Wren Falls (2021)

Another stop in Iron County, and another location that I hadn’t fully explored on my last trip. Wren Falls sure had a lot of new things to show me today compared to what I saw in the summer of 2019. Weather was perfect and colors right now are near peak – can’t think of a better place to be so let’s go!

Overall this isn’t a difficult or long hike, the only exception being if you choose to go down the cliff to see the falls. Start of the trail goes up a small incline but even this photo makes it look bigger than it really is.

Once up top you can easily see the falls down below and through the trees. There’s a fire ring here and plenty of room for camping (and in fact on my last visit there was a family of 20 people here taking the whole area). There are a few spots to go down but the least dangerous one is directly next to the cliff nearest the falls.

Here’s the view nearest to the falls. Overall drop is about 15 feet. Water levels are slightly low due to the season, but it doesn’t seem this one ever runs dry. I doubt there is a bad time to visit.

I walked a short distance downstream along the stones on the shore. Here’s a wider view of the area and the tall cliffs surrounding the falls.

Here’s a zoomed in view from that same spot. I played around with long exposure settings from here – keep reading to see the results.

After I was done playing with the camera it was time to go back up top and see what else I could find. In 2019 the other visitors were blocking the area around the fire ring and I couldn’t tell if the trail continued on. This time I was the only person here, and it was abundantly clear what I missed: The North Country Trail runs right through this spot!

I walked the trail and took a peek over the steep cliff edges but it’s hard to see anything safely, much less take photos. What I could see was the amazing foliage colors in all directions.

After a couple hundred yards I found a huge bridge that spanned the entire width of the Tyler Forks River and looks to have been built quite recently. I had no idea any of this was here!

A small plaque at the foot of the bridge dedicates this as the Bill Thomas Bridge (in memoriam) – built in 2019. I wonder how long after my last trip this was erected?

Views standing on the bridge and looking back upstream reveal some additional rapids, falls, and big rock formations.

Here’s a closer look at the larger of the rapids. Appears to drop a couple feet but it’s hard to estimate distance from so far above.

Looking further upstream you can see how steep the cliffs are. There are other rapids and possibly small falls directly behind that center rock.

Turning 180° and looking downstream, there are no additional falls but the sights are no less magnificent. I was losing sunlight fast otherwise I would have hiked the other shoreline or wherever the trail ultimately leads to. Appears that wasn’t in the cards today and I’ll have to come back another time.

Long Exposure

Here’s the best long exposure I could get of the main falls. I tried a variety of time lengths and exposures and this one at 10 seconds came out best.


Here’s a video of my hike, the main falls, and the area downstream. You can see a bit more of those rapids hidden behind the downstream rocks if you look closely.

Hiking Data

I dropped the ball today with recording my hike. By the time I reached the bridge, I realized it hadn’t been running at all. So this track is only from the bridge back to the trailhead. One point of interest: notice how Gaia’s trail map doesn’t match my track? I wonder how much of the NCT didn’t exist here in 2019 and maybe that’s why it isn’t shown. That would also explain why I didn’t see it last time. Hmm.

Looking at the statistics you can see it isn’t a very long hike. Even if I had remembered to start the recording I doubt it would have been more than a mile including going down the cliff. My next visit will be much longer and I will leave time to explore that other shoreline.

Lat = 46.3978081 , Long = -90.5079575 -- Show at Google Maps

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