Laughing Whitefish Falls

May 2005

State: Michigan

Location: Laughing Whitefish Scenic Site, 30 miles from Munising

Height: 100

Crest: 15?

Water Source: Laughing Whitefish River

Waypoint: 46.38389N 87.06833W

Summary: This long and tall slide is one of the tallest waterfalls in Michigan. Definitely worth a visit in the spring. Later in the year the water may get thin enough to be hardly visible. It is a little out of the way, but not too far from the many waterfalls in the Munising area. This is another of the many Lake Superior waterfalls.

Laughing Whitefish Falls is in the Laughing Whitefish Scenic Site. This is one of the most impressive of Michigan's waterfalls. I believe it is the highest waterfall in Michigan that is readily visitable.

The falls can be found off of M-94, about 30 miles from Munising or Marquette, and just outside of Chatham. You will see lots of Finnish place names as you head towards the falls. From 94, turn north onto Sundell and drive for about 2.8 miles. The paved road ends and you have to drive on a rather bumpy dirt road for a quarter mile before seeing the sign for the falls. Turn right at the sign. There are bathrooms and a picnic area at the parking area. A well groomed mile long trail leads you to the top of the falls. A large staircase takes you to the bottom, with a nice observation deck along the way.

The waterfall is a long slide. It looks bigger in person than in the pictures. That may be a result of having to walk down all those stairs to get to the bottom. I was first there on a rainy day in May when there was a lot of water flowing. I have seen pictures of the falls with even more water flowing. In drier weather the water may spread so thinly across the rocks to be hardly visible. On my second visit it was sunny. The brightness of the falls makes it hard to photograph.

The waterfall is named for the river. The river is so named because the mouth of the river resembled a laughing fish when viewed by the Ojibwe from Lake Superior.

[Lake Superior] [Alger County] Nearby Falls

Rock River Falls can also be found off of MI-94. Munising Falls, Wagner Falls and the many other waterfalls in the Munising area are 30 miles to the east.

Photo Gallery

May 13, 2004

May 13, 2004

Halfway down the stairs

Looking down from the top

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