Auxier Ridge Trail #204

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Double Arch View from Auxier

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Auxier Ridge Trail #204, on Cumberland District, follows a high, narrow ridge 2.1 miles to its end where you can view popular Red River Gorge geologic formations like Double Arch, Haystack Rock, Courthouse Rock, and Raven Rock. Sheer cliffs extend on both sides of the ridge.


  • Auxier Ridge Trail #204 is part of the Auxier Ridge Trail system which includes Courthouse Rock Trail #202,  Auxier Branch Trail #203, and Double Arch Trail #201
  • After completing Auxier Ridge Trail #204, you can backtrack or take the moderately difficult 2.25-mile Courthouse Rock Trail #202 to return to the parking lot. ‚ÄčThis loop will take you down below the ridgeline along an old logging road to a large rock formation resembling a courthouse.The area is scenic and rich with diverse native flora.
  • Alternatively, you can follow the popular 5-mile (8 km) loop that combines Auxier Ridge Trail #204 with Auxier Branch Trail #203 back to the parking lot. This loop has ridgetop views combined with a descent to Auxier Branch where wildflowers and ferns line the trail among tall poplars and beech trees. Add some breathtaking views by following the 0.5-mile spur Double Arch Trail #201 out to Double Arch.

Nature Viewing

  • Enjoy beautiful scenic views of the Red River Gorge, Courthouse Rock, Double Arch, wildflowers, beech tress, and much more.
  • The trail system includes four trails with scenic ridge top views, a natural arch, unique geologic features and tranquil creek bottoms.

Dispersed Camping

  • We recommend making your camp elsewhere in the Red River Gorge as the ridge top along Auxier Ridge Trail is too narrow to get the required 300 feet away from the trail. 

Download the Auxier Ridge Trail System Guide and Map

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open
Fees No fee for trail use.
Permit Info: A Special Use Permit is required for commercial activities (for example: fishing tournaments, boat rentals, trail rides, outfitter guides, races, etc). A permit is also required for all noncommercial group uses involving more than 75 people.
Open Season: Open all year
Restrictions: This trail is developed for hiking only. 
  • Alcohol use prohibited: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. KRS 222.202; (Order DB-02-15)
  • Parking is restricted to paved pull-offs marked with large "P" signs, along KY 715 and KY 77. (Order DB-02-15)
  • No camping in rock shelters. Camping and campfires are prohibited within 100 feet from the base of any cliff or rock shelter. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Graffiti is prohibited. Do not chisel, carve or spray paint. Damaging, altering or defacing any archaeological resource or natural feature is prohibited under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and 36 CFR 296.4 and 261.9.
  • Shortcutting a switchback on trails is prohibited. (Order DB-08-15)
Closest Towns: Slade, KY
Passes: No fee for trail use. $3/day; $5/3 days; $30/annual pass. All vehicles on KY 15 or in the Red River Gorge and Indian Creek area north of KY 15 must display a recreation permit for backcountry camping between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center:
Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380

General Information


This trail does not meet accessibility standards for persons with disabilities. 



Traveling east on the Mountain Parkway, take exit 33 at Slade. Turn left and then right onto KY 15. Travel east 3.2 miles to Tunnel Ridge Road on the left. Follow Tunnel Ridge Road about 3 miles to its terminus at the Auxier Ridge parking area.


Parking is available at the Auxier Ridge Parking area on Tunnel Ridge Road. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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