Red River Gorge Scenic Byway

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Red River Gorge Scenic Byway

Photo by Ehrlif, Adobe Stock

Take a journey through the natural wonders of the Red River Gorge Geological Area. The Red River Gorge is a popular destination area for backcountry camping, canoeing, hiking and rock climbing. The byway is approximately 46 miles long with travel time of approximately one hour. Allow extra time to stop and enjoy some of the points of interest along the way.

Attractions on the byway include the Gladie Visitor Center, Nada Tunnel, and views of stone arches or unique rock formations. Portions of the byway also parallel the Red River, a designated wild and scenic river. Step into the gorge and experience the natural beauty by exploring one of the many overlooks and trails which lead to stone arches and waterfalls or take you below the cliffline deep into the gorge.

Vehicles larger than 12 feet wide or 12 feet tall should enter the Gorge from the KY 715 end of the byway, or from the north side on KY 77. Large vehicles may not be able to pass through Nada Tunnel.

America's Byways® is the umbrella term used for the collection of 150 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. America's Byways include the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. The Red River Gorge Scenic Byway is a part of this collection.

Avenza Digital Maps

A Red River Gorge digital map is available from the Avenza Maps online map store. For the best user experience, use our maps within a GPS-enabled mobile app such as Avenza Maps. To find a map, go to Avenza's Get Maps page and search to locate a map.

At a Glance

Fees None
Permit Info: Any vehicles left overnight at scenic byway trailheads should display an overnight camping recreation permit. A fee
Open Season: Open all year
Restrictions:
  • 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.
  • Campfire must be DEAD OUT before leaving. You will be held liable for suppression costs if your campfire starts a wildfire.
  • No camping within 300 feet of any developed road, trail or Tunnel Ridge Road and its associated parking lots; no camping within 600 feet of Grays Arch. (Order 12-02-15)
  • No climbing or rappelling within 300 feet of Sky Bridge, Grays Arch, Nada Tunnel, or Chimney Top Rock overlooks. (Order 12-03-15)
  • Prohibited: Possessing or operating a motor vehicle on roads, trails and areas not designated for that purpose on Motorized Vehicle Use Maps. 36 CFR 261.13.
  • Shortcutting a switchback on trails is prohibited. (Order DB-08-15)
  • Clifty Wilderness: The following are prohibited: motorized or mechanized equipment, possessing or using a wagon, cart, bicycle or other vehicle, and entering or being in a designated Wilderness as part of a group of more than ten people. (Order DB-05-15)
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380
606-663-8100
859-488-1413

General Information

Accessibility:

The toilets at the trailheads along the scenic byway are accessible. An accessible overlook is provided at Sky Bridge.


Parking:

Parking is available at the trailheads along the scenic byway. 


Activities


Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Scenic Driving

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recarea/?recid=39552