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Red River Gorge Primitive Camping

What Time Of Year Should You Visit Red River Gorge

Solo Truck Camping: In The Rain (Callies in the Red River Gorge)

Spring or fall is the best time of year to visit the Red River Gorge. October is the most sought-after month because it comes after the heat and rain of the three months preceding. July through September are the hottest and wettest months in this region.

In the winter, the rocks can be cold in the gorge. While this time of year draws fewer people to the area, if you dont like a cold, damp feeling while youre out and about it might not be the time to visit. Especially if your camping unit is not well-insulated.

Whats There To Do In Estill County

The Estill county rests on the cusp of Daniel Boone National Forest. Its located on the west side of the forest and was named on behalf of Captain James Estill, a Kentucky militia officer who was killed in the Battle of Little Mountain during the American Revolutionary War.

The main attraction in this area is the Daniel Boone National Forest and the various historical churches in the area. Its a great spot to be if youre interested in hiking and exploring the surrounding wilderness.

Red River Gorge Camping Testimonials

Our Happy Customers

We have came here for a long time and place is wonderful. You will never meet better people anywhere other than this place.they go above and beyond to make your stay great.thank you all so much will be back soon.

Ashley Wilson

The staff was pleasant and friendly. We stayed in a cabin and it was clean and neat. We caught a few fish in the pond. It was quiet and peaceful at night! There is a nice creek for kids to play in. It was close to all the sites in the area.

Crystal Miller

What a gorgeous peaceful place to visit ! We spent the day at the campground with the best experience possible ! Kids played and swam in the creek, did bbq and enjoyed our Memorial Day! If you ever need a beautiful place outdoors this is the place!

Alla Boreyko

Love this camp. Staff is helpful and friendly, and .ost of the sites are in the shade for a good portion of the day due to the surrounding hills.

KY Crager

Camped out there for our wedding in Red River Gorge. Very laid back campground. We had a great time there. Close to Miguel’s and walking distance to the reptile museum. Can’t wait to go back.

Jeremy Edison

I would suggest this Campground to everyone planning a visit there, it’s right off exit 33 and easy to reach. The Campground is clean with well maintained bathrooms. Very friendly and helpful staff. We had an amazing two days there. It’s close to the gas station and subway and just a few minutes from all the trails.

Shweta Sonny Verleker

Robert Workman

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Can You Backpack In Red River Gorge

Heck yeah!

There are lots of opportunities for backcountry camping within Red River Gorges scenic natural area.

Whether youre looking for a spot with incredible views or a peaceful wooded setting, backpacking is allowed in most areas 300+ feet from any road or developed trail. The Gladie Visitor Center, located at the Gladie Historic Site, provides information and maps for the Red River Gorge.

Camping In Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge Geological Area, KY

Welcome to Callies Lake and Campground in Red River Gorge Kentucky! Our beautiful fifty acre campground is located within the Daniel Boone National Forest in Eastern Kentucky, and we are very pleased to offer RV and primitive camping next to our fully stocked four acre fishing and swimming lake.

We have over 45 level, clean primitive campsites with fire rings, picnic tables and gravel driveways. All of our RV sites are equipped with 30 amp and 50 amp electric hookups. We strive to offer you a safe, clean and beautiful place to camp, fish and swim during your stay. Plus, you can fill your bellies at our country store and restaurant, and catch entertainment at our concert stage. We look forward to seeing you and your family at Callies Lake and Campground very soon!

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Where Can I Camp In Central Daniel Boone National Forest

Red Hill Horse Camp


For those that are looking for a slightly different camping experience, why not discover Southeast Kentucky on horseback? The Red Hill Horse Camp offers campers with the experience of a lifetime, as youll be able to soak in the scenery and wildlife on horseback.

Of course, youre more than welcome to hike the trails in the surrounding area, but if youre curious, Red Hill Horse Camp offers 3-day rides that are held several times a year.

Theyll take you to Windy Gap, White Oak Brank, Horse Lick Creek and other scenic spots that you need check out while youre there. Though, you can also simply choose to camp at their campground as well as they offer shaded campsites for tents and campers.

The campground is fully equipped with all the essential amenities such as hookups, dump station, shower house, stalls, and picnic shelter. In addition, the campground will supply you with trail maps, ensuring that you dont get lost and tackle all the various hikes in the area.

The campground is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, thus, you have all the natural attractions easily accessible by foot or horseback. A great location for outdoor enthusiasts.

