring season, the snowmelt starts running off those waterfalls, contributing to the overall water flow. It’s sort of like dumping a small bucket of water versus a large one. The large bucket with more water makes more of a scene, more sound and more splashing. Spring waterfalls emptying their snowmelt are just like that large water bucket, on a much, much larger and magnificent scale.
These eight waterfalls are particularly stunning in mid-to-late April and early May when melting snow and ice, rainstorms and increased groundwater make them roar with gusto.
This steep cascade, located in Copper Harbor, has worked its way into a narrow gorge and can be hard to see due to the surrounding trees. Climbing along the well-established footpaths (being careful of slippery or falling rocks), courageous adventurers may be able to get a better view.
This 140-foot Munising cascade resembles a lace wedding veil as it spills over the iconic, color-dappled rocks into Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Great Conglomerate Falls
Named for the great mass of conglomerate rock it spills right over, Great Conglomerate Falls forms two separate waterfalls that are nearly impossible to capture in a single picture. Once you’ve parked, you will follow a clearly-marked trail for ¾ mile to a viewing platform in Gogebic County. Just a ½ mile down the North Country National Scenic Trail (which you can easily access nearby) are both Gorge Falls and Potawatomi Falls, so you can check three separate waterfalls off your U.P. waterfall bucket list when visiting this area!
Also in Gogebic County, Nawadaha Falls is one of the easiest sites to visit while exploring the Porcupine Mountains. Situated as the upper-most of three waterfalls along the Presque Isle River, this 15-foot-high waterfall has a width that will vary depending on its current water levels and time of year.
The walk out to the falls is an easy stroll on relatively flat ground in under five minutes, with other beautiful sights to observe along the way.
Located in a small roadside park on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Lac La Belle, this 20-foot waterfall is easy to see from the road. The park is perfect for a quick break and a beautiful view.
Laughing Whitefish Falls
Named after the Laughing Whitefish River, this 100+-foot waterfall cascades down stepped limestone rock in Chatham. A wooden stairway along the edge of the falls allows visitors to view the falls from a variety of overlooks.
As the largest waterfall on the Menominee River’s Piers Gorge, this 8-foot drop straddles the Wisconsin-Michigan border in Norway. The site is known by kayakers and rafters for its swift and powerful Class IV “whitewater” rapids that provide their wildest adventures in the springtime.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls
As the largest waterfall in Michigan, of course this makes our list for must-sees in the spring! The Tahquamenon River spans 200 feet at the falls and drops about 40 feet in Newberry. This powerhouse is mighty to behold all year round, but especially in the spring.
Plan your spring waterfall trip
Take advantage of these waterfall’s time to shine! Check out our waterfalls page for other suggestions and a map to get you started on planning. If you’re looking to be in a specific region, then check out our pages dedicated to Western U.P. waterfalls, Eastern and Central U.P. waterfalls. Make sure to book a stay overnight so you can see even more magnificent, roaring waterfalls tomorrow.