This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-III(V+)
Length 8.3 Miles
Gauge YELLOW DOG RIVER NEAR BIG BAY, MI
Flow Range 90 - 400 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 2 years ago 80 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 09/19/2016 3:44 pm

River Description


From the listed put-in, boaters will likely encounter areas of swiftwater often flowing through overhanging alder. (While there are no major (or barely even significant) rapids here, high water may make passage through overhanging brush that much more problematic!) Pinnacle Falls, a big drop and portage for most sane individuals, is 2 miles into this section. While there are plenty of areas of minor rapids, there are relatively few memorable rapids, making this is a reach which is seldom boated.

It might also be noted that, while maps may show a 'Wylie Falls' about a mile upstream of our recommended put-in, all reports are that it is little more than a beaver dam and minor rapids, not worth the bother to find or boat.

Rapid Descriptions

Wylie Falls

Class - N/A Mile - -1.13
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This is (reportedly) little more than a beaver dam or small ledge, and may not be worth the effort (nor the extra backroads shuttle and flatwater which intervenes). On the other hand, if you happen to find the roads passable to get up river this far (depending on your vehicle and time of year), why not go for it!?!

Pinnacle Falls

Class - N/A Mile - 2.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A steep and jumbled falls will be a portage for the vast majority of boaters at virtually all water levels.

A low-water, summer hike-in video (via YouTube) shows how steep and jumbled the bedrock is. (NOTE: This has been 'cued' to start at 0:15 seconds into the video. If you restart at the beginning, there is a brief look at "Hills Falls", the first drop of the lower section of the Yellow Dog River.)

Comments

Gage Descriptions

As of November, 2004, a USGS gauge exists right at the recommended put-in for this reach.

** We have not run this reach since the gauge was installed, therefore the listed values (Min/Max) are very tentative. PLEASE, anyone who runs this, add a comment here or post to a message board with date and gauge level and boatability evaluation (low/moderate/high) so we can fine tune the min/max.

A boaters gauge has been painted at the CR510 (take-out) bridge on the upstream right side vertical support wall. It can easily be read from standing on the bridge and looking down at the gauge.

The old Paddler's gauge at this location was three bolts in an I-beam. Only one showing (or no bolts, but lower than top of I-beam) is optimum.

A few data points (subject to change):
5.29' 200 cfs
5.05' 150 cfs
4.77' 100 cfs
4.70' 90 cfs

Permits

NA

Directions Description


The put-in is pretty remote, in what is known as the "Yellow Dog Plains". Early season runs are likely to find the roads up here impassible, either due to snow or ruts, on dirt/sand/gravel roads. (On my first/only trip up here, we reached an impassible point on AAA Road, and had to hike in the rest of the way.) If the roads are clear and in good shape (or your vehicle has 4WD and good clearance) you may be able to drive to the river, either at the listed put-in or upstream nearer Wylie Falls.

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

user-avatar

Matt Muir

user-avatar

Rob

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192410 05/22/06 n/a n/a
1196749 11/23/09 Rob Fix/remove broken links.
1206873 09/19/16 Rob embed video; minor edits