Power Loop Hike

Hiker Red River Gorge Backpacking Map
Distance: 9.3 Miles loop
Difficulty: +++
Scenic Views: ++
Elevation Relief: 500ft ^^^^
Ownership: Daniel Boone National Forest, USFS

Red River Gorge Backpacking Map: $14

The Power Loop Hike…need more explanation? This favorite 9.25 mile loop has 4 ‘ups’ or creek-to-ridge ascents, which is 1800 feet of cumulative ‘up’ elevation change. If you finish it in 4 hours, you’re walking good; in 3 hours you’re marching; and in 2 hours you’re smokin’. About a 1/3 of the loop is on the Sheltowee Trace. This is one of the best loops in the Daniel Boone NF.

Down to CreekBeginning at Gray’s Arch trailhead, proceed to the arch and down to King’s Branch. After crossing this small stream, climb up the steepest section of the trail to Rush Ridge. On the backside of the ridge, you’ll hike down Second Story Rockhouse (a double-stacked rockhouse), through Corrosion Cove known for the unique erosion features, and cross Rush Branch. Continue up past Corpse Rock (a rotten outcropping), over Signature Rock (please don’t carve in rocks), and then down to Chimney Top Creek. From there hump up to Koomer Ridge, then Buck Ridge, and finally back to Gray’s Arch Trailhead. For a more taxing trip, attach the 2-mile D. Boone Hut/Martin’s Fork loop to the end of the trail.

Hanson's PointCamping sites exist in abundance along the loop; however, you might find crowded sites near the trail during busy weekends. Try crossing a stream or move further down the ridge to find your private camp. Notable side trails to scenic views and campsites can be found near Pinch ‘Em Tight Ridge (out to Hanson’s Point) and Second Story.

Camping considerations: This is a fee area. Visitors leaving cars overnight will need to purchase a pass at local businesses and outdoor shops. Camping in rockshelters is prohibited forest-wide. You can camp away from the arch, rockshelters, streams, and trails. You will need to observe the USFS backcountry camping rules.

Trail Map Legend


  1. Donnie Reed says

    Just wanted to let you all know that I am the one who discovered the Boone Hut (a long time ago)
    I’m the last living person who was there and knows the true story about the hut. Would love to hear from you all. My e-mail address is donniereed2@aol.com or write me at 4476 Irvine Rd. Winchester, KY 40391.


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