Yahoo Falls Trail

MODERATE 123 reviews

Yahoo Falls Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whitley City, Kentucky that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
646 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

hiking
8 days ago

We did this today and the views and hike were great. Only downfall was the ticks!! We sprayed boots, pants and socks and just pulled 20 baby size ticks off of the wife.

It is a beautiful place. You can see the falls with a much shorter hike though. (I have done both hikes.) If you go to the main entrance for Yahoo Falls there is a small parking lot and bathrooms. From this point it is only about 1/2 mile to the falls. You can cross over at the top of the falls (just don't take the path that says it goes to the arch) and take a trail down to the bottom of the falls. Very pretty area. There are steps going up if you cross over at the base of the falls...they are real "thigh-burners"...or go back up the path you came down. Makes for a nice, cooler, shorter, kid friendly, hike.

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked this trail back in June for my birthday. I took the metal steps down to where you can pick up the trail to hike along the creek or go on out to the Falls. I took the creek, it seemed less traveled and it gets tight and wet in spots. I actually got off the trail once for a bit but got back on with no problem(yes, a bit of an adrenaline rush). Went up to the Falls and cooled off, went on out to Yahoo Arch and out some of the old road Negro Creek Loop and then back but stayed on the trail that takes you across the top of the Falls. (This is part of a back country trail that hooks into the Sheltowee Trace Trail. You can also stay at Alum Ford Campground as well as the backcountry)

1 month ago

We hiked this trail over the weekend. It was very beautiful, quiet and peaceful. A very beautiful place and we will be going back again

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked the upper rim trail to the falls (not much flow) and returned to the junction for the lower trail down many metal steps into the gorge. The lower trail was much more impressive. Trail signage was minimal and trails were often overgrown. We hiked about two miles.

hiking
2 months ago

June 2018: saw a rattlesnake, bear... and LOTS of TICKS!!

Parked on the side of the road indicated by the trail head, easy to find the trail. The first bit of this trail was overgrown with a lot of brush coming into the path. Almost stepped on a rattlesnake unknowingly, which turned aggressive as we noticed it. A bit startling. The middle of the trail is EPIC, as it consists of cave-like structures and trails that weave through them. The actual waterfall isn’t at the end of this trail, it is about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through. It seems the end of this trail is the parking lot for the scenic overlook trail. On the way back we spotted a large (150+lb) black bear on the trail. Also a bit startling. Lived to tell this tale. Only harm done was two tick bites, sore legs, and some general anxiety as a moderately inexperienced hiker.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked to Makers Arch first. Trail was adequate but a bit overgrown. (1 mile). Then continued to Yahoo Falls. Beautiful rock formations abound once you get into the ridges. The falls is amazing and is worth the hike. However, don't take this hike lightly. I did the 5 plus miles in just a bit over 2 hours. Take water with you and apply bug spray before going into the woods. Although All Trails rates the trail as moderate because of the distance and elevation change it is on the Hard end of Moderate. Great Hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Was a great hike, lots of orange salamanders so watch your step as they hang out on the path. We did the hike to the falls and on to the end about 5.73 miles total. Seen a turtle in the path and a lot of birds in the surrounding woods.

3 months ago

Nice hike. Nice waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Loved the Falls!

hiking
3 months ago

Fun hike with beautiful scenery on way to “highest waterfall in KY”.

hiking
4 months ago

One of the prettiest trails I've hiked. Great for nature photographers, couldn't stop taking pictures.

hiking
5 months ago

the water was flowing really well today. Creek was high, even the BSF was very high. To see another nice falls, when the water is flowing well, don't go up the stairs to the parking lot. Follow the trail to the Sheltowee Trace trail and go around the cliff line (will be on your left). Pass a wooden bridge, look left and there is a nice falls. Once pass the bridge take the trail left and go up the switch backs to the top. This is a short hike and will take you back up to the parking lot.

