I visited Gabbro Falls just over two years ago during the beautiful fall colors season in the Upper Peninsula, and I was both surprised and impressed! The Black River in the westernmost county of the Upper Peninsula is one of the not-to-miss rivers. Along a portion of the National Scenic Drive, you’ll find five waterfalls within just a few miles of each other. During the fall season, it’s spectacular!
And yet, there’s another waterfall that is considerably further upstream that doesn’t get as much attention, and yet it’s equally as impressive. Gabbro Falls is only a few miles outside of Ironwood, and almost equidistant from Bessemer and Wakefield, both east of Ironwood. When I visited the Upper Peninsula in September 2010, it had just rained profusely, so much so that the waterfalls were intense, to say the least. Gabbro Falls may have been at its most voluminous. The fall colors made it a sight to behold!
I had absolutely no chance to explore whether there was a way to get to the base of the falls because of the high flow. At that time, there was virtually no option to do that, so the photographs were taken from the side and the crest.
- As you’re headed east out of Ironwood along US-2, you’ll pass through Bessemer.
- A few miles east of Bessemer, you’ll find Blackjack Road on your left. Turn left onto Blackjack Road.
- Go 1.5 miles along Blackjack Road, following it to the left as it veers across the Black River.
- After crossing the bridge over the Black River, veer left and start going uphill (to the left of a ski area).
- Opposite of the building along this road is the short trail that leads to the falls. If I remember correctly, it is not extremely obvious, so it may help to open the window and listen for the rush of water. Park at the edge of the road, and hike to the falls.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Gabbro Falls?