Little Garlic - Unnamed Road to Big Bay Road (5.62 miles)


Little Garlic, Michigan, US

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Unnamed Road to Big Bay Road (5.62 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5.62 Miles
Avg. Gradient 52 fpm
Max Gradient 90 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
YELLOW DOG RIVER NEAR BIG BAY, MI
usgs-04043275 180 - 600 cfs II-IV 57d13h47m ~ 80 cfs (too low)
Almost certainly too low for whitewater run. Drainage (a bit below take-out) is just under half the Yellow Dog at its gauge, so flows here *could* be just under half that gauge. Correlation not assured.


River Description

With its sister river, the Big Garlic, right nearby, one would expect the Little Garlic might be substantially smaller. However, former USGS sampling locations for each show drainages to be (surprisingly) substantially the same! (Both are right aroung 15 square miles at or below Big Bay Road / 550.) The Big Garlic may have fewer branches, thus perhaps keeping more drainage area further up its watershed (to its listed put-in point), but photos of the falls on the Little Garlic look interesting! Still, we suspect this (like its sister run) is likely to be something folks may do once (to see and experience its falls), but say "Never again".

Have a look at Little Garlic Falls at Waterfalls of the Keweenaw.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-01 01:20:57

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-1.9Possible access pointN/A
-1.6Possible Access PointN/A
-1.4Possible alternate accessN/A
-0.5Private FootbridgeN/A
-0.3Private FootbridgeN/A
0.9RapidsN/A
1.1Minor rapidsN/A
1.3Little Garlic FallsIV
2.6BridgeN/A
5.7USGS sampling siteN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Possible access point (Class N/A, Mile -1.9)

GoogleMaps shows a road or trail crossing the river at this point. However, I am unable to verify that via the satellite image, which shows no perceivable break in the trees.



Possible Access Point (Class N/A, Mile -1.6)

Satellite view appears to show a road (fording the stream -- no bridge) at this point. Oddly this does not show as a road on 'Map' view.

Unfortunately, the Satellite view seems to have been taken with trees in full-leaf, and the river is almost entirely obscured in these upper reaches. That may or may not reflect on how small and wooded up the stream is this far upstream, but it does weigh heavily on our decision to recommend put-in further downstream.



Possible alternate access (Class N/A, Mile -1.4)

This is a trib of the Little Garlic (though it actually appears to be slightly longer/larger than the Little Garlic upstream of the confluence). If it appears boatable at this road crossing, it may be a better choice for put-in.

Downstream, be on the lookout for at least one footbridge which may or may not have adequate clearance to pass under with boatable flows. Also anticipate that deadfall and snags are likely more of a problem than they may be on the main run.

Our listed put-in (the footbridge on the Little Garlic proper) is about 0.25 mile up from confluence with this tributary. We therefore measure up the tributary 0.25 miles before listing our (upstream/negative) distances on this trib (so that the distance listed reflects how much this would actually add to the listed run length).



Private Footbridge (Class N/A, Mile -0.5)

Actually 0.73 upstream of confluence. (Again, distance is being listed to reflect that the listed put-in on Little Garlic is 0.25 upstream of that confluence, thus we subtract that distance to show that if one were to put in at this location, it would add just the listed distance to the run mileage.)



Private Footbridge (Class N/A, Mile -0.3)

Actually 0.5 upstream of confluence. (Again, distance is being listed to reflect that the listed put-in on Little Garlic is 0.25 upstream of that confluence, thus we subtract that distance to show that if one were to put in at this location, it would add just the listed distance to the run mileage.)



Rapids (Class N/A, Mile 0.9)

A house on river-right just after a 90-degree left bend signals a rapids.



Little Garlic Falls (Class IV, Mile 1.3)

There is a fine sequence of ledges, slides, and falls starting here.

A bit of description and a couple of photos are at: Waterfalls of the Keweenaw.



Bridge (Class N/A, Mile 2.6)

There is trailhead parking just 0.1 mile from this bridge, making it a handy location for access for shorter trips.

Running from put-in as listed down to here gives a run of 2.57 miles with ~54 FPM overall, but with some steep gradient and named falls.

From here down to listed take-out would be a trip of ~3 miles at ~46 FPM with no apparent steep gradient or named falls.



USGS sampling site (Class N/A, Mile 5.7)

USGS lists a sampling site at this location with drainage area of 15 square miles.




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