Red River Gorge Geological Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

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. Outdoor enthusiasts come to the gorge year-round to enjoy hiking, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing and other recreation opportunities.

The Red River Gorge is a federally-designated National Geological Area, National Natural Landmark, National Archaeological District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gorge is also home to the federally-designated Wild and Scenic Red River and Clifty Wilderness.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources regulations allow hunting and trapping in the gorge. All visitors should take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves and pets when using the gorge during hunting and trapping seasons. Inspect all backcountry campsites carefully before using the site. Avoid leaving food debris that may attract small animals. 

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 No fee for trail use.
Permit Info: A Special Use Permit is required for commercial activities (for example: fishing tournaments, rental of boats, 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
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:
  • Food Storage Restrictions are in effect to reduce odors that attract bears. In developed recreation areas, unless cooking or eating, store your food inside a hardtop vehicle, the trunk of a car or a bear-resistant container. In the backcountry, hang food and garbage at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from any tree or post used for suspension. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Alcohol use prohibited: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. KRS 222.202; (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)
  • 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)
  • Parking is restricted to paved pull-offs marked with large "P" signs, along KY 715 and KY 77. (Order DB-02-15)
Closest Towns: Stanton, Kentucky
Passes: No fee for trail use. 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. $3/day; $5/3 days; $30/annual pass.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380
606-663-8100
859-488-1413

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Bicycling

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Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Hunting

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Picnicking

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recreation/recarea/?recid=39458