Big Garlic, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||80 fpm|
|Max Gradient||130 fpm|
|YELLOW DOG RIVER NEAR BIG BAY, MI|
|usgs-04043275||160 - 500 cfs||III-V||1y177d19h38m||~ 80 cfs (too low)|
|Almost certainly too low for whitewater run. Big Garlic is exactly half the drainage of the Yellow Dog at its gauge, so flows *could* be about half that gauge. Correlation is not assured.|
Location: 13 miles NW of Marquette.
Shuttle Length: 4.7 miles. (See details in "Directions" Tab.)
Character: Northwoods bobble, with chunks of gradient in ledges and slides.
Put-in is approximately 964' elevation.
Take-out is approximately 648' elevation.
Thus total elevation change is approximately 316'.
This tiny river tends to take its gradient in big chunks. There are four sections of elevated gradient, each dropping 50-60' fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, the lower portion of the first good gradient sequence is essentially unrunnable due to an overhanging rock at the bottom of a tight, steep slot/flume. (Can you say 'high speed cranial impact'?)
The not-so-steep portions of the run are essentially a pleasant bobble through the woods, and are fairly clear of wood for a stream this small. However, logs tend to gather in quantity in some of the drops, rendering them unrunnable in part or whole. As a result (when we were there) a wonderful sliding drop mid-run had a huge tree across midway down, so we had to settle for sliding off shore to run just the bottom half.
The final big drop may be runnable at some flows, but most of the water slides into an
overhanging wall in such a way as to dissuade most folks at most flows. This falls could be seen
by walking several hundred yards up from the 550 bridge but keep in mind that here (as along much
of this run) the property is privately held.
Bottom line? We did it once, and it was interesting to explore and see its drops, but it's doubtful it will make anyone's 'must do again' list.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|2.6||Confluence, unnamed creek||N/A|
|6.2||USGS sampling site||N/A|
An unnamed (on maps I find online) creek enters from river-right. If you take note of it, it signals your approach to the next good shot of gradient/falls.
Have a look at the main slide in this sequence at Waterfalls of the Keweenaw.
USGS lists a sampling site showing drainage at this location of 15.9 square miles.