Red River Gorge Camping + Backpacking Workshop
This Red River Gorge camping, hiking and backpacking workshop is a hands-on, fully immersive experience in the great outdoors. Over one weekend—Saturday to Sunday—learn how to backpack with our small group, women-only backpacking workshop.
Yes, your dreams of hiking to a faraway, remote land to spend a few days camping and living in the wild surrounded by mountains can come true! We want you to be able to backpack freely in the wild at your every whim armed with the skills, knowledge, and experience to do so! So welcome to your weekend classroom: the Red River Gorge Geological Area.
Learn How to Pack, Cook, Set Up Camp, Filter Water and More
AKA: This is ain’t no free class at your local outfitter. This is REAL backpacking with you doing all the things: packing, cooking, setting up camp, hanging a bear bag, filtering water, asking a million questions, and if you’re real lucky pooping in the woods 💩—with a supportive group of women and one of our expert guides. That means when you inevitably mess up, no need to feel embarrassed. When you question if you’re doing something correctly, your guide can help you. Let’s learn together in the outdoors, so when it’s time for your big adventure you’ll already have legit, backcountry experience.
Hike Red River Gorge Trails
It all goes down in beautiful eastern Kentucky. With the Red River Gorge hiking trails leading to an abundance of natural bridges, sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, and sandstone arches, we couldn’t think of a more beautiful location to teach you how to backpack in the wilderness.
Backpacking and Camping Gear Provided
The best part? We’ll lend you the essential gear to get started! Every Explorer Chick will be provided with a:
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- shared two-person tent
- shared cooking equipment
- water filtration
Yep! Give backpacking a try before investing hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars into it. Try out our gear to learn what features you like and dislike. Ask your guide about other brands. Seriously, this weekend is all about learning while connecting to other adventurous, rad women!
- Explore the many standstone arches, sandstone cliffs, natural bridges, and rock shelters in the Red River Gorge Geological Area.
- Receive a hands-on experience with a small group of women guided by the Explorer Chick experts. You’ll be able to ask all of your questions, practice your skills as often as necessary, and get personal attention without feeling awkward or embarrassed!
- Borrow the expensive gear giving you the opportunity to learn all about Backpacking and the required gear before investing in your own!
- Spend two days meeting and becoming friends with a fabulous group of outdoor adventure lovin’ women while camping in beautiful Red River Gorge!
- Optional day hike to Iconic Landmarks in the Red River Gorge on Sunday
- Eat Picnic lunches surrounded by the natural beauty of Red River Gorge
- End your Outdoor Adventure with our closing lunch at a local Red River Gorge eatery. Go home with a full belly and a happy heart!
- Geek out with supportive and encouraging Explorer Chicks on a private, women-only, small group adventure!
- Explorer Chick lends you the Essential Gear:
- Shared 2 person tent (Everyone will share a tent with one other person)
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
- Camp Meals:
- Saturday: Lunch, Dinner
- Sunday: Breakfast, Lunch
- Workshop Closing Lunch on Sunday at a Red River Gorge Local Eatery
- Hands-on, guided experience from an Explorer Chick expert. You’ll learn everything from correctly packing your backpack, hanging a bear bag, setting up camp, backcountry cooking, Leave No Trace, and much more.
- Explorer Chick Backpacking Field Guide: A complete text will all of the material covered in the workshop plus room for taking notes
- Commercial permits and 1 Day Pass fees for Daniel Boone National Forest
- Shared Items: Tents, Camp Stove, First Aid Kit, etc
- A detailed Travel Guide upon booking with everything you need to know for your trip
- A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt
- Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 10 women
*You will receive a mandatory packing list when you book your workshop which will include personal clothing, trail shoes, a headlamp, rain gear, and more.
*Packages do NOT include your airfare, airport transportation, transportation to the Red River Gorge, alcoholic beverages, Explorer Chick Leader tips, or costs for additional activities.
*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.
Located on the Daniel Boone National Forest under the special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Backpacking differs greatly from casual day hiking and trail running in local parks. We want all Explorer Chicks to enjoy their backpacking experience which is why we find it crucial to set realistic expectations for this workshop.
Hiking Red River Gorge Trails
We will hike a loop that is just over 7 miles round trip with our backpacks (approx 25lbs.) setting up camp approximately 4 miles into our hike. What makes the Red River Gorge absolutely breathtaking also makes it’s trails steep and strenuous at times. It is a gorge after all! You will be hiking some steep sections with a backpack.
The hike up to our campsite will include a short, low exposure, very beginner level “rock scramble”. Rock scrambling is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges. It’s not rock climbing, but it’s not walking either!
Expect to carry approximately 25 pounds on your back. You will be responsible for carrying your own pack, assigned gear, and necessities.
Just as you would a marathon, you must train for your adventure! You should be comfortable hiking up to 7 miles carrying additional weight, with elevation gains of up to 1500 ft. You should train on rough terrain- no sidewalks here! Find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster, and get to climbing- your quads, booty, and calves will thank you!
Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending time in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due to painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Do not let it happen to you!
When planning the route, we take into consideration the variety of skill and abilities of the women joining us on the adventure allowing ample time to reach camp and to instruct. Keep in mind we will hike together as a group. The pace of the trip will vary based on the group’s overall abilities. (ie. Some may find the trail/pace too slow while others find it challenging. Always support your Explorer Chick sisters!)
Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for the safety and enjoyment of the group. All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.
Explorer Chicks are responsible for their own transportation to/from the Red River Gorge.
Plan to arrive at the designated Trail Head early Saturday morning and depart the Red River Gorge late afternoon Sunday. You will receive the trail head location and directions in your Travel Guide upon booking.
You will be responsible for traveling from the Trail Head to the Optional day hike and closing lunch on Sunday. Both are located in the Red River Gorge vicinity.
There are several hotels in the area for an overnight stay in Red River Gorge. If you are flying, Lexington is the closest airport with an approximate 1 hour drive to the Red River Gorge.
You will receive a travel guide attached to your booking confirmation with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!
Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?
We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.
- Remember How it Feels to Play
- You are NOT Alone
- The Power of Explorer Chick
- What Does an Explorer Chick Look Like?
- Easy Doesn’t Change You
- We Do Dumb Stuff
- The Explorer Chick Purpose
- The Traveler vs. the Tourist
- 6 Benefits to Booking with a Tour Company
You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com
To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.
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Non-Refundable Deposit: $100 due at booking to secure your spot
Payment Plans Available: Email firstname.lastname@example.org after booking to set up your monthly payment plan.