Friday, May 11, 2012

Running at Red River Gorge (Gray's Arch)

Yesterday I covered Auxier Ridge and the adjoining loop trail in Red River Gorge.  Our first loop on Friday was the Gray's Arch trail, leading to my personal favorite formation in the area.

We saw some pretty amazing things on Friday running from our campsite on Tunnel Ridge Road to the Gray's Arch trail, Rough trail, and then Rush Ridge trail.

The views overlooking the gorge along Tunnel Ridge Road were expansive.  Tunnel Ridge Road also had some interesting trees with enormous flowers hanging down from them that neither of us had seen before.

Flowers as big as your head!

Things really started to get interesting as we moved from smooth sandy trails along cliffs toward the lower reaches of the Gorge.  As we walked out one overhang, we caught our first look at Gray's Arch.

From this easily (if not watching on the right of the trail for it) missed overhang looking down at the arch we ran down toward the it.  Moving toward the arch there also a sweet cliff next to the overhang we came from that dripped a small "shower" down toward us.  It was pretty hot at the time so the cooler area and natural shower were a nice break.

There were also plenty of cliff walls along the way with walls that looked like this one below with the oddly patterned designs.

We ran into a cave under the overhang we were originally standing on above and took a picture out at the arch.

After a steep and rocky climb up to the level of the arch, we actually after much deliberation climbed up the sheer side of the arch and onto the top.  This was quite an accomplishment in overcoming fear to us non rock climbers.  Katie can be seen celebrating below.

 We then ran further down the Gray's Arch trail to the Rough Trail and back on the Rush Ridge trail which took us down across some creeks and up some extremely steep climbs and then along cliffs back to where we started.

A clear view on the Rush Ridge trail where a forest fire had cleared some trees

This run was a great way to start the weekend.  After seeing some pretty amazing sights along the trail we were eager to see more.

1 comment:

  1. Those flowers look like some sort of magnolia, but definitely bigger than any I have ever seen! Cool trip!