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.
Pro tip: utilize All Trails to read forums and trail details for pretty much any trail anywhere, including Red River Gorge.
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
Chimney Top Rock is epic and convenient for photoshoots. It’s a short, paved hike to the overlook and there are other, smaller overlook 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 natural arch as well as a beautiful view, natural bride, and several small caves. The hike from the parking lot is short and easy, so Princess Arch is a great location for engagement, elopement or wedding party photos.
The road to access the Princess Arch trailhead and many others in the “Clifty Wilderness” is called Sky Bridge Road, or Highway 715. You need a backcountry camping permit to camp out there. All the hikes and wonders are unreal. Along Sky Bridge Road, there are official trails (like those listed above) and unofficial trails, like Copperas Falls trail.
The Copperas Falls trail, though unofficial, is popular and well worn. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on a map so you don’t get lost, and to wear waterproof shoes since you may walk through a few streams. The hike is also 3.6 miles each way, so it’s not short or easy.
Copperas Falls features a huge, dark cave and depending on recent rainfall, a waterfall too.
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 or elopement because of the long hike.
Whistling Arch is a part of the same Clifty Wilderness area. The trail to get there features a natural wonder arch, little secluded overlook, 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.
Hiking up to the Natural Bridge is a little challenging, but the trail itself is wide and has places to stop. One note– it does get narrow at one point between some rock formations. After walking across the Natural Bridge and enjoying its many views, you’ll encounter rock formations and forest trails. You can see more photos of this hike here.
Lookout Point / Lover’s Leap
Lookout Point at sunrise is especially incredible. I can’t even tell you. The sunrise comes up behind the mountains and shines right on the overlook. It’s spacious and glorious. From Lookout Point, you also get a great view of the Natural Bridge and other rock formations.
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! Ride in a campy, comfortable little chair up to the top and take photos that look like you’re floating.
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 Cave Run 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. For photos, there are beautiful beaches and spots to wade in the water. Some folks take boats or kayaks out onto the lake, and there are campsites all around.
Thanks for checking out this post! Hope you found something intriguing to help you plan your next trip. Send me a message if you’d like to schedule a photoshoot, or for any other inquiries!