Arch of Triumph and Star Gap Trail for Sunset

Overview. This ridgeline hike will take you out to see the small, but fun Arch of Triumph along with a pair of vistas on the southernmost fingers of the unmarked and unofficial Star Gap Trail. We took in a gorgeous Fall sunset and made it back just as last light was fading to darkness.

Route Type | Out and Back
Total Distance | 3.5 miles
Overall Difficulty | Easy
Red River Gorge Trail Map from US Forest Service

Trailhead. This hike leaves from the Auxier Ridge/Double Arch Parking Lot at the end of Tunnel Ridge Road. [map]

Trail navigation. This trail is unmarked, so take a topo map and compass - oh, and know how to use them:-) Departing from the main parking lot, take the Double Arch Trail 0.2 miles and look to the right for an unmarked, but well defined trail. This will take you out to Arch of Triumph at mile 0.35. You’ll come to see an exposed rock trail - this is the top of the Arch of Triumph. Look left and step over an old downed tree to come to the arch below. After you’ve had your fun, retrace your steps back to Double Arch Trail at mile 0.5. Continue down the trail to the next unmarked trail on the left (south) at mile 0.75. Take the unmarked trail to a narrow, but beautiful view at mile 0.9 just a short walk to the right of a large camping area. On this day, the angle of the sun would’ve made for a truly perfect view - framed by pines and straight down the length of the valley below. It was occupied by a search and rescue gentleman, so we moved on. Retrace your steps back to Double Arch Trail and take it to a the largest side trail you’ve seen thus far at mile 1.3. You’ll see a steel gate and this is Star Gap Arch Trail. Continue to follow the trail out while staying left - skipping all the side trails to the right - until you reach the endpoint at mile 2.0. This is where we took in sunset and it made for a wonderful start to the evening. Backtrack to Double Arch Trail, hang a right, and return to the trailhead.

CAUTION - Cliffs. Be careful to avoid getting too close the edge of cliffs, as this is the leading cause of serious injury and death when hiking in Red River Gorge.

CAUTION - Poisonous snakes. While the gorge is within the range of timber rattlesnakes, copperheads are the most common poisonous snake encountered. Stay alert on the trail, as snakes are commonly found taking in the warmth of the trail. Give them a wide berth or wait for them to move off the trail.

CAUTION - Bears. Black bears are growing in number throughout Daniel Boone National Forest. Be sure to follow bear safety precautions. [Be Bear Aware by US Forest Service]