Hiking & Camping


The Red River Gorge Geological Area

The Red River Gorge is a beautiful, scenic natural area of federally-designated National Forest. The region boasts spectacular rock features, towering cliffs and plenty of adventure related attractions for visiting guests. There are over 300 documented rock arches including well-known landmarks such as Natural Bridge, Sky Bridge, Auxier Ridge, Chimney Top Rock and Grays Arch. With over 60 miles of hiking trails, there is plenty for the experienced backpacker to the leisurely hiker with children to explore in Red River Gorge.

Camping Passes

There is no fee for hiking trail use. A backcountry pass is required for any overnight camping and must be displayed in your vehicle between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Passes are $5/day, $8/3 days and $50/annual pass.

Passes can be purchased at the following locations:

Go Time: 12056 Camption Rd

Park and Save: 12187 Campton Rd

Daniel Boone Coffee Shop: 769 Natural Bridge Rd.

Trails End Liquor Store: 940 Natural Bridge Rd.

Corner Marathon & Food Market: 111 Hwy 715

Pine Ridge Mart: 4642 Hwy KY 15 North

Airport Market: 633 E. College Ave.

Power Shell Station: 200 South Main St.

Stanton Food Court: 50 W. Pendleton St.

Leave No Trace

The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge State Resort Park. Each principle covers a specific topic to help preserve the natural habitat and protect the wildlife for generations to come. We encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to visit their website for full information at LNT.ORG.

Plan Ahead & Prepare

When outdoor visitors plan ahead and prepare, it helps to accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land.

Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces

The goal of travel outdoors is to move through natural areas while avoiding damage to the land, foliage, or waterways.

Dispose of Waste Properly

The waste humans create while enjoying outdoor spaces can have severe impacts if not disposed of properly.

Leave What You Find

The items we find in nature have a role to play, either in the ecosystem or the story of the landscape. Leaving what we find in place helps to preserve both.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Wildfires threaten outdoor spaces and are primarily caused by humans. We can minimize campfire impacts by keeping fire etiquette and safety in mind.

Respect Wildlife

Whenever you are in an outdoor space, you are in the natural habitat of many wild animals and should work to minimize your impact on them.

Be Considerate to Others

One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward others. It helps everyone enjoy their outdoor experience.

7 Principles

Top 10 Hiking Essentials

The National Parks and Forestry Service provide a very important list of 10 categories of essential items to bring on any outdoor adventure. We encourage all hikers and overnight campers to review this list before embarking on your Red River Gorge adventure. to learn more, visit the National Park Service website.

Navigation: Maps, Compass, GPS
Navigation systems are used when planning your route before your trip, and when you need help orienting yourself in your surroundings during your activity. Know how to use a topographical or relief map as well as your compass or GPS unit before going out.
Sun Protection: Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Hat
Navigation systems are used when planning your route before your trip, and when you need help orienting yourself in your surroundings during your activity. Know how to use a topographical or relief map as well as your compass or GPS unit before going out.
Insulation: Jacket, Hat, Gloves, Rain Shell, thermal Underwear
Nature is unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions. Pack an extra layer of clothing that reflects the most extreme conditions you could encounter.
Illumination: Flashlight, Lanterns, Headlamp
Lighting is indispensable in the outdoors where no conventional light sources can be found. Items include flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps. Headlamps are the preferred light source because they are hands-free. Be sure to pack extra batteries.
First-Aid Supplies: First Aid Kit
Be prepared for emergencies by packing first-aid supplies with you. Start with a pre-made kit and modify it to fit your trip and your medical needs. Check the expiration date on all items and replace them as needed. Consider including an emergency guide in case you are faced with an unfamiliar medical emergency.
Fire: Matches, Lighter, Fire Starters
Fire can be an emergency signal and a heat source for cooking and staying warm. Pack matches (preferably waterproof) and fire starters – items that catch fire quickly and sustain a flame (e.g. lighter). Familiarize yourself with the fire use regulations of your park before heading out.
Repair Kit & Tools: Duct Tape, Knife, Screwdriver, Scissors
Carry a basic repair kit with you to help repair equipment. The kit should include items such as duct tape, a knife, and scissors. Consider packing a multi-tool, a compact version of many tools that can include a knife, screwdriver, can opener, etc. Be sure to bring any tools specific to your trip and your activity.
Nutrition: Food
You should always be prepared for the possibility of changes to your trip plans. Pack an extra day’s supply of food, preferably no-cook items that have good nutritional value in order to keep your energy high. Salty and easy to digest snacks (e.g. trail mix, nuts, and granola bars) work well for outdoor activities.
Hydration: Water, Water Treatment
Staying hydrated on your trip is of utmost importance! Physical activity increases your risk of dehydration (loss of water and salts from the body), which can lead to negative health consequences. If you’re active outdoors (hiking, biking, running, swimming, etc.), especially in hot weather, you should drink water often and before you feel thirsty. Prepare your water before you need it and do not allow yourself to become dehydrated. Before heading out on your trip, be sure to identify if there are any bodies of water at your destination that you could collect water from and treat using your water treatment supplies.
Emergency Shelter: Tent, Blanket, Tarp, Bivy
Shelter is one of the most important elements during an emergency survival situation. It can protect you from severe weather conditions and exposure to the elements. A tent, tarp, bivy sack, or emergency space blanket are all light weight options for emergency shelter.

Get Your Trail Map Today

The Red River Gorge is a unique, scenic natural area that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Spectacular rock features, including sandstone arches and towering cliffs, are just part of the attraction.

Popular Landmarks

Watch these introduction videos to some of the trails and rock features that you will find in the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge area of Eastern Kentucky. With miles of hiking trails, there is plenty to explore on your outdoor adventure.

Natural Bridge

Auxier Ridge

Grays Arch

Chimney Top Rock

Sky Bridge

Angels Windows