Hiking to a Completely Frozen Copperas Falls in Red River Gorge

We’ve been in the midst of a deep freeze here in the Bluegrass state, and that has meant that the waterfalls across Kentucky have been freezing. Copperas Falls in the Red River Gorge portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest was certainly no exception! For weeks I had been seeing hints online that the falls off Copperas Creek had frozen to the point of being a solid pillar of ice. Some were even suggesting that it’s the most the falls have frozen in several years. This was just too good of an opportunity to pass up! I messaged @Brian2774 on Instagram and we made plans to head out to the falls shortly after daybreak on Saturday morning.

This was sure to be an epic trip!

The Hike

It was ten after eight when Brian arrived at the trailhead. I had arrived a few minutes earlier and started getting my gear in order. Stepping outside my Jeep I was immediately hit by the sting from the frozen wind. The thermometer in my car read -3 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply put, it was cold!

We didn’t let the temperatures hinder our progress, however. We dawned the down jackets, slung our packs onto our shoulders, and started hiking along the beautiful Copperas Creek. I was completely awe-struck by all the ice formations. So awe-struck, in fact, that I found myself nearly walking into trees; too busy admiring the ice formations that surrounded the creek. Reaching the first of many creek crossings snapped me right out of this state. It was time to put on the microspikes.

This was truly the Copperas Creek basin at its finest!

The Falls

As great as the hike out to Copperas Falls was in these arctic-like conditions, the real treat was Copperas Falls itself. Catching my first glimpse of the falls I couldn’t believe my eyes. The entire 40-foot waterfall was one continuous pillar of ice! This was truly one of the most impressive sights I’ve seen in a long time.

Wasting no time, I put down my pack, pulled out my camera, and started snapping photo after photo. In fact, I probably got a little carried away with the photos, but who cares?! When all was said and done I walked away with three shots I was happy with.

Share This Post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *