Accessibility – Medium+
Height – 60′ (two drops)
Distance – 1.0 (out and back)
Beauty – 6
Photo rating – 8
Solitude – 9
GPS Info: LAT 35.29275 LONG -82.96065
First Visit: 04-06-2019
Most recent visit: 09-11-2020
Yellow Patch Falls is a two-tiered waterfall on Yellow Patch Branch. The two drops total about 60 feet but there is no way to see both at once. The upper section is a sliding cascade and the lower is a steep slide over colorful rock. The area is remote and overgrown so be very careful. Getting to the base of Yellow Patch Falls can be tricky due to numerous cliffs.
Trailhead directions: To reach the trailhead, take US64 West out of Brevard to the intersection with NC215. Headwaters Outfitters is on the corner so you can use this as a reference point (it’s not too far past NC178). Make a right onto NC215 and head North for 14.2 miles and turn left on FR4663. It will look like you’re turning to someone’s driveway but stay to the left and you’ll soon bypass the clutter. Coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway FR4663 will be on your right and it comes up quickly. The road is marked FR4663. Like many Forest Roads, they are subject to closures in the winter so do your research ahead of time to avoid a wasted trip. Follow FR4663 for 6.0 miles, passing FR4663B and FR4663C until the road ends at a large open area.
The hike begins FR4663 heading out of the open area and into the woods. In less than 0.1 of a mile the road will split with FR4663 heading to the right. You want to descend to the left on the gated and overgrown FR4655. Once past the gate you will continue on a downhill trek to a crossing of Yellow Patch Branch at 0.4. Once across the road climbs up the mountain while a narrow path drops down toward the creek. Follow the path toward the creek and get ready to get dirty. There are remnants of an old grade along the upper segment of the creek but it comes and goes, forcing detours to get around areas of downfall and dense growth.
You will have to stay away from the creek since there are cliffs bordering the bank that would be dangerous to descend. Once you pass the brink of the falls the woods will open up slightly, at least enough to get below the lower drop. Once you can see the lower drop, you can pick a spot to drop off the grade to get down to the creek for a closer view. The same type of approach can be made for the upper slide if you want. I am partial to the lower section and on my 09-11-2020 visit, I bypassed the upper slide. The two pieces of the falls are very different.
If you’re continuing on to Wolf Mountain Falls, click here. if you were only coming to see Yellow Patch Falls, reverse the route to the base to get back to your car. You can also climb back to where you left the road at the crossing and take a series of trails to Wolf Mountain Falls but I have not taken this route to comment on what you might encounter. I just know that it would mean going up and down the ridge versus around.