SUMMARY: A difficult hike to 2 beautiful arches on top of a ridge line with great views. On route, check out Hopewell Arch, a decent size waterfall arch if you are motivated. The majority of the hike follows Copperas creek, and there is a fabulous camping spot along this trail. I need to get better pictures of these arches, because neither picture does justice.
RATING: Difficult Hike (about 2.0 miles.)
This hike uses unmarked trails and many people have trouble navigating the hike. A portion of this hike does NOT have any trail. This hike has scrambles/climbs that can be dangerous or deadly. A quality map, compass and deep woods navigating skills are essential for your safety on this hike.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HIKE: Early spring when flowers are blooming or autumn when you can catch the fall colors. The USDA Forest Office is located in Winchester, Kentucky about an hour from Red River Gorge. For up to date information either stop in the Ranger District Office, visit their website or telephone: (859) 745-3100
AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED: Allow a half of a day (3-6 hours) to enjoy this walk.
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD:
- From rest area at exit #33 off of the Mountain State Parkway Turn left, and return to the Mountain State Park – East (8 miles)
- Take Exit 40 for for KY-15/KY-715 toward Beattyville. (0.3 miles)
- Turn right at KY-15 N/KY-715 N. (0.7 miles)
- Take the 1st right onto KY-715 N(6.3 miles)
- Park in well marked parking area on right side of road just after crossing the concrete bridge.
- From parking area follow the road KY-715 N away from the bridge towards another turn off on the same (right) side of road (200 ft)
- Turn right and find an unmarked trail going up stream on the east (right) side of Copperas Creek. (0.50 miles)
- Turn left (there is no trail,) cross Copperas Creek and make your way to the other side where you will find an old grown over road bed running on the west (left) side of Copperas Creek. Continue to make your way up the small creek that is running perpendicular to the old road bed and Copperas Creek until you arrive to Hopewell Arch. (300 feet) If you want to skip Hopewell Arch, Snow Arch and Double Deer Arch are the real treat.
- Return to trail on east side of Copperas Creek and continue upstream. (0.25 miles)
- After a while the unmarked trail crosses the creek at least once and then crosses back. You will come to a large campsite on the right side of the creek as you head up stream. Directly across the creek from the campsite you will find another small creek feeding Copperas creek. Turn left, cross Coperras Creek, and follow this small stream up stream. From this point until you return to this campsite, the trail is lacking to non existent at several points. (0.1 miles)
- The stream you are following will have atleast 1 difficult road block, you will need to work around, as you go up stream. The stream will come to a “Y,” where 2 streams are combining to form the stream. Continue upstream in the center of the “Y” or 2 streams and head directly up the hill. (0.15 miles) If you are lucky you will find a “path,” which will lead you to Snow Arch. Snow Arch sits up on a ridge, and once you identify it, you should be able to navigate to it. If you end up directly below Snow Arch, while facing Snow Arch, turn right, navigate around the ridge until you find a point you can ascend, then back track while heading up and you should find a route to the inside of the arch.
- Arrive at Snow Arch. From the inside of Snow Arch go around the ridge line to your left to arrive at Double Deer Arch. (100 ft)
- Return to Snow Arch, and back track down the hill to the small creeks (0.15 miles)
- Turn right and head down stream to the large campsite at the intersection with Copperas Creek (0.1 miles)
- Turn right and follow the unmarked trail downstream along Copperas creek back to KY-715 N (0.75 miles)
- Turn left and follow the road KY-715 N back to the parking area on the left side.
GPS Coordinates of Snow Arch 37, 49, 55.8 83, 34, 47.1 GPS Coordinates of Double Deer Arch 37, 49, 54.4 83, 34, 48.2