Yellow Branch Falls

Sumter National Forest, South Carolina, USA

About Yellow Branch Falls

Hiking Distance: 3.4 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 2 hours

Date first visited: 2012-10-15
Date last visited: 2012-10-15

Waterfall Latitude: 34.7955
Waterfall Longitude: -83.13172

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Yellow Branch Falls seemed to be almost like a virtual twin to Issaqueena Falls as they both possessed similar character and they were also similar in height (I believe this one is said to be 40 or 50ft or so and 75ft wide).

However, we had to earn our visit to this waterfall as it involved a bit of a 3-mile out-and-back hike that took us a little over two hours to do at a leisurely pace (including taking photos). The hike was mostly gentle in terms of elevation gain (I believe there was an overall net loss from the trailhead to the falls), and occupying us during the hike were Fall colors from tall trees surrounding the trail as well as a snake sighting. I believe I counted around 3 or 4 stream crossings (I don’t recall if any of them were bridged).

Indeed, hiking to this waterfall was very much like a back-to-Nature experience as it was just us and the tranquil surroundings.

The only thing that disturbed the peace was the presence of loud gunshots echoing and piercing through the tranquility during our hike. We suspect that it was probably due to hunting, but since we’re not familiar with the hunting laws in Upcountry South Carolina, we’re not sure how commonplace it is to be within earshot of hunting activity on this trail.

Like with Issaqueena Falls, we happend to see this waterfall with pretty low flow, and I’d imagine its best volume comes during the Spring or right after a storm. We had to cross the shallow stream one last time in front of the falls to get the full frontal views you see on this page.

Yellow_Branch_Falls_001_20121015 - The car park for the picnic area and trailhead
Yellow_Branch_Falls_003_20121015 - On the official trail now
Yellow_Branch_Falls_004_20121015 - One of the stream crossings
Yellow_Branch_Falls_005_20121015 - On the fairly long trail
Yellow_Branch_Falls_009_20121015 - Still on the trail
Yellow_Branch_Falls_011_20121015 - Almost right at the falls
Yellow_Branch_Falls_031_20121015 - Looking right up towards the top of the falls
Yellow_Branch_Falls_039_20121015 - Julie checks out Yellow Branch Falls


We happened to come to the trailhead for Yellow Branch Falls from Issaqueena Falls. It was only a few minutes drive from there as we rejoined the SC28, then headed south (back towards Walhalla) for about a mile before turning right onto a short road leading to the car park for the Yellow Branch Picnic Area.

Similarly, if you’re coming up from Walhalla (the nearest town to this waterfall), you can follow the same directions as that for Issaqueena Falls (we’ll punt you to that page for exact directions). Except instead of driving north some 5.4 miles on SC28, you only have to go about 4.1 miles on it and look for the signposted “Yellow Branch Picnic Area” sign on your left.

For context, Walhalla was 26 miles (over 30-45 minutes drive) northeast of Toccoa, Georgia, 45 miles (an hour drive) west of Greenville, 93 miles (about 2 hours drive) south of Asheville, North Carolina, and 120 miles (about 2 hours drive) northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

Right to left sweep of the falls starting downstream and then ending at the top of the falls all as seen from close to its base

Slow top down sweep of the falls from a more distant vantage point

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Tagged with: sumter, national forest, walhalla, greenville, south carolina, waterfall, upcountry, issaqueena falls

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