Explore Challenge - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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awesome trail.

hiking
1 day ago

It was pouring rain before our hike, but it slacked off to a light sprinkle while we made our way to the top. The view was incredible! The fog and mist from the rain made for a beautiful view.

Pretty hard hike, but so worth it! It was much fun!

Loved this trail! The beginning is pretty steep, but definitely manageable. When you get toward the top its gets a bit difficult. My boyfriend and I brought our puppy, so he couldn’t walk the whole way up. Luckily he is only 3 lbs. so we could pass him back and forth and catapulted him down between the rocks. Definitely would not take a dog alone, but its possible with two people who are comfortable handling the dog. The view was incredible!

hiking
8 days ago

Well maintained and clean trail with great views at the top. Wide variety of plants and fungi along the way. A pleasant dog that lives nearby decided to join us on the hike but they are not typically permitted as it is a state nature preserve.

It’s such a beautiful view

Great trail. Well marked and shade almost the whole way. Beautiful outlooks. You can see for miles at the top. My son and I really enjoyed ourselves this morning.

Drastic Incline but worth the views.

Beautiful! I forgot my hiking books and was abke to do this trail in sandals. W didn't see a waterfall. I'm not sure if we missed it or if that is a mistake in the description. Either way, it was an amazing hike with breathtaking views! We relaxed and did yoga at the top for quite some time, enjoying the mountainous scenery and sunshine!
I would like to remind folks that this is a nature preserve. You aren't allowed to bring your dogs so please don't! I love hiking with my doggie and there are loads of trails where dogs are allowed.

Short trail to get to the Cloud Splitter but it was an aggressive incline. The rock scramble at the top was fun and reminded me of climbing Yosemite sub dome. View was great. Some stupid hikers left a smoldering camp fire at the top.

hiking
23 days ago

Loved this trail. It’s definitely a “rough trail”. Would do it over again!!

backpacking
26 days ago

Hiked this over 2 days in early July. We parked at the Chimney Top rd parking lot and stayed to the right on the fork for day one. We camped near Gray's Arch and hiked out the other side of the loop the next day. This hike was incredible! Lots of switchbacks on day one that were certainly rough, but it lead to a great variety of stunning overlooks and neat creek crossings in the bottoms. The arch was inspiring, and thankfully day 2 was a bit shorter and flatter. Definitely be prepared to climb lots of hills, scramble over a few rocks, and cross a few streams by hopping between rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

We backpacked this trail for an overnighter in mid June. It was very muggy. Luckily the trail follows the creek and we were able to wade in and cool off at spots, not to mention filter water.

The trail was wet and muddy from water run off. Though it is well trodden, there are spots where we got stuck because it was not obvious where to go. The trail could definitely use better markers at key areas. I wouldn't say it was a difficult hike, more like moderate if you hike often. However, with the 30 pound bag on my back, every step felt like a chore while dodging roots, fallen debris, thorn bushes, rocks, and muddy areas. Add relentless heat and humidity and this trail makes for a long 1 mile an hour trek.

Started the trip by parking at the Rock Bridge picnic area with a 3 day pass. Got a late start and ended up camping on the creek about a half mile south of the wildcat the first night. The trail is rough a majority of the time with white diamonds blazing the entirety of the trail. It’s very humid on this trail due to the rainforest like vegetation. There are a lot of wet crossings and rocky obstructions which makes it fun to navigate. If you are filtering water be sure to fill up when you can because access to the creek at times is sparse. . Have fun!!

backpacking
1 month ago

I absolutely loved this trail. Did it as part of a weekend backpacking trip rough and swift camp. This was a very beautiful trail. It definitely gets muddy and washed out but if you weren’t expecting it don’t complain you just didn’t do your research.

The ascension certainly earns the rightful title of pilot knob. Along with what most are saying, it’s a tough incline but glorious, sweeping views await you at the top. Stay in the middle of the path, as poison ivy forms a phalanx on both sides.

hiking
2 months ago

Best kept secret in Powell county/RRG. Not a dog trail. not a kid trail, teenager approved for sure. Clear trail, stay in the middle as poison ivy to the left and to the right. Steep climb was invigorating, mt.bikes cannot handle the elevation climb. My son has hit most of RRG and "invigorating" was his observation. Please take care of the trail, we did not see any trash, u can tell anyone that finds this trail can share some cool stories

Great hike with awesome views. We missed the first turn and added about 2 mikes to our hike, but still worth it.

trail running
2 months ago

Great trail run! Secluded and well-maintained. Holy elevation, Batman!! Can’t wait to see those spectacular views again!

Very nice trail with different terrain types, creeks, great views. Swift Camp Creek in the Eastern section is a fav. Recommended for a nice day hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Brutal terrain. Elevation change and rocks and tree roots make for a really long trail. I’m not a regular hiker, so this was really too much for me. I hiked about 7.5 of the 10 miles over 11 hours and was completely exhausted at the end.

Still, it was an amazing trail that offered creek crossings, rock scrambling opportunities, waterfalls, birding, and plenty of flora to observe and delight. Highly recommended for those who are up to the challenge physically or who may be backpacking in and spending a couple of days on the trail.

Beautiful view at the top. Easy trail to follow. At the end there is scrambling, not very difficult to do. We brought our dog (35 lbs), so the hardest part was figuring out how to get her up. We had to pass her several times because she couldn’t get a good footing on just the rock face, though there were many places that had tree roots and dirt that she could stand on securely. Basically, if you bring a dog you need two people who are comfortable holding the dog while scrambling.

I would rate the hike as moderate, not hard. It was short and quick. There are trees to set up a hammock at the top, too.

(If you’re interested in an even better view then do Indian Staircase. But don’t bring a dog, the trail is hard to follow and there’s more and harder scrambling)

I've spent a lot of time in the Gorge and this may be my new favorite place. I visited for the first time yesterday. There's no longer a rope for the final ascent to the top but I was able to scale the last section following the split in the rock below the cedar where the rope use to be. I wouldn't recommend attempting it on a wet day, but then again I wouldn't recommend being on top of cloud splitter on a wet day. Here's a link that gives some great perspective of cloud splitter and what makes it unique, the 360 degree views it gives of the gorge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqvCvMHpKIg

Amazing view from the overlook!

Great views atop.

first few miles was good but it got hard with big rocks steep hills and some places I had to almost just carry my bike several down trees and creek crossings , some great rock formations along the way trail marked pretty good but one place after you get to a gravel area I lost it but if you stay to the right going from the church direction you be good got to the end and rode the road back to the church took 2 hours 45 min on trail and 57 min back on road.

4 months ago

I loved it! Went with family on this one. This was my third hike with my son. We were exhausted at the end but it was beautiful. A LOT of inclines and declines throughout. It’s tough but beautiful!

Very hard trail for a bike a lot of hike-a-bike trail was marked Well but one place you come to a gravel place the trail is up the hill to the left and stay down the hill

hiking
4 months ago

The hike up to the overlook is definitely worth the soreness. Breathtaking views.

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