5 months ago

The falls was running strong as were all the creeks feeding into the falls and river. The upper loop at the top of the falls was too deep to cross without shedding your shoes. We saw at least 6 Red Eft Newts along the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Time this hike just right and you can upgrade the rating to a five star hike. Most of the rating hinges on the flow of Yahoo Creek going over the falls. During droughts, it drys to a trickle. After periods of heavy rain, this waterfall is impressive. Another time to visit is during the a lengthy period of freezing weather. After several days of subfreezing weather, a large cone of ice develops in the plunge pool, below the falls.

Combine this hike with Yahoo Arch, a very underrated arch that is part of a larger system of rock shelters. Unlike Twin Arches, this arch has the appearance of a cave or a former rock shelter that has seen its ceiling collapse after years of erosion.

One word of caution-the trail system at yahoo falls is somewhat confusing. There are several trails that form a ring around Yahoo falls. The park has improved signage at important intersections. Be aware of straying off on unofficial trails. This is high cliff country and not paying attention could cost you big time. Also, be on the lookout for black bears during the warm months. Yahoo falls is also a picnic area, and that tends to draw the bears in looking for a quick meal or handout. Bear sightings are not uncommon during the summer here.

hiking
7 months ago

this is not a long hike but its beautiful when there is water running. we did it on Jan 1 and it was 16 degrees so there was an ice volcano at the bottom. Everyone needs to see this at least once.

7 months ago

So gorgeous! Did this yesterday and it was just us on the trail in the morning! Lot of beautiful scenery and icicles! So cool❤️

hiking
7 months ago

12/30/17 the ice was about 5’ deep ❄️caution to watch out for falling ice

Great trail....easy to follow with a lot of places to stop and gawk at the rocks. Make sure you take the extra time to see Maker Arch. Explore the caves, and take some time at the falls. They are peaceful and inspire one to relax

9 months ago

Get there at sunrise and you will probably be the only one(s) there. Great trails, hard to get lost and you can make it as long or as short as you want, Fall colors were incredible, waterfall is amazing! A+ trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Enjoyed that the way AllTrails had us come in not in the main parking lot. We hiked past the Arches, to the Falls and then back, without ever going to the main parking lot. However from the trailhead to the Arches the trail is has lots of low brush that rub on your legs due to low use.

hiking
10 months ago

We did the Yahoo Falls trail, which was 1.2 miles. The falls, although small at our visit, with the cave, was beautiful.

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Near the falls is fairly heavily trafficked because it is so close to the parking. The falls is nice even though when I went the water was low. But if you take the time to go to the arch you see a lot less people. The arch with the massive cliff next to it is just as impressive, if not more so, than the falls.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Went to the overlook then all the way to the arch. On the return we took the stairs down to the waterfall, where we were really impressed with the scale of the cavern beneath the falls. Beautiful.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Loved it!! Beautiful. Will be back. Moderate with no difficulties.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Hidden gem that features Kentucky's tallest waterfall, giant rock shelters and a nearby natural arch. Lots of wildlife, including black bears.

The easiest option is to take the stairs down, walk through the rock shelter behind the waterfall, then take the switchbacks up to walk over the waterfall. The stairs are no joke - I wouldn't want to take them up.

At the bottom of the steps you can explore the stream and walk along the Sheltowee Trace trail for a bit, too.

It's a humble stream, but if it's rained recently the waterfall is an impressive sight. The rock shelters are also really neat.

After hiking to the top of the falls, it's worth the extra couple miles to check out Yahoo Arch and another rock shelter nearby before heading back to the parking lot.

Trail is not crowded - we saw 3 other groups in 2 hours over Memorial Day weekend. We also saw a black bear!

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

Falls and scenery are beautiful! Wonderful rock formations. Took my kids, ages 5 and 8, they loved it! Will be going back!

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Absolutely beautiful.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Love all the different little trails that take you to other special places. The falls were heavy from all the rain. Weather was great. Make sure to start at the picnic area. Love this trail..

Thursday, April 27, 2017

fantastic waterfall after a rainy few days! you can make this as long or short as you want. very quick to get to the falls if you go straight down the stairs

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