Yahoo Falls Overnight Loop

Whitley City, Kentucky 42653

Yahoo Falls Overnight Loop

Yahoo Falls Overnight Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This section of the Trace travels the stretch of the Big South Fork River corridor in which where the river is impounded as part of Lake Cumberland, passing a trail shelter and old homesite before entering the Yahoo Falls Scenic Area, the northernmost end of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Yahoo Falls, the highest waterfall in the state of Kentucky at 113feet, is the centerpiece of this picturesque spot. A set of short interconnected paths in the Yahoo Falls Scenic Area leads past rock monoliths, overlooks, and other cascades.

The loop then enters the Daniel Boone National Forest along Yahoo Creek, passing Yahoo Arch before climbing to dry ridgetop woodlands. A side trip leads to yet another arch formation, Markers Arch. The loop then joins the Negro Creek Trail, descending along a deep valley and returning to the Big South Fork Gorge. Once in the gorge, backpackers retrace their steps along the Sheltowee Trace to Yamacraw. Outstanding Features: Highest falls in Kentucky, old homesite, arches, and overlooks"

Yahoo Falls Overnight Loop Trip Reports

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Great backpacking trip for our Scouts. The trail markers show longer mileages than the trail guide, but generally very close to as described. We stretched out our first day to be able to camp at the shelter at mile 4.4, and make the second day a little shorter. Many different streams supplied ample water supply. The first 3/4 of a mile had a few trees down but not impassable. Nice trip!
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It was a wonderful trek for our Scout's. It is a vigorous hike with a long up hill climb from the Sheltowee trail up to the falls and arch. After the Yahoo Falls area though on top of the ridge until you cross KY700 lots of dead fall from recent wind storms. There is something beautiful to see the whole trip, water falls, rock houses, over looks, Big South Fork River, even an adorondak near Alum Ford Boat Launch. We came in late on Friday night camped at Alum Ford Campground, left our vehicles there and spent the night on the decent down from Ky 700 about 2 miles before the merge back with the Sheltowee Trace.
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A decent trail--though the beginning (and end) are fairly marred with ATV tracks, once you start on the loop itself, the trail gets much prettier. Near Negro Creek, be careful--the trail goes into US Forest Service territory and isn't as well marked, particularly at the power lines. Look for a painted on sign on one of the posts at the power lines.

Yahoo Falls Overnight Loop Photos

Trail Information

Whitley City
Nearby City
600 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
8.25 hours
Year-round; best spring through fall
700 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,300 feet
Top Elevation
Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail, Daniel Boone National Forest
Local Contacts

Trail Log