Red River Gorge is beautiful, mysterious and huge. There are endless incredible photography locations, but it’s not easy to figure out where to start looking. I created this list of eight photography locations at the gorge, but these just happen to be my favorites that I’ve been to so far. They are listed in no particular order.
I research new locations all the time, often inspired by a request from a client, so I will keep adding to this list as I can.
The best thing about the gorge (to me, a photographer) is the variety of amazing scenery. If you’re wanting to do an engagement, elopement, wedding or family session at the gorge, start a conversation with me! I am confident we can find a unique, perfect location for what you have in mind.
Chimney Top Rock
I really, really love this spot for photoshoots. It’s a short, paved hike to the overlook and there are other, smaller stops along the way. At the end of the trail, there’s a sea of trees! This would be an awesome spot for an elopement, engagement photos or even wedding party photos because there’s space and the pathway is paved.
Another great thing about Chimney Top Rock is that it’s accessible through the same parking lot as Princess Arch. One easy drive takes you to two amazing views!
Princess Arch features the arch itself as well as beautiful view, natural bride, and several small caves. Also a very short hike from a parking lot, making it a good photo choice for engagement, elopement or wedding party photos.
The road to access both of these trailheads is called Sky Bridge Road, or Highway 715. You need a backcountry camping permit to camp there. It feels wilderness-y and awesome. Along Sky Bridge Road, there are official trails (like those listed above) and unofficial trails, like Copperas Falls trail.
This trail, though unofficial, is supposedly popular. We managed to get to the falls without getting lost, but we did have to walk through a few streams. The hike is also 3.6 miles each way, so it takes a while!
Copperas Falls features a huge, dark cave and depending on recent rainfall, a waterfall too.
Pro tip: utilize All Trails to read forums and trail details for pretty much any trail anywhere, including Red River Gorge.
View photos from a Copperas Falls engagement session! It really is a dynamic location. I wouldn’t recommend it for any type of session except engagement because of the long hike.
Near Copperas Falls is a much easier trail leading to Whistling Arch. This trail features a little secluded overlook, an arch, and lots of big rocks for sittin’. Whistling Arch is a great photo location for engagement, elopement or wedding party photos. It’s a short walk, and there are great backdrops in every direction.
This is the part of Red River Gorge most people have heard of, as there’s a whole Natural Bridge State Resort Park with attractions and Miguel’s Pizza.
The hike up is a little hard, but it’s heavily trafficked for a reason! One note– it does get very narrow at one point between some rock formations. After crossing the bridge, you’ll encounter all kinds of rock formations and forest trails. You can see more photos of this hike here.
Lookout Point at sunrise is especially incredible. I can’t even tell you. From Lookout Point, you also get a great view of the Natural Bridge.
If you don’t feel like hiking all the way to Natural Bridge, there is another way to get up if you aren’t afraid of heights.
Are you afraid of heights? Are you afraid of rickety old ziplines? Ferris wheels? Without a doubt, I am. But the Skylift at Natural Bridge is a quick way to the top with amazing views. It’s like free falling!
More photos of the skylift, natural bridge and a DIY wedding ceremony at a rented cabin in this post.
Cave Run Lake
I admit, this is where I get confused sometimes. Is this lake technically Red River Gorge? Or is it just Daniel Boone National Forest? My understanding is that all of Red River Gorge is within Daniel Boone National Forest, but not all of the forest is in the gorge.
Regardless, the lake is amazing and it is very close to the gorge.
Thanks for checking out this post! Hope you found something intriguing to help you plan your next trip.