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great trail but not clearly marked.

hiking
10 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous falls. A hidden gem! Far bigger than I expected, and in a gorgeous clearing. Granted it had just rained a lot, so the falls were probably bigger than in dry seasons. Easy to get behind the falls and up on top. The trail is just vague paths made by other people. Be prepared to get your feet wet, you cross the creek 10 or so times depending on which paths you take. It's too deep to avoid wet boots! But very worth it.

From the parking, go past the one lane Bridge, past the bathroom, and down the road 50 steps or so to the right is the trailhead. If you follow the creek, you can't miss the falls. There are many paths, my advice is to take the most straightforward one, even if you have to cross the creek. Your feet are gonna get wet no matter what, and you come to a lot of dead ends if you don't follow the creek closely. Gorgeous hike, not very strenuous. A little over a mile and a half one way.

We completed this hike today. Perfect weather. I think we only encounter 5 or 6 people on the whole trail. We hung out for sunset on Cloudsplitter. Very windy up there, but well worth the view. Dark as all get out going down. Headlamps are a must. The trail was very well marked despite all the leaves on ththe ground. Muddy though.

hiking
18 days ago

Went hiking a couple weeks ago. It hadn’t rained in a while so the falls were kind of disappointing, I would recommend going not long after it has rained! I would definitely go back to Copperas again!

This is probably our favorite hike. Lots of cliff clear views, very rugged. Really shows off the terrain of the gorge.

hiking
1 month ago

This is probably the best route for hiking Indian Staircase as if avoids the VERY tough nearly vertical climb/descent between Bison Way trail and the Adena Arch. It is a fabulous hike with great views, great geology, and great history. The Indian Staircase trail is an unmarked trail that both starts and ends at the Sheltowee Trace Trail. Tips for finding the correct route: Take Bison Way then left on Sheltowee Trace Trail. After the SECOND stream crossing and a U in the trail take the well traveled unmarked trail to the right. At the top of the Staircase stay on the well trod path near the cliff edge in a giant U until you return to the Sheltowee Trace Trail. Take a left and follow it back to Bison Way.

The title of this trail is confusing as the trail does not actually go to or up the Indian Staircase. We started following this trail but realized it didn’t follow the correct route to the Staircase. We switched to “Indian Staircase to Adena Arch” which is the trail we really were wanting to follow. A word of caution though: that route is a difficult route with scrambles over rock faces and a few climbs up/down water drainages where you’ll be grateful for tree roots. This trail incorporates the worst of these without the actual Staircase or the amazing views from the top. After our experience today, I think the best route combines the two—going up the Staircase and then down the Sheltowee trail back to Bison Way to create a lollipop route. See the “Indian Staircase Trail” for this route. That’s what we’ll hike next time, though it misses Adena Arch.

my favorite trail. I love cloud splitter. it is all up hill and hard to climb through the rock but awesome hike

The falls are great once you get there. The hike there is kinda lame and the creek crossings become monotonous.

love this trail and with this app all side trails were easy to find. not a great trail for dogs however when you get to the scramble at the top of Indian staircase. Beautiful views.

Beautiful hike - Garmin logged in at 6.7 miles (we did the loop counterclockwise - Auxier Trail to Courthouse Rock to Double Arch and the gravel road back to the parking lot).

on Copperas Falls

hiking
1 month ago

I would recommend this hike. This trail is not marked, so we did have a little trouble finding it. The start of the trail is right at the bridge by the canoe launch area. You cross the creek several times and you have to go over multiple fallen trees. The falls are like a hidden treasure & the hike there is pretty cool too.

Great hike, challenging but worth the effort. We went counter clockwise as it starts heading towards the arch, which makes this a loop and not an out and back. Arch is great, If you go out there be sure to climb to the top and enjoy the nice 360 vista view. From there headed towards Courthouse Rock. Can be climbed to the summit but a fall would likely be fatal. Aux Ridge is spectacular, with several great views along the way. Pack a few snacks and plenty of water. T

Loved it. Easy hike, we had to cross the creek about 5 times so plan for possible wet shoes if it’s rained in the last day or two, which is what we lucked into. This is a hidden gem! Didn’t pass anyone on this one, totally off the radar. Been to the Gorge 4 times now and just found this trail. One of our favorites in the area. Make time for this one if there’s been any rain.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike!

