Monday, January 23, 2012

Bonanza Falls - Silver City, Michigan

Big Iron River
Silver City, MI

Located just down the road from the entrance to the Porcupine Mountains, Bonanza Falls is something of a hidden gem. Since it is technically outside of the park, it isn't included on much of their literature. I first found out about the falls from Penrose's "198 Michigan Waterfalls" book. I fell in love with the location on my first visit, and have been back seven times over the past four years. Among the things that keep me coming back: easy access to the falls, very little traffic at the falls, abundant wildlife and probably above all the complexity and uniqueness of these falls.
I've never seen these falls at "high" water, so the upper section of the falls splits into two sections: the one seen above and the one seen below:
The way the slate rock comes up at an angle here makes for multiple water drops, and also provides a way to cross the river if water levels are low. If you're ready for more, follow the trail down the east bank for even more sets of drops, it's hard to do this scene justice with a photograph.
During our visits, we have seen deer and eagles in the area as well as evidence of bear and other mammals visiting the falls.

Getting there: from the intersection of M-107 and M-64 just outside Silver City, go about a mile south on M-64 and look for a dirt road on the west side of the road. This short road has an informative sign about the history of the area and Bonanza Falls (also called Greenwood Falls) itself. There is a parking area near the top of the falls, use caution as the trail to the bottom of the upper section has some steep slides and drops.

Overall: Amazing
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

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