Regulations for the Red River Gorge
Listed here are some of the regulations that apply to the Red River Gorge Geologcal Area. Federal, state, and local laws also apply.Food Storage Restrictions
Due to an increase in the black bear population, food storage restrictions are in place for the Red River Gorge. Details can be found on this FS Document.
Dogs are allowed on the trails in the Red River Gorge, but you must have control of your dog at all times.
Caves in the Red River Gorge are closed to visitorsAll caves on the Daniel Boone National Forest are closed until May 21, 2014. This closure applies to subterranean caves and abandoned mines. This closure is part of an effort slow the spread of white-nosed syndrome that has been attributed to the death of an alarming number of bats. Read the Order.
Alcohol UseKentucky law prohibits consumption or possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in public areas. This law also applies on National Forest lands within Kentucky. For more details go here.
Overnight PermitsAll vehicles on KY 15 or in the Red River Gorge and Indian Creek area north of KY 15 must display a recreation permit for backcountry camping between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 1 day for $3; 3 day for $5; Annual for $30. Permits can be puchased at many area stores. Annual permits expire on Dec. 31 of the year purchased. One and three day passes expire at noon on the day after the last day of the pass.
The permit is to be displayed through the windshield of a parked vehicle. You only need one permit per car, not per camper.
Camping is NOT permitted:
- In any picnic area or parking area.
- Within 300 feet of any road or developed trail.
- Within 100 feet of the base of any cliff, or the back of any rockshelter.
- Within 600 feet of Gray's Arch.
- Within any area posted "No Camping".
Campfires: Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire within 100 feet of the base of any cliff or the back of any rockshelter is PROHIBITED in the Red River Gorge. Be sure your fire is completely dead and out before leaving. Leaving a fire unattended can result in a fine.All vehicle traffic is restricted to roads in the Geological Area.
Parking on Tunnel Ridge Road is limited to designated parking sites only.Rock climbing and rappelling are permitted EXCEPT in areas posted as closed. Climbing and rappelling are NOT PERMITTED within 300 feet of Sky Bridge, Grays Arch, Nada Tunnel, and Chimney Rock Overlook. Development of new climbing routes must be approved in advance by the Forest Service.
All archaeological sites, artifacts and cultural resources are protected by State and Federal law. Please help protect these fragile and irreplaceable resources:
- Do not build fires in rockshelters.
- Do not collect or dig for artifacts.
- Do not disturb the soil or move rocks in rockshelters.
- Report looting or vandalism to the nearest Forest Service office.