Post by Greg Stamper on Oct 9, 2013 14:54:57 GMT -5
Frustration is understandably running high, let us all hope this shutdown will end soon. The date to watch for is October 17th when the USA actually runs out of money to pay its bills and the debt ceiling must be adjusted. Essentially one more week to go, we hope at the most, to wait until this situation should be over ... but never forgotten. Thanks to everyone who has expressed their deep feelings for the Red River Gorge.
Post by limpingduck on Oct 9, 2013 23:47:03 GMT -5
I was planning on hiking the Indian Staircase on Friday... is there anyway to approach the parking area by road? I know that Tunnel Ridge is closed, but is the Nada Tunnel still open, and if so, is there a way to reach the parking area? Thanks so much
Post by Greg Stamper on Oct 10, 2013 23:00:18 GMT -5
77 & 715 are open roads thus the Nada Tunnel is still open. I do not know if the Parking Lot leading to Indian Staircase (Bison Trail Way) is gated. We would imagine that they remain open for use but it would be nice if someone would post to let us know for certain.
Post by Paul Sheppard on Oct 11, 2013 16:14:00 GMT -5
Group To Protest Red River Gorge Road Closures Posted Friday, October 11th 2013 @ 4pm
RED RIVER GORGE, Ky. -- An eastern Kentucky group is taking their issues with the Government shutdown to the streets.
A sit-in is set for Saturday outside of the gates of a U.S. Forrest Service road through the gorge that has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The group Friends of the Red River Gorge says the roads are closed despite the rangers still being on the job.
Area businesses depend on the tourist dollars that come in during the fall season and say if the roads don't reopen soon, there could hard times for the surrounding communities.
Post by limpingduck on Oct 12, 2013 0:27:18 GMT -5
Just visited today.... the road to Indian Staircase is still open, and the parking lot (past the bridge near the barn) remains open and ungated. The fall leaves are just coming out, and we had the trail much to ourselves
Post by stephcarson on Oct 14, 2013 7:10:18 GMT -5
Once again: OPEN -ALL COUNTY ROADS ARE OPEN. This includes 715, 15, 77, 23 (the gravel road connecting 77 to 613) -ALL PARKING LOTS DIRECTLY OFF 715 and 77 ARE OPEN -ALL PULL OFFS ARE OPEN -BATHROOMS ARE OPEN. But bring your own toilet paper. -EVERY SINGLE TRAIL IN THE GORGE IS OPEN FOR HIKERS. Some trails are a bit more of a hike now, but if you are willing to hike 6 miles on a gravel road, they are open. -GORGE IS OPEN 6AM-10PM FOR HIKERS, CANOES, HORSEBACKERS, CLIMBERS -FOOT TRAFFIC ON TUNNEL RIDGE ROAD, ROCK BRIDGE ROAD, CHIMNEY TOP ROAD, SKY BRIDGE ROAD, INDIAN CREEK ROAD IS OPEN -NADA TUNNEL IS OPEN since it is a county road that runs through it.
CLOSED: -MOTOR TRAFFIC ON TUNNEL RIDGE ROAD, ROCK BRIDGE ROAD, CHIMNEY TOP ROAD, SKY BRIDGE ROAD, GLADIE CABIN, GLADIE CENTER -KOOMER RIDGE CAMP GROUND CLOSED TO CAMPING -GARBAGE CANS ARE FULL. Bring your own garbage bag. -GLADIE CENTER IS CLOSED.
BTW, the Rangers ARE NOT ON DUTY. Someone posted that in an article listed above. THE RANGERS ARE NOT ON DUTY. The LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER's are on duty...but not the RANGERS. Two COMPLETELY different things.
Have any of you complainers ever been to the gorge on a Monday morning? The place is an absolute mess. Not the parking lots, but the campsites. In general (not ALL, BUT MOST), campers who use those sites off Tunnel Ridge Road, Chimney Top, Rock Bridge and Indian Creek are partiers and they leave a complete mess when they go. It's like driving through a third world country if you happen to drive through before the cleanup crews. And yet, the Forest Service gets out there every Monday morning and cleans it up. Can you imagine the mess the Forest Service would have if they left those areas open this whole time to campers? Think about it for a minute.
Upset about no backcountry camping?? Not all backcountry campers have "leave no trace" ethics. I'm not talking about the trash. I'm talking about campfires. Leave no trace means DO NOT BUILD A CAMPFIRE. Back country campfires are dangerous, especially with the gates being locked...no access. Backcountry campers love to get out on top of these ridge lines and build a campfire and enjoy the gorge...they are on top of a ridge line with only the water they bring in...they can't just "hike down the hill" to get water...they would need to rappel! Limited water means they are not going to douse the fire before they leave. What? You think they are going to carry an extra gallon of water for two miles? I hike the gorge A LOT (like five days a week, sometimes). I see smoldering campfires ALL THE TIME. It's peak fire season. Only forest service employees have keys to the gates. No rescue squads have keys. No fire squads have keys.
Contrary to what people believe, those Forest Service Roads that are closed are just that...Service Roads. Roads to service the gorge. They are used for Forest Service crews to get into the gorge...think about where they all lead...into the heart of it. The Forest Service is kind enough to keep those roads open and maintained (when it's not furlough) for the general public to reach areas such as Chimney Top, Sky Bridge, Courthouse Rock without a hefty uphill hike or a 6+mile ridge walk from 715. They are not, and have never been, required to keep those gates open.