Tent & RVs

The campground offers full amenities for campers such as full hookups, wi-fi-, dump, restrooms, showers, playground grill and a swimming pool which will come in handy in the summer months. If you have any pets, theyre welcome here, though they must be leashed at all times.

The Best Red River Gorge Camping

  • What is there to do in Lake Cumberland?
  • For outdoor adventurists that are looking for some midwest hiking, Kentucky has a lot to offer. Known as the Bluegrass State for its bluegrass musical origins, the state is filled with green pastures and the longest cave system in the world at Mammoth Cave National Park.

    The Red River Gorge is located in eastern Kentucky and is part of the Pottsville Escarpment. Much of the gorge is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest which is well-known for its abundance of sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, natural bridges and rock shelters.

    The area is famous for its rock climbing and hiking trails. For those who love to hike, camp and rock climb, the Red River Gorge fulfils all your outdoor needs.

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    Red River Gorge Geological Area

    Area Status:

    The Red River Gorge is a unique, scenic natural area that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Spectacular rock features, including sandstone arches and towering cliffs, are just part of the attraction. Outdoor enthusiasts come to the gorge year-round to enjoy hiking, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing and other recreation opportunities.

    The Red River Gorge is a federally-designated National Geological Area, National Natural Landmark, National Archaeological District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gorge is also home to the federally-designated Wild and Scenic Red River and Clifty Wilderness.

    The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources regulations allow hunting and trapping in the gorge. All visitors should take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves and pets when using the gorge during hunting and trapping seasons. Inspect all backcountry campsites carefully before using the site. Avoid leaving food debris that may attract small animals.

    Campgrounds Within 15 Minutes In The Red River Gorge Ky

    Hidden Campsites of Red River Gorge, Episode 1: Double Arch Road

    Maximize your time chilling at the campfire by staying at one of these campgrounds within a 15 minute drive of our location here at Southeast Mountain Guides in the Red River Gorge, KY. Campgrounds listed below are in order of closest to furthest :

    Land of the Arches: At just a stones throw away from us, this campground has it all hot showers, wifi, games, and a small general store for just $8/person/night. Primarily tent camping is offered in a large field where the sunsets are gorgeous. Be sure to stake your tent down, as it gets quite windy up there! Contact the office at 606-668-7074 to inquire about group rates or RV camping. NO DOGS allowed.

    Natural Bridge State Park: Home to breathtaking views, hiking, square dancing, and of course the Natural Bridge itself this Kentucky State Park is full of opportunities for fun and exploration. Reservations for camping within the Natural Bridge State Park can be made here or by calling 888-459-7275. The park offers 2 campgrounds: Middle Fork & Whittleton . While both primitive and camper options are offered at both, Whittleton has a more rustic/secluded feel compared to its neighbor.

    4 Guys RV Park : This relatively new campground is top-notch with both RV and primitive camping, it also offers showers, wifi, a pool, playground and a stocked fishing pond. Visit this page for reservations. Contact them for more info on group rates as well!

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    Callies Lake And Campground

    Developed in 1955, Callies Lake and Campground in Red River Gorge is a family owned and operated full camping facility just a few short miles from Natural Bridge and Red River Gorge. Centrally located between Stanton and Slade Kentucky, Callies offers a full RV park and campground right on the lake, including RV hookups, lakeside camper locations with water and electricity, and plenty of primitive camping surrounded by peaceful, serene nature. Callies is ideal as a short drive will take you to some of the best hiking, climbing, zip-lining, canoeing, fishing, and four-wheeling that Kentucky has to offer. Complete with a Country Store, a playground for the kids, and a private restroom facility with showers, you will find one of the best camping experiences in the Red River Valley at Callies.

    Red River Adventure Campground

    The only riverside campground in the Red River Gorge, Red River Adventure Campground is a privately-owned campground on 10 acres of the tree-lined banks of the Red River. The campground is primitive, without power or water hookups, but great for campers that love to play on the watertheres a canoe and kayak take-out on-site. Located in the heart of the Red River Gorge, this campground makes a great home base for exploring.

    What a nice quiet secluded spot. Such a friendly staff, reasonable prices, and well-maintained campground. We spent a great day in the river and an even better night in our hammocks! The Dyrt Camper Josh J.

