Best Red River Gorge Waterfall: Copperas Falls

It was the day after the 2021 New Year and I wanted to go find a Red River Gorge waterfall. The weather was cold and wet from previous snow.

I knew a waterfall hike would be great today, considering all the melting snow. There was a hike in the Red River Gorge called “Copperas Falls”. This trail rain along the Copperas Creek all the way back to the waterfall.

My favorite time to explore the Red River Gorge is during the winter, because all the crowds are gone.

So I went out exploring, and I was not disappointed. Copperas Falls is the best Red River Gorge Waterfall, but it does not come easy to get to.

It is worth the adventure in the end.

Copperas Falls Information

Distance: 3.8 miles (Out & Back)
Elevation Gain: 
240 ft
Estimated Time: 
2 hours
 Copperas Falls Unofficial Trailhead

Copperas Falls – Best Red River Gorge Waterfall

Where to Park

The best place to park to begin this hike is at the Osbourne Bend Trailhead.

This trailhead is small. If you are going, you should aim to get there early. In the winter it might not be as bad, but I was there early anyway. If you get a parking spot at this trailhead, you are less than a 30 second walk to the beginning of the Copperas Falls trail.

Osbourne Loop Trailhead Pin: Google Maps Link

Copperas Falls (Unofficial) Trailhead: Google Maps Link

Finding the Copperas Falls; The Red River Gorge Waterfall Trail

Finding the trail is a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The trailhead doesn’t have any signs, because it is not an official trail. Don’t let this scare you off because the trail is highly trafficked for people who know where to look (that’s why I’m showing you!). You won’t need to bushwhack your way through the trail.

Don’t skip this Red River Gorge waterfall, it’s easier to find than it sounds.

Hiking to Copperas Falls

The hike to the prestigious Copperas Falls is in the forest, which means it’s a bit damp and muddy.

The entire hike follows the creek to reach Copperas Falls. You actually have to cross the creek multiple times on this hike. There are logs, rocks, and other objects you are able to use to keep your feet out of the water.

I was not so lucky at keeping my feet out of the water. It was a good thing that I brought 3 pairs of hiking socks, because they all got wet!

Along the way to the main attraction waterfall, you will find other smaller one’s in the creek.

These smaller waterfalls create peaceful sounds the entire 3.8 hike. It made me calm and relaxed just being in nature.

Taking in the Red River Gorge Waterfall

You will hear Copperas Falls from quite a bit out.

As you make the final corner around the rock, you will be stunned with beauty. I recommend bringing a snack to sit on the rocks and enjoy. You can also walk behind the waterfall and get the view from the back.

It will still be way over your head!

If you would like a visual guide, I will link my YouTube Video below:

The trail is an out & back trail, so you will go back the same way you came.

Happy hiking and remember to Leave No Trace!