Yesterday, I was walking up on Tarr Ridge and a group of about 15 people were resting on the trail...all had their full packs and many of them were smoking flicking ashes onto the dry leaves all around them. They had someone drop them off and they camped overnight back on Tarr Ridge. They were so proud of themselves. They had spent the night in the gorge during government shut down. I asked them if they built a fire...one guy, grinning, said, "Yeah! We built a BIG one!!" As he was pointing to the kerosine container hanging from his backpack. Idiots, idiots, idiots!
It's sad that the idiots actions dictate the reactions during the time of crises.
I'm from out of state and have had a trip planned for months now. We are planning on coming down on 10/17 - 10/20 and camping in the backcountry, off the trail. Are we screwed? I notice that the date 10/17 was thrown out as the likely end of the shutdown? I don't want to bring 10 guys down to KY and then have to stay in a cabin or turn around. It is really hard for me to get accurate information because all of the offices are closed. I've called several establishments, getting different answers from everyone. I've even read contradicting press releases from the government. When we camp we don't even camp on the trail, we are truly in the backcountry. Should we come down?
Post by Greg Stamper on Oct 14, 2013 12:40:09 GMT -5
Thanks to stephcarson for really bringing it in an excellent post.
Greg at this point in time given the perimeters of your question .. NO, do not come down. Even if the Government Shutdown were to be resolved soon there is no guarantee that the Gorge will be fully operational with access during your timeframe. As each day passes the chances of your weekend taking place legally as you so wish grow dim; however, it is not impossible just improbable at this point. Because of the October 17th US Government Debt Ceiling, we here at RRGtoday.com are monitoring the news carefully and we will post, the hopefully good news, just as soon as possible.
I have about 10 guys that are ready to do some backpacking and backcountry camping this weekend. We are from Ohio. This is a trip we take every year. We aren't really able to reschedule the trip, but we are totally open to finding a new location. Obviously, being safe and being legal are important to us.
Our usual trip consists of parking and hiking about 2 hours up to the top of Cloud Splitter where we stay for a few days with day hikes and other mini-adventures along the way.
Could you do me the huge favor of recommending some other spots in KY that aren't closed that would give us a similar experience. Most importantly we don't want to car camp. We'd like to be able to park and walk a few miles to a nice "off the beaten path" camp site.
Are there other spots that we should look into? State parks? Those aren't shut down right? Natural Bridge State Park? Or is that all campsite type camping?
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about this. I'm charged with organizing the trip and this is a last minute bummer that I'm trying to make right for the rest of the guys. Any advice would honestly be hugely appreciated.
Post by Greg Stamper on Oct 14, 2013 13:15:18 GMT -5
I can certainly understand where you are coming from Greg. In 2014, The Red River Saga will undertake its 38th Annual Venture, it has become a monumental tradition and one that is very important to us ... so I get you. The fast answer is Natural Bridge State Park and yes you are correct, all State Parks have remained open. Being nearby to Red River Gorge the areas of course are very similar. I would still like to hold out hope that you may get into the RRG. Like I said earlier, "It is not impossible, just improbable at this time". We'll keep our fingers crossed. With the plan of going to the Natural Bridge Area, should the Shutdown be resolved DURING your stay, you will retain the option of picking up and moving back to your traditional home.
Last Edit: Oct 14, 2013 13:19:49 GMT -5 by Greg Stamper: Updated Information
Post by stephcarson on Oct 14, 2013 17:22:55 GMT -5
No camping in state park except camp grounds. No camping on the trails.
Greg, here is what I would do...don't cancel your plans. Make the best of a bad situation. Set up camp at whittleton campground on Friday and relax. Saturday AM you can take from there the whittleton trail up to tunnel ridge road and hike in about a 100 feet and get back on the trail on your left. This will eventually cross over tunnel ridge again. ..at that point follow the road to grays arch parking lot (just about 100 feet) and take the d Boone hut trail to rough trail back up to grays arch. Follow rough trail in back around to pinch em tight and turn right and follow that back to tunnel ridge back across the road and back on the sheltowee, cross over 15 and head back down the hill to your camping spot. It's about 10 miles total.
Day two, get up and packed and head down into the gorge and hit your favorite trails.
This year you might not experience the back country in the evening but you will still have your friends and laughter which is what it's all about anyways. Next year will be backcountry camping.
Don't know if whittleton takes reservations or not.
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Nov 5, 2013 8:37:57 GMT -5
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Nov 5, 2013 8:40:21 GMT -5
jameskay: im new to this ...I love the gorge ... I have heard of a place called leukeegee (spelling maybe wrong )has anyone heard of it and if so how to get to it ...
Mar 9, 2016 9:50:56 GMT -5
Garmin mapping GPS map of RRG: The link on the Home Page to the Garmin GPS map file is broken. Does anyone have this file? Please contact Rich at RRRRLEWIS@GMAIL.COM Many thanks!
Mar 17, 2016 15:54:29 GMT -5
Curious: How do I pay a parking ticket gotten at Red River Gorge
Apr 9, 2017 21:52:33 GMT -5
Red River Darth: Anyone know how to get to Sky View Arch? seems to have little to no info
Aug 18, 2017 8:43:45 GMT -5
stixman: I was sure where to post this request, but would it be possible to add a link to my website hhttps://www.kentuckywalkingstick.com on your link page? I am from eastern Kentucky and have been making walking sticks and canes for many years..
Apr 16, 2018 0:00:43 GMT -5
jamiekaj: I'm new to climbing (been in the gym for about a month now) and am looking for partners to get me to the gorge and back (from Lexington) / teach me a few things. I have gear (minus a rope) and could provide pizza, gas, and beer.
Jul 25, 2019 15:20:13 GMT -5