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    Tunnel Ridge Road Camping Guide

    Situated on the south side of Red River Gorge, Tunnel Ridge Road provides access to some of the best hiking in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Without doubt, it is the cheapest, easiest place to camp with ten parking lots and several dozen walk-in campsites. Each has a pit toilet and bear-proof trash bins – providing the basics to keep the forest clean. As a ridge, there is no reliable running water to be found without a good hike down, so bring water for the weekend and enjoy!

    Do You Need Reservations To Camp At Red River Gorge

    Red River Gorge Geological Area, KY

    Make Red River Gorge camping reservations in advance. With any popular destination like the Red River Gorge, its essential to reserve your campsite before arrival. That way, you can alter your plans beforehand if campgrounds are at capacity.

    The campgrounds we list below offer online reservations, so check the booking windows in advance to get a spot when you want to visit.

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    Are There Bears In Red River Gorge

    The short answer: yes.

    The longer answer: There are less than 1,000 black bears in all of Kentucky, but approximately 400-500 of them are known to reside in the Daniel Boone National Forest. While forest service officials say bear encounters are rare in the Red River Gorge area, they have increased in recent years, and staying educated on bear encounter safety is essential.

    Food storage options are available in parts of the park, and the National Forest Service publishes guidelines to Be Bear Aware.

    Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

    Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

    Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

    This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

    Please come back and let us know what you find!

    We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

    Please come back and let us know what you find!

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    Backpacking Routes To Take In The Red River Gorge

    With over 600 miles of trails to enjoy, getting the full Red River Gorge experience cant be found in a traditional campground. Sure, established toilets are great, but setting up your own site and having it all to yourself is even better.

    Use these trips to help guide your backpacking adventure, or join us on our group overnight opportunities in the Red!

    Enjoy Red River Gorge Camping

    Red River Gorge Camping Callie’s Lake Camp Ground Things To Do.

    Red River Gorge in Kentucky is the perfect destination for the whole family to witness breathtaking views, tour historic places, learn about different rock formations, and so much more. We recommend Red River Gorge camping for at least a week. With so much to explore in the area, a weekend visit may keep you wanting more.

    But if a couple of days is all you have, prioritize your activities to get the most out of your stay. With so much to do, start planning early!

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    Alerts And Important Information

    Kentucky Campground sites can be occupied by a maximum of 8 occupants. 4 adults, 17 years old and above and minor children are included in the base price. If more than 4 adults are going to be on the site, an additional $5.00 per night per adult will be collected upon arrival at the park.Natural Bridge State Park has different regulations than the nearby Red River Gorge Geologic Area. Park regulations are posted in the campgrounds. For information on the Gorge please call the US Forest Service at 1-606-663-8100.Please note that the Kentucky Department of Parks permits the use of non-licensed vehicles in campgrounds, including golf carts, only by those individuals with a disability. This policy will be enforced for the safety of all guests. This Campground is in Eastern Time zone.

    Please note:

  • New Inventory is made available when the call center opens.
  • There is a 1 night minimum stay during the week at all parks.
  • There is a 2 night minimum stay on peak season weekends at all parks with the exception of the Kentucky Horse Park.
  • The minimum stay on peak season weekends at the Kentucky Horse Park is 1 night.
  • Customers may arrive on a Friday or Saturday and stay a minimum of two nights.
  • Customer service is authorized to fill in any empty spaces caused by the 2-night weekend stay rule.
  • Please note the following:

    Discover The Best Free Camping In America

    To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America .

    You should give it a try!

    As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, youre contributing to these lands.

    Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!

    Well send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA . Access the list by submitting your email below:

    Tuesday 28th of July 2020

    Kentucky was one of the first area hit hard for Lyme disease. I’m talking way back in 1989. Local sports stores were advising using permethrin, which is majorly toxic. So like anywhere else with deer ticks you have to check yourself, your kids and your pets. Besides Lyme they now have another one called Anaplasmosis which is even worse. I found this out the hard way with an embedded deer tick and the start of a red circle so 21 days of doxycycline. Not the usual 7 or 10 for other things. That tells you the seriousness of this. So check, check, check.

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    Natural Bridge State Resort Park

    The Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a centrally located campground for hiking to one of the most visited natural bridges along with swimming, fishing, and canoeing. This campground has water and electricity but be sure to bring an extension cord. Some of the electrical boxes are located on the opposite side.

    There is a dump located at the entrance. The average price is $29 a night. There are some larger sites to accommodate the larger RVs. This campground has poor cell reception but has all the amenities needed to be comfortable.

    Address: 2135 Natural Bridge Rd. Slade, KY 40376

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