Courthouse Rock and Double Arch

Slade, Kentucky 40376

Courthouse Rock and Double Arch

Courthouse Rock and Double Arch Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A commanding ridgetop view of the Red River Gorge and an unusual rock arch are the chief rewards of this hike. Courthouse Rock, a boulder the size of an office building, is one of the landmarks of the gorge area. Another is Double Arch, which has a large opening topped by a small one and is positioned prominently on a ridgetop.

This hike connects these two works of nature and also includes unobstructed views of the gorge area from a narrow ridge that you cross on the way to Courthouse Rock. From the parking lot, take Auxier Ridge Trail (204) north. You enter an area of over 1,600 acres that burned in 2010."

Courthouse Rock and Double Arch Reviews

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1/27/2018
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3/9/2014
fantastic views. must climb to the top of courthouse rock
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7/30/2010
We hiked up Auxier Ridge trail, across Auxier branch trail and up Double Arch trail. I would say that was a moderate hike and it had incredible views. We hiked back down Double Arch trail to Auxier Branch trail and then took Courthouse Rock trail back to the trailhead. Courthouse Rock trail is strenuous in places but it is still a nice hike. This is a great loop to take and worth every glorious step. Double Arch is impressive from any angle and fun to climb on top of.
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9/13/2009
I did every inch of all these trails on a 2-day backpacking trip(at a leisurely pace). There are essentially four different trails here.

I would suggest taking the Auxier Ridge trail passing haystack rock to courthouse rock. It has amazing views. At the end of it there are steps going down to Courthouse Rock. Courthouse rock is free-climbable if you can find the right spot and offers great views also. That trail leads to the Auxier Branch trail to the Double Arch trail. The Double Arch is a must see, and you can climb on top of it.

The Courthouse Rock trail splits off the Auxier Ridge Trail about 1mi from the Auxier Ridge Parking lot. It follows below the ridgeline, so there aren't any great views. It is also longer and a much harder hike(a lot of elevation change) to Courthouse Rock.

You can also hike up the closed part of Tunnel Ridge road for a shorter route to double arch(or use that as the beginning or end of a loop between double arch, auxier branch, and auxier ridge trails).

These trails are heavily traveled, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed running into people climbing haystack rock and watching them, I met a guy on a trip from England, and a few people who showed me where to go to be able to freeclimb Courthouse rock. The downside is some places did have some trash, which is a shame. When you go, bring back some trash and help clean it up a few pieces at a time.
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9/6/2009
Great hike - for a bit of a challenge, take the detour off Augier to add another 2 miles of steep inclines and tough declines. Be prepared to get a workout as you near Courthouse Rock as the climbs get harder - but the view is well worth it.
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8/21/2009
Awesome views from Auxier Ridge. Probably the best views in the park. Double Arch trail takes visitors right up to Double Arch. There is a little known trail that takes you above double arch for spectacular views.
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8/18/2008
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3/14/2008
Fantastic trail. The hike is quite diverse considering you start out in a beautiful forest, scale ridges, climb boulders, great views along the way, then when you drop down to the river it really switches the mood up. the arch is a nice touch as well, very majestic. the walk back on the forest service road...well, you can't have it all! but it's no big deal.
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2/18/2008
Great trail. We were able to complete the loop in 2 1/2 hours. This is got to be one of the best views of the Gorge.
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11/27/2007
This trail is spectacular. The Auxier ridge section is the best way to see the Gorge. Its true that the area has seen heavy use (and even abuse) due its popularity and lack of National Park status ( I still can't figure out why it is not a National Park), the Gorge is a Treasure and after many visits and hikes, this is the easily the best. The two or three campsites mentioned in other reviews look nice and double arch ain't bad either. One of my all time hiking favorites.
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Courthouse Rock and Double Arch Photos

Trail Information

Slade
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
6.2
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Gladie Visitor Center, Cumber- land Ranger District, Daniel Boone National Forest, (606) 663-8100
Local Contacts
USGS Slade; USDAFS Red River Gorge
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018