Cloud Splitter - Kyle Koeberlein

Cloud Splitter - Red River Gorge, KY

Cloud Splitter is a fun and unique summit tucked within Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. If you do not know this area, you should - it boasts dozens of major arches, sandstone viewpoints, premier rock climbing routes and primeval trails. While researching a trip last year, I came across references to Cloud Splitter Arch, and put it on my short list of hiking/scrambling objectives. That trip, I could not even find it – as the twisting trails disoriented my sense of direction and the forest canopy hid the topography from my sight, I ended up trying to climb the wrong mountain (there is a parable there somewhere). This year, I found it, and it is much more than an arch. It is a uniquely fun combination of scramble route to a summit dome that incudes its own small resident slot canyon – which in turn becomes a cave that ends in a beautiful viewing window 'balcony' on the side of the summit. This is no alpine experience as far as elevation, but it is something unique and fun and should be included in any trip to this area. However fun, it should not underestimated either. There are drop-offs and dangers too - take caution, especially in the canyon.