One of the most classic loop hikes in the Red River Gorge portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest is the loop that takes you to Creation Falls and Rock Bridge. Creation Falls is a lovely little waterfall and Rock Bridge is an amazing arch that spans the Swift Camp Creek.

This beautiful, easy loop is one of the must-sees in the area, so let’s take a look!

The Hike at a Glance

Difficulty: Easy

Length: About 1.4 Miles

Hazards: Terrain, Potential Swift Water

Rating: 5/5

Landforms:

Photography:

Getting There

This loop hike requires hiking the Rock Bridge Trail, located off the Rock Bridge gravel road in the Red River Gorge. To get to the trailhead, simply follow Rock Bridge Road all the way to the parking area at the end of the road. The trail will depart from here. You can use the map below to help you get there.

Heads Up!

The Forest Service tends to close the gravel roads in the Red River Gorge during the winter months. This includes Rock Bridge Road. Be sure to check the latest road closings before starting your trip unless you want to add a long road walk to your trip!

The Hike

Creation Falls Rock Bridge Loop Overview
Overview of the Creation Falls/Rock Bridge loop hike.

At only 1.4 miles in length, this hike is relatively easy. I will say that I was right on the fence of classifying this loop as moderate instead of easy, however. The loop does have a decent climb out. There are also plenty of opportunities to twist an ankle on this trail. I have personally been involved in rescues for people that have been injured from trying to hike this in flip flops, so be sure to wear the appropriate footwear for this terrain!

The terrain statistics for this loop (assumes hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction).

In the warmer summer months, both Creation Falls and Swift Camp Creek make for popular swimming holes. This can mean big crowds during the warmer months! It’s also worth noting that the forest service commonly shuts down the gravel roads in the winter (including Rock Bridge Road). Be sure to check with the forest service for updates on the roads before planning your trip.

Creation Falls, Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Photo by Adam Thompson.
Creation Falls. Photo courtesy of Adam Thompson.

Hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction, you will first come across Creation Falls at about a half a mile in. You will come across an overlook of the falls from above, but getting to the base of the falls is trivial.

Rock Bridge Arch, Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Shot by Bill Fultz.
Rock Bridge. Photo courtesy of Bill Fultz.

Continuing on just a short distance, you will come across the beautiful Rock Bridge. As an interesting bit of history involving Rock Bridge, the opening isn’t 100% natural. While part of it is definitely naturally occurring, it was enlarged at some point using dynamite. This was to provide more room for early loggers floating logs down the Swift Camp Creek.

After spending some time enjoying the sites and sounds in this tranquil spot, continue on a short distance. Keep an eye to your left for the trail that returns to the parking area.

NOTE: The Swift Camp Creek Trail continues on for quite some time at the junction with the trail that takes you back to Rock Bridge Road. The sign marking this intersection is tucked up on the hill a bit, which can make it hard to see. There have been numerous search and rescue calls for people that have gotten lost by missing this junction. Just be sure to pay attention and watch for it!

Your Thoughts?

Have you hiked the Creation Falls/Rock Bridge loop in the Red River Gorge? What did you think of it? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below!