Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Daniel Boone National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

My absolute favorite trail! I didn’t notice any litter on my hike, as others have stated. It’s just the right elevation to get your heart pumping but the waterfall is perfect. My dogs and I enjoyed cooling off. Steps can be slippery when wet but this is one I would do over and over if time allowed.

Excellent in all categories, except heavily trafficked. Litter along the trail is inevitable, so carry a trash bag.

Pretty area, but trails are not well marked or maintained.

Amazing trail:) was perfect weather:) a few spots were difficult to detect the trail due to leaf cover, but definitely a favorite. Awesome rock formations and lots of creek crossings too:) great time of year if your into mushrooms. Took my 11 year old dog on a leash and with about 3 breaks to soak in the creek she was good to go:) a few pretty steep sections but still a nice easy mild trail:)
We parked at Glady Trail Head and made the loop starting on the trail at that camp spot, it hooks up to the FS road to Leatherwood, came out just a few camping spots down towards the lake from Glady:)

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

Be prepared for some road waking on this section. Between coming up out of Red River Gorge and old beaver road is mostly blacktop.
The Red River section passes by Indian Arch and Staircase. On the Northern side is Furnace Arch and Clear Creek Furnace. All points of interest.
Plenty of camping spots along the trail.

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
1 month 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.

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!

awesome trail.

Beautiful trail!

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!

It’s such a beautiful view

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, totally recommend. We had difficulty finding it the first couple times we went, and if you ask the park rangers they will not tell you how to get there, but we did get lucky with one ranger who told us exactly, and it was great fun.

This was our last stop after packing up the campsite before heading back home. The thick vegetation and rock formation literally made it feel like we were hiking back in time. Very prehistoric looking. Creation falls was gorgeous. Lots of people we wading in the water. We dd see some snakes down by the water so keep an eye out. The arch was one of the prettiest I've seen. But all and all it was an easy and fun hike! There is a picnic area at the top of the trail head with drills and picnic tables also! You could definitely make a whole day out of this area depending on how long you play around the waterfall and pool at the bottom.

Great trail, nice way to catch both the Indian Staircase and Cloud Splitter in a single loop.

Drastic Incline but worth the views.

Pretty decent hike. The staircase is not part of the official trails so we had to check the map a couple of times because we got a bit lost. Other than that was pretty easy. We had some nice views but the staircase itself was not that overwhelming.

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.

Busy trail but good for early mornings and to connect to Swift Camp Creek

Really enjoyed this one! Nice views and scenery changes and definitely a good leg workout!

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