At the Slade (Ky-11) exit off of the Mountain Parkway you will see a rest area and a red caboose next to it. This is the Natural Bridge/Powell County Information Center operated by the Chamber of Commerce. It is an excellent first stop in visiting the area because you will need a free map of the Red River Gorge in order to find all the many...more
An easy half mile hike from the Chimney Top parking lot leads to this very lovely arch. With its 32-foot length and 8-foot height, it is not one of the most spectacular arches, but its gently curved surfaces give the viewer an attractive example of what is known in geologic terms as a finished arch. The trail ends at the top of the arch. If you...more
To accomodate the growing number of visitors to the Red River Gorge Geological Area, the Gladie Cultural-Environmental Learning Center was opened in early 2004. It is owned and operated by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Here you can learn about the cultural heritage, unique resources and spectacular geology of the area. The center offers several...more
The Gladie Cabin, a reconstructed log house, is the only structure in the Gorge that dates back to the late 1800's. It is furnished with authentic period pieces and open for public viewing, administered by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Up the hill from the house is an old barn which displays several pieces of century-old farm equipment which we...more
A narrow gravel road, Chimney Top Scenic Drive, leads about four miles off the KY-715 loop road to the Chimney Top parking area. You will find restrooms here. Cars going in opposite directions on this narrow gravel road can just barely pass one another if it is done at a snails pace.An easy 2/3-mile round trip hike takes takes hikers right to the...more
43 Reviews and Opinions
You will need your own car, truck or motorcycle to see the Red River Gorge because there is no public transportation available.The north entrance to the Gorge is through the 900-feet-long Nada Tunnel, located on Ky. Hwy. 77, just north of Slade. This is the most interesting way to enter the Red River Gorge, and a great place to test your car...more
The only way to get to the Red River gorge is by car.If you plan to camp within the Red River gorge/Daniel Boone National forest, and park overnight at any of the trail-head parking areas, there is a fee, and you must obtain an overnight parking pass from the ranger station.For more information on passes, you can write or call:Stanton Ranger...more
Be careful when hiking as some trails are very narrow. Some of the drops are very high! It is best to stay on the trails and not to wonder off as if something happens to you it would take longer for rescuers to find you. There are many warning signs posted throughout the trails but you must use your own common sense as well.more
A visit to Red River Gorge is an exhilarating experience but also a sobering one when one considers the following facts.In a recent 37 year period:* Volunteers were involved in 1,343 search and rescue missions in the Red River Gorge.* 51 of the victims died. Some had been rock climbing, hang gliding, or just playing too close to the edge.* 450 of...more
Luggage and bags:
Bring your Backpacking gear if you plan to camp or a day pack if you are planning a day excursion.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The Red River Gorge is a very rugged area in Eastern KY. Any time of the year you visit, you should bring your hiking boots and sandals as well as your rock climbing gear (trad and sport).
If you are visiting in the spring/summer, bring along shorts, t-shirts and regular camping attire as well as a light jacket/sweater, and some long pants (it can get cool at night).
In fall/winter, you should pack for winter conditions (winter coat, long underwear, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hats, etc...). It can snow any time from late October to mid-April. But it can also be rather warm during the fall/winter months, so bring along some warmer weather attire as well.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring a first aid kit and tiolet paper. There are some public latrines, but if you are in a more isolated area, they may not be convenient to get to.
In spring through fall, you should bring bug spray and sunscreen, as well as citronela candles or mosquito coils.
Photo Equipment: Bring your camera and a tripod and plenty of film. There are gas stations/convenience stores along the main highway, but they tend to be more expensive than places in the city (Lexington).
You can also bring your video camera, but mak sure you have everything you need, since there aren't really too many places to recharge batteries.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring all your standard camping equipment. There are mostly primitive camping areas, but there are some with restroom facilities and running water. Plan on not having access to electricity unless oyu are staying in a hotel/motel or inn of some kind.
From the Chimney Rock Overlook , look sharply left and you will see a high cliff with a crescent top - hence its name, Half Moon Rock. Half Moon Rock tapers off to the right into the valley and can be reached from there by a hiking trail. Hikers can ascend the rock for splendid 360 degree views of the Gorge.
The high cliffs which which rise behind Half Moon Rock are known as Pinch-Em-Tight-Ridge. The right end of this ridge that overlooks the Gorge is Revenuer's Rock. In the moonshining days before roads were plentiful in the area, federal agents used to scramble up this high point looking for tell-tale traces of smoke rising from the fires of illegal stills hidden in the trees and hollows below.
Sixty miles of hiking trails criss-cross the Red River Gorge, including a section of the 278-mile-long Sheltowee Trace, a National Recreation Trail which traverses the entire length of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Trails within the Gorge lead to many of the geological formations, and also provide the hiker with a chance to see wildlife such as whitetail dear, wild turkey and black bear.
Trails within the Red River Gorge have been designated National Recreation Trails and are open for hiking only. Mountain bikes and all motorized vehicles are prohibited; horses are permitted on designated trails.
Equipment: A comfortable and sturdy pair of walking shoes or hiking boots.