Yellow Creek Falls, North Carolina


Recently David and I set out on a road trip in search of Yellow Creek Falls, just outside of Robbinsville, NC. Starting out on our way into the Nantahala Gorge outside of Andrews, NC, we followed the signs for Robbinsville to the left just before entering the gorge.

From the Family Dollar in Robbinsville, it is about 11 miles to the falls parking lot. The trail is short but don't underestimate this one. It is 0.30 miles of rocks, roots and stumbling blocks! Still, the multiple cascades along the way prior to reaching the falls makes it all worth it. 

There are a few little bridges that you will cross, some sturdier than others, so be mindful. When you reach the falls, there is a lovely, large viewing rock from which to enjoy the beauty and have lunch. We had stopped at the Subway in Murphy, NC and chose to have our sandwiches here. It was divine. (Please always pack out what you pack in and never litter.)
From the falls, we returned via the Cherohala Skyway, a beautiful scenic drive. We stopped to enjoy the fabulous mountain views from the lookout at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest (follow the well marked signs.) Both Clingman's Dome and Mt. Le Conte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were visible on the day we were there.

Other notable sites on the Cherohala are Indian Boundary Lake and Bald River Falls (on the right, and left, respectively as you near the end of the skyway in TN.) The drive along the river to the falls is one of my favorites of all time and well worth the side trip.

We returned from Telico Plains, the TN end of the skyway, via Hwy. 68 into Ducktown, TN then Hwy 60 in McCaysville back to Blue Ridge. If you are staying in Coppertop Ridge you'll want to take Hwy 5 out of McCaysville back to your cabin.

Get out and explore! This is a great, short little hike perfect for older kids (i.e. not toddlers) and adults. Dogs are welcome on leash. Bear are active in the area in season. Never approach nor feed wildlife. (If they see you first, you will never see them so don't let this deter your wandering spirit!

This gorgeous setting in the Nantahala National Forest is a short walk from the highway near Robbinsville and Lake Santeetlah. Reach Yellow Creek Falls via a beautiful short hike through the dense forest and by the cascading creek is about a third of a mile one way. The trail is easy to follow, but there are some uphill sections and roots to navigate. It's also a great swimming hole for all ages in the summer in the chilly, pristine mountain water.

From Robbinsville, drive about 10 miles on US Highway 129 North and look for the parking area on the right. There's room for six or so cars and a sign that you will see AFTER you park.

Along the first part of the hike, there are side trails to the right that gives you a closer look at some of the cascades - some great picnic and book reading spots. You'll cross a couple of bridges and climb over a ridge to reach Yellow Creek Falls.

At the falls, there's a nice boulder for a distant view and a trail that takes you to the 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a serene pool that is safe for wading. Just be careful on any wet rocks and don't try to climb to the top of the falls.

Located in Graham County, it's about 100 miles west of Asheville. It's 19 miles from Fontana Dam and just five miles from Cheoah Point beach at Lake Santeetlah.

Driving Directions
Cell reception is very poor in this area, so don't rely on your phone GPS. The parking area is on US Highway 129, 2.3 miles north of Yellow Creek Road and 4 miles south of the river crossing at Cheoah Dam.


Google Map

Appalachian Trail Rides
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