Welcome to Part 4 in our series of hikes at Red River Gorge Geological Area. To anyone not familiar with The Gorge, I suggest heading over to Part 1 Hiking To Rock Bridge Arch. There you'll find all of the Do's and Don'ts of visiting Red River Gorge as well as helpful tips for getting around. Also make sure to check out Part 2 Hiking To Angel Windows and Part 3 Hiking To Whistling Arch. All of these hikes are also up on our YouTube Channel so you can get a glimpse of what to expect while you're there or just sit back on your comfy couch and enjoy the scenery!
I have to tell you that out of the 4 arches I hiked to, this is by far my favorite one. It has everything you could want on any hike. Dramatic scenery, CHECK. Sense of danger, CHECK. Challenging yet rewarding hike, CHECK and CHECK! Do not be fooled by this trails ease of access to a recreation area. There are few if any flat walking surfaces here and tons of steps to climb, 75 exactly.
I chose to start the .25 mile trail at the end of the parking lot by walking along the wooded ridge of the arch. Here a wooden fence is all that separates one from a tragic fall off the steep cliff into the gorge. Some visitors probably don't even venture past this point because of how scenic and photogenic the views are. As you follow the trail the fence stops at a narrow opening onto what appears to be a sandstone bridge. This is the top of Sky Bridge Arch. I couldn't believe that they actually allow people to walk along the top of the arch without any protective barrier. Its just you, the arch, and some of the most expansive views in the valley.
After crossing over the arch, you start to slowly make your way down the cliff. The series of zig zagging stairways offer different views of the valley below as well as the cliffs opposite the arch. Upon reaching the bottom, you'll hike along the enormous sandstone cliff that makes up the base of the bridge. There are several smaller rock shelters along this trail. Some are big enough to sit in and others can barely accommodate a person laying down.
Soon you'll find yourself smack underneath Sky Bridge. Its an impressive sight, this expansive arch is actually made up of two windows. Standing there pondering how such a structure could be made purely by coincidence is mind boggling.
This sandstone sculpture and the other rock shelters adjacent to it have been gently carved by nature for millennia and are still a work in progress 'till this day. Stay here a while, take a few selfies, eat your lunch, and lay under the bridge staring into the vastness of the gorge. See y'all on the trails!
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