Clifty Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Swift Camp Creek

Clifty Wilderness offers natural beauty and quiet solitude. This 12,646-acre area has more than 20 miles of trail that take hikers through stream valleys with dense hemlock forest and across ridges with spectacular landscape views. The terrain is rugged and steep, offering plenty of physical challenge and adventure. Clifty Wilderness supports an unusual array of flora with 750 flowering plants and 170 species of moss that thrive in the area. This diversity is attributed to geographic location, topography and glacial history. Some plant and animal species in this area are listed as endangered, threatened, sensitive or rare. Clifty Wilderness is located in the Red River Gorge on Cumberland Ranger District.

 The cliffs in the Red River Gorge are beautiful, but they can be dangerous if you step too close to the edge. Each year, someone is seriously injured or killed from falling off a cliff in the Red River Gorge. Please exercise caution and avoid getting near cliff edges.

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

Current Conditions: Open
Area Amenities: Drinking water
Fees No fees 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
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Trails are developed for hiking only. Motorized vehicles and equipment, such as all-terrain vehicles and chainsaws, are prohibited in Clifty Wilderness. Mechanized equipment, such as bicycles and wheeled carts, are also prohibited.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Food Storage Restrictions are in effect to reduce odors that attract bears. 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)
  • 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)
Closest Towns: Stanton, KY
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


Hiking

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Hunting

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Amenities

Drinking water Water may not be safe for drinking. All water should be treated before consumption.


https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recreation/recarea/?recid=39460