Double Arch, Courthouse Rock and Auxier Ridge Loop

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Daniel Boone National Forest

Double Arch, Courthouse Rock and Auxier Ridge Loop is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Slade, Kentucky that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,023 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

rock climbing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

From the trailhead go to double arch and then backtrack for about a half a mile. Then take the turn off for Courthouse Rock, follow it to Hay Stack. Then back to the trailhead. Very little backtracking and see three great Red River Gorge sites.

muddy
31 minutes ago

Really good hike! Was muddy today from all the rain but still not terrible even for some newbies

hiking
1 day ago

Auxier Ridge Branch Trail and Dlb Arch. Started 0830 in case of afternoon showers done 1:40. Hot! Little to no traffic on a Thursday morning.

hiking
5 days ago

Fun trail to pack a lunch and find a great view to eat it.

hiking
8 days ago

really enjoyed this trail!! Great views, nicely shaded, great variety of steps, inclines and flat areas. We hiked this counter-clockwise. The only confusing part was the last ~1.25 miles, we came up out of the trees onto a gravel road which was not well marked as the trail.

hiking
muddy
10 days ago

Loved this trail! But ended up being more like 6.86 miles according to my Apple Watch! The Double arch was one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in Kentucky!

scramble
24 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Road and trail are closed

hiking
closed
2 months ago

I tried to go to the trailhead yesterday and there’s a note that says the trail is closed until 7/7/2020 for the “Haystack Fire Closure”. Sad, because this is definitely one of my favorite hikes in the gorge

Lots of slippery slopes. Be careful... Ridgeline trail views are well worth the trip. Also the Double Arches was a nice quick side trail worth doing.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Awesome time with awesome friends. Started counter clockwise and went to Courthouse first. Very muddy following days and days of rain but did not ruin anything. The views during what’s left of winter allowed great views for the entire time.

Long hike with beautiful scenery.

6 months ago

awesome loop with wonderful views - a great hike that shows some of the best the gorge has to offer - did the loop counter clockwise and noticed folks who did it clockwise might have had a harder time

hiking
6 months ago

Most scenic trail in the Gorge. Well worth your time.

hiking
6 months ago

All around a super fun, interesting trail and was gorgeous in mid November with the fall colors. We went counter clockwise leaving the easy/less interesting paved mile for the end when our legs were starting to get tired. The ridge portion is stunning!

Great trail. Easy to follow. Nice views along the ridge.

hiking
7 months ago

Great for a moderate to hard hike with a large dog. There are metal see through stairs through out the hike that our dog was afraid to climb so would be ready to potentially life your pup. Full loop starting from main parking to rock and around to double arch took 3.5 hours. Little over 7 miles. photos for 5-10 minutes and snacks. Great hike. MAKE SURE TO PARK IN A DESIGNATED PARKING AREA OR WILL GET TICKET. DO NOT PARK ON ROAD. HAVE FUN!!

hiking
7 months ago

Our personal favorite. Ridgetop views are beautiful.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

I would consider this a moderate hike with a few challenging sections. Most challenging part was coming down from top of Double Arch but the views on top of the arch were incredible. The fall colors were good but still not peaked yet. Overall, I would recommend this hike but may want to go on a weekday when it’s not so crowded.

I would highly recommend this trail to anyone who has experience with hiking in different elevations/terrains. I did the loop from the parking lot to courthouse rock, over to double arches and back down to then proceed to the double arches parking lot and the gravel road back over to the courthouse parking lot... The first 2mi are phenomenal. Next 2 I are a bit more challenging over to Double Arches. Then the final 3.5mi decent over to the gravel road and back to the parking lot is really calming as it gives you more than enough cool down time and a bit of scenery as well. Overall it was easily my favorite trail I've ever hiked. I'm from North GA and I've only started hiking this year with about 7 trails under my belt so far which range from really easy to highly moderate. This was a great last hike for my Kentucky trip!

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Really great hike. We combined the Courthouse Rock and Auxier Ridge trails to make it a loop. Around 5.2 miles, included the walk to the parking lot, and it took us about 2.5 hours. Great views of Courthouse Rock from both the top and the bottom. Would definitely recommend. (Not for people who are afraid of heights, as there are some narrow parts with cliffs).

hiking
8 months ago

Super fun trail! We ended up not making it down the stairs to get past Courthouse Rock. Our dog was not having it. Other than that I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Really great hike. Note that this is just the hike out and be ready for the hike back. Beautiful and a good amount of elevating change to make sure it's not a cake walk.. More people on the trail than I'd like, especially those that think blaring music or yelling a ton is what you should do on a hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Another solid trail to bring the pups. We enjoyed the long hike and ended it with yoga. Try not to do it right on the edge like me. It was a hot day, so, by my first mountain pose... I blacked out and almost fell over the edge lol.

backpacking
8 months ago

Hiked up to double arch and then back into the valley and camped overnight. The next day hiked up to courthouse rock and then out in a clockwise fashion. Beautiful views and an excellent trail. I would recommend hiking in a counter clockwise direction though.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views. Great hike. Some parts can be strenuous if you are t used to hiking moderate conditions but overall a great hike.

hiking
9 months ago

I’m a fairly new hiker this year, I’ve been working up my game in Indiana all summer... we have big hill parks in southern Indiana but nothing like the Gorge, so I had to take a weekend and come down to give it a shot. I chose this route as my first venture - what a killer fun time it was! I went counter clockwise, heading to Courthouse Rock direction first. The ridge on that side is soooo breathtaking! I had to stop several times just to take in the views and get photos. After dipping down into the gorge via the Axier trail, (after the metal stairs), the trail appeared to split at the bottom of a drop... I went left first, and realized this wasn’t the trail... but I jumped over and up a few big boulders to check it out, and found a very cool hidden fire pit / camping spot right next to the next to the inner ridge wall. Very cool find. I climbed back over the boulders to get back on the real trail to continue ....the mile trip through the forest was sooo beautiful. I was amazed by the vegetation changes happening as I descended, then ascended back up on the Double Arch side. The stream at the bottom of gorge was beautiful and calming. I was amazed at the temperature change too. It was a hot day, atop the ridge was dry and hot (90 degrees)... down in the forest it was MUCH cooler and basically a different world altogether. Lush, green, cool, perfect. After ascending back up the other side of the forest to the double Arch - wow. I didn’t go to the very top of the arch, but after reading reviews (after the fact) I’m wishing that I did. But the view below and through the arch Itself framed a picturesque package. So pretty. It was so beautiful, my pictures look fake - like a photo studio backdrop or something. So cool. I was kind of bored with the mile long gravel road back to the trail head and parking, but to be honest it was a nice way to cool down after the most amazing hike I’d ever been on in my life. No snakes, no bears, no problem! I took plenty of water - drank over 1/2 gallon along the way.

hiking
9 months ago

Solid choice for a day hike of about 6 miles. Moderately trafficked and good variety of views. Would recommend the hike and would do it again!

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