Great trail! The right onto the unmarked Indian staircase ascent is easy to miss. We noted a thin cord tied to a frail, dried out root that appeared to be placed to assist descent and ascent from the frog head feature. Use of this cord may confirm an application for a Darwin Award. Also, the cloud splitter trail is sketchy but easy to locate with the help of AllTrails. Exercise extreme caution in less than perfect conditions. I was appalled by the traverse rope (it’s broken anyway) and the 2 cords for the crack ascent. There is no way they are rated for body weight and completely inappropriate. This climb could really use some static line. We chose not to summit cloud splitter due to unsafe weather/ rock conditions and lack of appropriate gear. Otherwise, the features were super cool to explore and the view was gorgeous. It would be even better if the NPS accepted the heavy traffic of this trail and installed via ferrata hardware and warning signs if there are liability concerns.

Did this trail in conjunction with Indian staircase but I feel it prudent to review this section as an isolated trail: the cloud splitter trail is sketchy but easy to locate with the help of AllTrails. Exercise extreme caution in less than perfect conditions. I was appalled by the traverse rope (it’s broken anyway) and the 2 cords for the crack ascent. There is no way they are rated for body weight and completely inappropriate. This climb could really use some static line. We chose not to summit cloud splitter due to unsafe weather/ rock conditions and lack of appropriate gear. Otherwise, the features were super cool to explore and the view was gorgeous. It would be even better if the NPS accepted the heavy traffic of this trail and installed via ferrata hardware and warning signs if there are liability concerns.

Great trip in the woods with really interesting rock features.

Fun trail. A bit muddy by the creek but the ridge was gorgeous and double arch fun to explore. We elongated the trail by hiking to star gap arch off the dirt road

Majestic Views
Challenging trail

Challenging trail
Use Caution
Lots of cliffs and majestic views of this beautiful land God created-Love it and Protect it
5.6 mike hike while carrying heavy backpack w 100lb dog....my favorite hiking bud

Great views. If camping in the valley between courthouse rock and double arch, watch for flash flooding. It’s obvious that parts of the trail would be inaccessible during rainy days. Although no rain during my stay, it was impossible to keep the fire going with everything being so damp. Great hike. I’ll return! The only complaint is that it’s definitely a popular trail, but it’s obvious why. The parking lot fills up quickly, and we had to park on the side of the road a ways down and walk to the trailhead.

One of my favorite trails all year round! It’s great to get an understanding of the red river gorge’s varying landscape, seeing both high elevation points at double arch and auxier ridge, and low elevation points along the trail. It’s great for dogs too, but bring plenty of water for them during the summer as the ridge can get really hot and you will need some extra water to cool your furfriends down. This is also a great hike for those who enjoy KY native vegetation and seeing all the different types of trees/bushes that cover this land.

hiking
3 months ago

It was easy to get along the wrong trail but once the correct trail was found it was a great hike with great views! We went down the staircase because we missed the first turn. Going up would probably have been much easier. Wear shoes with good traction!

A short and steep approach with a scramble to a panoramic view. There are two options at the top to reach the lookout. First is a scramble through a water-carved seam with the aid of a rope (the more popular option). Second is off to the right where you will find the entrance to a cave. Instead of entering, make your way up the rock scramble with the help of a large tree root system. Have fun.

Kind of a disappointment. TONS of forest views to a clearing. View didn’t really pay off and the area was Closed for revegetation.

Our hike ended up being about 8.5 miles. We did Auxier Trail to Courthouse Rock to Double Arch and took the gravel road back to the parking lot.

Completed this hike today with mostly inexperienced hikers who received a fresh introduction to the art of scrambling. It was difficult, or “Hard” as the rating says. However, the views and vantage points were spectacular and rewarding! I should add that the group of inexperienced hikers that accompanied me have more perseverance and resourcefulness than most beginners. That being said, I do NOT recommend this hike for beginners.

The views on this backpacking trip are some of the best I've seen in The Red. You get to appreciate all its aspects from above, the climbing, the hiking, the forests, the arches, all can be found here on this well rounded trip.

Fun family backpacking trip up to views of The Red and all the way down into its valleys to enjoy all aspects of one of Kentucky's greatest treasures. It was so peaceful to camp in the valley next to a bubbling creek that flowed by. Rejuvenating!

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