The Rugged Hike to Pinnacle Falls

Location: West of Big Bay, Michigan

There is nothing easy about Pinnacle Falls. Just getting to the parking area can be a challenge. Winding dirt roads with few to no signs marking the way. But for those with the spirit of adventure, Pinnacle Falls is well worth the trek.

Located on the Yellow Dog River, Pinnacle Falls is protected by the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. Their mission is to preserve “the Yellow Dog Watershed in its most natural state for the use of the public, now, and for the benefit for future generations.” The falls and the surrounding area are open to the public.

After parking, the fun begins. Down step hills and through thick brush, the trail descends into the gorge before following the Yellow Dog River upstream. A short but rough 1/4 mile later, the 25 foot tall Pinnacle Falls. Tumbling over jagged rock and into a wide pool, this waterfall is one of our favorite summer spots to visit.

After enjoying the cool waters of the Yellow Dog, with a bit of determination and careful footing, we like to climb the rocky cliff side and get to the top of Pinnacle Falls.

A small timber crib left over from old logging days still exists, creating a mini waterfall on it’s own.

Beyond the waterfall, the area opens up to pine forests, rocky cliffscapes, and more beautiful views of the wild Yellow Dog River.

This area is exceptional. Rugged, isolated, and with stunning views, Pinnacle Falls has so much more to offer than just the waterfall. It may be hard to get to, but the best things in life are never easy.

Getting There

Getting there is tricky. Navigation doesn’t work very well, especially on maps like Google. Google hasn’t updated their map since Triple A was “rebuilt” and paved.

From Big Bay, head south towards Marquette on 550. Just outside of town, about 2 miles, turn onto Co Rd 510.

At about 2.6 miles, continue straight onto Triple A.

Follow Triple A for about 5 miles and then turn left onto AAC. This is before the Eagle Mine. There is a sign for a business on the corner.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Continue straight until the second right. Continue straight, avoiding any turn offs. At some point you will see a sign with an arrow that says Pinnacle Falls. Follow the sign. This will lead you to the parking area and “trail” head.

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