Discovering Two New Waterfalls in The Red River Gorge

I’ve been meaning to write about this trip I took on New Year’s Day for a while now. Nearly three months into the year isn’t too late, is it?

Anyway, I got 2019 started off right by going to check out two spots in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge that looked curious on LiDAR. In fact, they looked an awful lot like waterfalls!

The result was two newly documented waterfalls. It doesn’t appear that anyone has been to them in quite some time, so it’s likely that we are the first people to photograph them (at least with a digital camera)!

Getting Started

The day started off with meeting my friends MikeRonald, and Greg to first go check out a lesser-known waterfall. We met at the trailhead, hiked a short distance down an official trail, and then turned off to start making our way downhill through the rhododendrons. Our reward was getting to photograph this beauty:

After snapping some photos, we headed back uphill to the cars. It was at this point that Greg decided to depart.

Perhaps he knew what sort of shenanigans the rest of us were about to get ourselves into?

The rest of us drove to the next trailhead. This is where the real adventure got started!

Resolution Falls

Despite parking at the start of an official trail, we never actually touched any official trails on this portion of the adventure. We instead headed out a ridge until we reached a drainage that we felt would allow us to safely navigate down the steep terrain.

Our route definitely got us where we wanted to go, but this was some seriously rugged terrain! It was clear that no human had passed through here in quite some time. We were constantly battling downfall, thick rhododendrons, and mud that would cause us to sink up to our knees. I nearly lost my Muck Boots more than once!

This is the sort of terrain we had to navigate. If you look closely, you’ll actually see that Mike is buried somewhere in this rhododendron!

To say that travel was a challenge would be a serious understatement!

After fighting our way through the dense vegetation, we finally reached the portion of the stream that we were interested in, and, much to our joy, there was indeed a waterfall here. In fact, it was a really nice waterfall!

Resolution Falls, Red River Gorge, Kentucky

It was suggested that we name this one Resolution Falls since we discovered it on New Year’s Day. We liked the suggestion and rolled with it!

Jimmy Cracked Corn Falls

After spending some time appreciating the beauty of our new find, we headed on up another fork of the stream to another point that we had identified on LiDAR.

This portion of the trip was significantly easier but was still a pretty grueling bit of off-trail.

We passed through a neat area that was completely choked with boulders. There was actually another waterfall here, but it was completely covered by boulders.

Just beyond the boulders was our actual target, another waterfall!

Jimmy Cracked Corn Falls, Red River Gorge, Kentucky

We decided to name this one Jimmy Cracked Corn Falls.

The Return Trip

We spent some time enjoying and photographing our new discovery, but then we had a realization… we still had to get back to the cars. This left us pondering how to go about this for a bit. None of us really wanted to fight through what we had already hiked in. After examining the map, I was pretty confident I had found a more direct route out of the steep gorge we were in.

This route worked, but it was insanely steep, overgrown, and required quite a bit of time to negotiate our way around and up cliff bands. It was shorter distance-wise, but I’m not sure it was any easier than just backtracking the way we came.

In the process, however, I did notice an undocumented arch, though, it’s not a terribly impressive one.

It may not be very impressive, but it’s always fun to find stuff like this, nonetheless.

In the end, we finally managed to meet back up with the road, which left us with just a short road walk back to the cars.

This was a brutal, off-trail bushwhack, but this is the kind of adventure that I live for. It’s trips like these that I’ll likely remember for a long time to come!

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