Grab your hiking boots, and a camera, then hike to the highest waterfall in Kentucky – Yahoo Falls. Venture into the heart of the Big South Fork National Recreation Area along the Yahoo Falls hiking trail and you’ll be greeted by the luscious forest, and welcomed by all the plants and critters that call it home. The birds will chirp and sing to celebrate your appearance while the babbling brook bubbles with excitement. Welcome to Yahoo Falls trail.
Getting to yahoo falls hiking trail
Yahoo Falls GPS Coordinates Kentucky: 36.769N 84.51056W
Take Ky. Hwy. 700 off U.S. Hwy. 27 at Whitley City (the highway turns left at the Marathon Food Mart). Follow the highway to the gravel road that leads 1.5 miles to the Yahoo Falls picnic area and trailhead where you’ll find good parking. A reminder not to leave anything of value in your car while you’re off hiking. Much to Logan’s relief, there are restrooms available as well.
If you’re a wildlife lover you may get lucky and spot animals that are known to roam the area, including white-tailed deer, bobcats, gray fox, and elk. A network of trails surrounds the waterfall, offering many options for hiking. The complete loop, which descends into the creek bottom, beneath the waterfall, then climbs back to the top of the hill and crosses Yahoo Creek above the waterfall, is a scenic one-mile hike that is well worth the effort. The trail is rated as moderate in difficulty, but its brevity makes it a relatively easy hike.
Yahoo Falls short loop
- 1- mile
- 30 minutes
- Out and back
- Good for hiking and walking
yahoo falls, arch, and Markers arch
- 5 – mile
- 2.18 hours
- Out and back
- Great for hiking and trail running
yahoo falls trail via trail 602
- 3.6 – miles
- 1.4 hours
- Out and back
- Dog-friendly, heavy traffic
Yamacraw-Yahoo Falls backcountry
- 23.6 – miles
- 9.12 hours
- Good for fishing, backpacking
Best Time to Hike Yahoo Falls trail
Yahoo falls trail is open all year-round and is lovely to visit anytime. However, I would recommend visiting in the spring. After a good rain, the falls are at their highest water volume. Autumn is also a good time because the lush forest canopy is transformed into red, yellow, and orange colors. We visited in the summer of mid-June, and as you can see the falls were barely more than a trickle. But that didn’t take away from their beauty.
What Makes yahoo falls hiking trail Great
The trail to Yahoo Falls is filled with beautiful scenery, and striking caves while the creek provides calming background music. We spent quite a bit of time exploring the caves along the hiking trail. The rocks scattered throughout one of the caves were neon-colored, matching the bright streaks across the cave ceiling. It felt like we were in the Aladin movie cave of wonder.
You can walk right up to the base of the falls and go behind the falls giving you a unique perspective. Yahoo falls cascade down in front of one of the park’s largest rock houses too. What we liked about this hike in Kentucky is that it wasn’t nearly as crowded as Cumberland Falls. We only passed 2, maybe 3 other couples/groups on our way there and back, so that was nice and felt more private so we could immerse ourselves in nature.