Tahquamenon Falls in December

June 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

In December several years ago, we had traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to spend Christmas with my Dad.  While we were there, we decided to make a trip over to Tahquamenon Falls.  Normally, there’s too much snow on the ground at that time of the year to easily get down to the Falls without cross-country skiing.  But, the week before Christmas, the U.P. got a lot of heavy rain that knocked down the snow levels significantly! 

Wet SnowWet SnowA lot of rain fell the week before and it knocked down a lot of snow.

There were only a couple cars in the parking lot when we got to the Upper Falls.  The walk over to the stairs leading down to the brink wasn’t too bad.  The top of the snow was icy and crunchy, but our feet sank through the surface so it made it easier to walk without slipping.  Tahquamenon Falls State Park is open year around and the trails are maintained for cross-country skiing.

First Glimpse in WinterFirst Glimpse in WinterUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December As always, the first sight of the Upper Falls through the trees is exciting!  The temperature on the day we visited was in the high 20s (Fahrenheit).  It was an overcast day with a forecast for snow mixed with rain. Upper Falls in DecemberUpper Falls in DecemberUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

Stairway Down to the BrinkStairway Down to the Brink12/23/07 Had to be careful not to slip on the wood part of the stairs.

There are 94 steps down to the brink.  The landings between flights are wood (probably treated), but someone must have salted them as they weren’t too slippery.  Still, we had to watch our step. Each stair is a kind of metal grate that doesn’t allow water to stand, so no ice on the stairs themselves. 

Upper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December Standing at the brink, the wind was blowing the mist into our faces.  It was very windy that day and at a temperature of 28F, it was freezing! The Falls don't typically freeze completely in the winter.  Several years after our visit, there was an ice cap covering the Falls that made it look like it was frozen over, but the water was rushing underneath.  I would have loved to see that in person.

We only spent about 30 minutes down on the platform at the brink. Winter gear is a necessity when visiting Tahquamenon Falls in the winter. Dad is wearing the snow pants and boots that he usually only wears when snow blowing.  On the Way Back UpOn the Way Back UpAfter 30 minutes down at the Brink of the Upper Falls, Dad and I are heading back to the top (94 steps up from the Brink)

I let Dad walk on ahead to the car so that I could get a few more shots of the Falls.  I couldn't resist!  It was just starting to snow when we decided to head back to the car.  Tahquamenon Falls is a beautiful place to visit, in any season.  Even more breathtaking (literally) on a cold winter day!   

Snow in the AirSnow in the AirIt was starting to snow as we left the Upper Falls

Ice Across from the Upper FallsIce Across from the Upper FallsAcross from the Upper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

Upper FallsUpper FallsThe sound of the waterfall is so loud!

Tahquamenon RiverTahquamenon RiverTahquamenon River, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December Partially FrozenPartially FrozenUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

 

 


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