Manganese Gorge Falls – A Stunning Waterfall In Copper Harbor
The Copper Harbor area is well-known for its historic attractions (Fort Wilkins, Copper Harbor Lighthouse and mining sites) but it is also home to a number of beautiful natural attractions including the serene waterfall known as Manganese Gorge Falls. This waterfall is incredibly easy to reach as it is just a mile or two from town, and while it won’t blow you away with its water flow, its is stunning in its simplicity as Manganese Creek drops into a deep gorge below.
The total drop here is about 40 feet, but it’s hard to tell that from looking at the top part of the falls shown in the pictures above. The main path leads to a fenced viewing platform, but trees there obscure a good complete view of the falls. There’s also not a great way to get down into the gorge to see the falls from below. We take a well-worn path that leads off to the right and follows the creek upstream to get the views seen here. This path eventually meets one that leads back out to the road, so if you want to skip the viewing area you can walk up the road past the sign for the falls and look for the alternative path. There’s a really good chance you’ll have this place to yourself, and there is a peaceful serenity in the setting. Water flow can vary a great deal seasonally, however in our eight visits here we’ve always had good luck.
Edit/Update June 2015 – We did find a way to get into the gorge below by taking the last dirt road on the left before the road turns and heads uphill. This is a tight road and it ends in a small parking area before a bridge crosses the creek. The photos above show a bit of what the view was like from down there, and there appeared to be the remnants of an old dam as well.
Directions: From US-41 in Copper Harbor head south on 2nd St. Follow this as it passes Lake Fanny Hooe Resort & Campground and becomes Manganese Rd. You’ll go up a hill and make a turn to the right, then you will see the sign below on the left, there’s a widened area for parking on the right.