Sky View Arch, Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

Sky View Arch - A Hidden Gem in Red River Gorge

Visitors to Kentucky's Red River Gorge know that, at this point, there are very few truly hidden spots left in the area. There are some, however, and Sky View Arch is one of them.

If I were a betting man I'd say that this arch was formed out of a rock shelter whose roof partially collapsed. I found this arch quite reminiscent of Hopewell Arch, with the exception that this one has very few signs of visitors. There is virtually no worn path out to this spot and no vandalism that I noticed. It's for these reasons that I'll be keeping the location of this one a mystery!


What is Caltopo

A Gentle Introduction to CalTopo

Today I was talking to one of the fine folks over at the Rustic Red Hostel over on Facebook when it came to my attention that he was unaware of CalTopo. This individual in question is an avid off-trail explorer in The Red River Gorge. It absolutely blew my mind that he had never heard of what is probably one of the greatest mapping utilities ever made for the backcountry explorer! So, today we are going to right this atrocity and take a look at just what CalTopo is and how we can use it.

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5 Tips for Hiking Solo

5 Tips For Hiking Solo

I spend a lot of time alone in the backcountry. Everything from a quick hike to clear my mind, to a multi-day photography excursion.
Don't get me wrong, hiking with others can be great fun, but sometimes you need to fly solo. This is especially true in the case of the backcountry photographer. Afterall, there aren't too many non-photographers that will put up with the lunacy that is backcountry photography! Plus, hiking solo can be a lot of fun!

Here are my 5 tips to help ensure that you have a safe, successful solo trip in the backcountry.

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Two Weekends on Ravens Rock

Two Weekends on Ravens Rock in Red River Gorge

My two previous weekends have been spent on top of an amazing rock formation located in Kentucky's Red River Gorge; Ravens Rock. This large rock formation can be seen throughout The Gorge (especially from Auxier Ridge), but people seldom go up there and take advantage of its breathtaking views. This means that Ravens Rock is a great place to find some solitude! I visited Ravens on two separate trips, a quick trip to photograph the sunset, and an overnight where I photographed the sunset, milky way, and the sunrise.

I should also mention that if you're interested in doing a trip like this yourself, you can check out my free trail guide to hiking Raven's Rock

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Top 5 Unofficial Hikes in Red River Gorge

By now you probably wouldn't be surprised to hear me say that Kentucky's Red River Gorge is one of my favorite places to spend some time! I've spent countless hours exploring the plethora of trails, sandstone arches, waterfalls and breathtaking vistas over the years. Recently, however, I've been finding enjoyment in exploring off the beaten path in The Gorge. You see, the Red River Gorge is just full of unofficial hikes that will take you off the officially maintained trails to some amazing places. It is, in my opinion, the best way to find adventure and solitude in our ever-crowded Gorge!
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Mt. Cammerer Revisited

Mt. Cammerer Revisted

I spent a week on a road trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my mom. The trip was meant to be a really chill trip and, for the most part, it was. The problem was that I was getting rather stir crazy from not doing any hikes, even though I was surrounded by mountains just begging to be climbed! On the last day of the trip, Friday, I decided to break away for a few hours to go revisit Mt. Cammerer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7ivq8dkE4I

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Swift Camp Creek Solo Overnight

A Solo Overnight Along Swift Camp Creek and My Thoughts on Hammock Camping

Over the past few months, I have been acquiring some new gear. I've been quite anxious to get out into the woods to try it all out. Most of all, I've been wanting to try out my hammock setup. I finally got a chance to get out for a quick, solo overnight. I decided to head on down to one of my favorite spots: Red River Gorge. Based off a suggestion from the guy that runs the HikingRRG Instagram account (And, of course, the HikingRRG Guide Service), I headed on down to the Swift Camp Creek, located in the Clifty Wilderness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lg7vDWrsno

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5 Must See Waterfalls in Kentucky

5 Must See Waterfalls in Kentucky

Kentucky is a state that's just teeming with natural beauty. Among the many impressive natural wonders the state has to offer are a plethora of waterfalls. There are truly too many waterfalls to even mention here, so to keep things simple here is my list of 5 must-see waterfalls in the state of Kentucky.

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Jailhouse Rock Red River Gorge

Jailhouse Rock and Unofficial Arches - A Red River Gorge Day Hike

Here lately I've been extremely caught up working on some software development projects. I decided it was finally time to get out on another adventure! This time I would simply be heading down to The Gorge after work and doing a quick day hike. The plan was to hit up Jailhouse Rock, Stargap Arch, and possible another unofficial arch or two, depending on how I did on time. Along the way, I made an unexpected discovery...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVwagch1Gnw

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Climbing Mount Leconte

Climbing Mt. Leconte Via Alum Cave Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Remember a few months ago when snow spoiled my plans to climb Mt. Leconte in The Smokies? Well, I decided it was finally time to go back and conquer the mountain! I reserved the hotel, made the 4 and a half hour drive down to Tennessee and prepared to complete the hike the following day, which was Saturday. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXNacvXcx1E

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Chasing Kentucky Waterfalls Roadtrip

Chasing Kentucky Waterfalls - Blitz Roadtrip Addition

This past Saturday I came up with a concept for a new adventure: see how many of Kentucky's waterfalls I could squeeze into one blitz roadtrip. I started researching some possible destinations and discovered that my home state is just full of waterfalls! I mapped out 7 waterfalls that I felt I could reasonably visit in one day. I did anticipate that I would probably have to skip one or two, however, as this trip included over 9 hours of just driving! In the end, I was able to hit up 5 of the 7 falls.

Not half bad for a single day trip!

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Auxier Ridge Sunset

Photographing a Red River Gorge Sunset

I suppose you could say I'm a bit of a spontaneous guy. I tend to come up with ideas at the last minute and just sort of act on them. Some of my best adventures have been the result of coming up with an idea, grabbing a pack and just going. This trip was one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas. The plan was simple, drive to Red River Gorge, hike onto Auxier Ridge, and photograph the sunset. How hard could that be?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znr-SvbsuMk

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Trip Log for 17 Miles in The Red River Gorge

 Red River Gorge Panorama. 

NOTE: This is a copy of an old post that appeared on the original Serial Photog blog. I’m in the process of moving these old posts over to this blog for archival purposes. Please let me know if you notice any issues with these archived posts!

This past Saturday (April 4, 2015) I did a 17-mile hike through the heart of Kentucky's Red River Gorge. This trip was originally meant to be a 2-day adventure, but that's not quite how things worked out. The trip presented its own set of challenges, but at the end of the day it was a great time. This post will outline the 17-mile adventure.

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