Sunset on Auxier Ridge

A full 180-degree view from Auxier Ridge looking out to Double Arch (center) and Red River Gorge (right)

A full 180-degree view from Auxier Ridge looking out to Double Arch (center) and Red River Gorge (right)

Overview. This is the quintessential sunset hike at Red River Gorge. It’s a short 1.8 miles to a spectacular panoramic vista facing west toward Double Arch overlooking the gorge below. We’ve done this hike many times at this point, but on this evening, high clouds persisted, but still delivered a beautiful show.

If you choose to catch sunset, be sure to have headlamps on each person in your party and plan to start the hike about two hours before sunset. This will give you one hour to hike 1.8 miles - allowing plenty of time to snap photos during Golden Hour. On your way back, be sure to stay alert for copperheads on the trail.

Route Type | Out and Back
Total Distance | 3.6 miles
Overall Difficulty | Easy
USDA Forest Service Trail Map
USDA Forest Service Map of Red River Gorge Area

Trailhead. From KY-15, turn onto Tunnel Ridge Road and follow it to its end. [map]

Trail navigation. This is an easy out and back, as you'll stay on the ridgeline throughout the hike and few side trails exist. Follow the trail out to mile 1.65 for the first large rock outcropping or 1.8 for the second, larger outcropping. Retrace your steps back 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]