Dead, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||60 fpm|
|Max Gradient||60 fpm|
|DEAD RIVER AT MARQUETTE, MI|
|usgs-04044003||300 - 1000 cfs||III-IV||01h32m||147 cfs (too low)|
|Minimal (summertime/baseline) flows. Gauge (drainage 163 sq.mi.) new in Dec.2016, so cfs conversion may be 'iffy' for a while.|
A flood (May 2003) caused the river to bypass around a dam creating around a thirty foot drop in about a third of a mile. The run is easy to access, as it runs underneath the CR 550 bridge in Marquette. Just park and carry up to the top.
NOTE: Per comment below, the drop as described (and shown in video) no longer exists, as the dam has been restored to operational. As times when flow exceeds plant needs/capacity, a different opportunity may exist in the overflow channel.
We leave this description only for historic reference:
The run starts with Tourist Park falls, a twenty-ish foot drop. Many lines exist. The easiest involves an approach from far river left. A large tongue exists in the middle of a monster hydraulic. This will rocket you down the final slide and into an eddy which is really more of a whirlpool. The "whirlpool" will most likely take you straight into the hydraulic on river right, so paddle hard if you want to avoid it. The rest of the run is a very easy class II-III jaunt (depending on water levels). Many opportunities for play exist (although at any level under 500 cfs the run is fairly shallow and could punish rolls and/or swims).
Overall, this is a great park and huck/ park and play section. It can be easily combined with a run on the Upper Dead, Marquette Carp, Yellow Dog, or other local runs.
Enjoy the following video which starts with just more than a minute of runs of this area before (at 1:10) transitioning into runs of various falls on the Upper Reach of the Dead.
The resolution on Google Maps for this area is excellent. Therefore, we highly recommended going to the 'Map' tab, clicking 'Satellite', zooming in to the maximum resolution available (without losing image), to have a fine 'virtual look' at this reach!
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Drainage: 160 sq.mi.||N/A|
(Based on personal measurement via online planimeter and topomaps.)