First Timer - Grays Arch/Hanson's Point
Location: Red River Gorge Geological Area - Slade, KY
General Rules and Regulations: Overnight permits are required (available at gas stations in Slade). No camping with 300' of a marked trail or road. No camping or fires within 100' of rock structures. Fires are permitted unless there s a fire ban in place - No cutting standing timber (dead or alive). Bear precautions are required.
Please see the USDA website, which is over Red River Gorge, for details on the rules.
Trip Highlights: 2 days/1 night; temp ranged from mid 30s to low 50s; approximately 5 miles
Menu: Oatmeal, Beef Stroganoff, Pudding, Snacks
Shelter: Warbonnet Black Bird hammock, Underground Quilts Under Quilts & DIY JCP Top Quilt, Warbonnet Mamajamba Tarp and MSR Hubba w/Thermarest & closed cell foam pad with Kelty Cosmic 20 bag.
The weekend weather forecast before us was great! My brother-in-law made a few personal gear purchases and dropped them off so that I could pack our packs. I had already dehydrated the ingredients for our meals. So, I assembled our freezer bag meals and packed our packs.
Day 1: We headed south in the morning and stopped for a good breakfast on the way. We arrived
at the Grays Arch parking lot around Noon.
We were a couple weeks late to catch any good fall colors. But, I think the great weather and a fleeting chance of fall color attracted a swarm of visitors to The Gorge. We started on Grays Arch trail toward the arch. We spent some time admiring the arch before pushing on toward Hanson's Point. After climbing up and down several times we reached the unmarked trail to Hanson's Point and started navigating the obstacle course of dead-fall on the trail to Hanson's Point.
I had some concerns with choosing Hanson's Point as our camp destination - it's a dry campsite (I prefer a nearby water sources), it exposed to wind and it is popular. But, the views can be well worth the price. There are several established campsites on the ridge to Hanson's Point and people had staked claim to nearly all of them. Fortunately, we were able to find one last spot just over knoll to help cut a little wind...And there was already some gathered firewood!