Packrafting the Red River Gorge

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
519
What was supposed to be the first real overnight test with the new pack and packraft ended up to be a very long, exhausting yet rewarding day trip. About 25 miles total, 15 of those paddling the Red River from the remote Wild & Scenic section down to the middle section and the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. Load up the gear and backpack 10 more miles to the far eastern end of the Gorge for a bisect of the Clifty Wilderness and Red River Gorge Geologic Area. The guy running my shuttle didn't know what to think, he thought he had seen it all...he quizzed me pretty good before he was convinced I wouldn't die out there and actually knew what I was doing, as opposed to most of the visitors to the RRG.
The first 10 miles are pure bliss...no roads or easy access into the upper section, the following 5 miles are mostly flat water but very scenic. I figured on a Friday I would beat the weekend crowds in the Gorge but all of Ohio apparently decided to take the day off and head south over the border. All of my favorite clifftop campsites were occupied so I decided to keep going...and going...until I was a mile from the car and still had some light. The clincher while hiking out was the group of people heading in wearing feather headdresses, some carrying instruments...yep, lets call it a great day and head home early, leaving the RRG to the loud, crazy masses.
The trip was a good learning experience as far as how to pack for a full blown packrafting trip. I had way too much gear, about 15 pounds too much...wet clothes, 2 celebratory beers (mandatory), boating gear...probably had close to 50 pounds.
While the trip was cut short it was still worth every paddle stroke and uphill push on the trail. Everything is greening up, the flower show was spectacular and the weather perfect. Paddling solo in the Narrows section of the Upper Red was a rush, had to scout a few rapids I would normally not think twice about in a kayak. Ran everything but took a few "sneak" routes. Not ready to flip that packraft just yet.

The "Falls" of the Red




Typical Red River scenery


Packed up and ready to haul some weight




Trillium


Pink Lady Slipper




More pics and map of the route...
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/105768283703063059928/albums/6009972080437826353

Short video. not much whitewater action, more of a scenic journey down the Upper Red River...


Featured image for home page:
slide.jpg
 
Last edited:

Mike K

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
823
Looks like a ton of fun and a good test of the new packraft. I'm jealous. It's definitely hard to keep the weight down when packrafting after you consider the packraft, paddles, gloves, PDF, dry bags, etc. But...it's worth it, eh!? Thanks for sharing.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
I have a HMG pack too and I couldn't be happier with it. I'm hoping to do a few packrafting trips this year. This is the inspiration I need.

Great video as well, thanks for taking the time to put that together.
 
Last edited:

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
Outstanding. And, yeah, you have to save that first song for when you take the packraft down the Chattooga!
 
Last edited:

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
519
"This river don't go to Aintry".
Yeehaw!
 

HomerJ

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
1,199
Awesome! Great shots and I loved the video!!! I laughed at the Deliverance joke!
 

JoanieBelle

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
34
Your last post had already inspired my sister and I to check out RRG at the end of the month when I visit family in Ohio, but we will only be hiking. I am planning back to back adventures starting in Utah next week and ending in Ohio the week after:) From red rock canyons to luscious green gorges.

Thanks for posting, otherwise we would never have known about it.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,904
Awesome trip report! Bummer you had to push through all the way. I've had a couple of days like that where I intended to stay another night but just kept going. Always seemed like a good idea thinking about the cooler in the truck until I realized I was too tired to drink more than one or two.

Great work on the video as well. I bet that was a rush. It freaked me out a little just watching it!
 

owyhee

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
18
How much did the pack weigh fully loaded? Great photos and video - I am smitten with this packraft thing!
 

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
519
close to 50 pounds. way too much...I can shed 15 pretty easily. Good test though.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Mikjik86 Short Video: Backpacking/Packrafting Dark Canyon Wilderness, Utah. April 2019 Backpacking 0
regehr Dirty Devil Packrafting in March General Discussion 4
dug Lake Mead Bikepacking/Packrafting Everything Else 5
Mikjik86 Waterproof backpack bag for packrafting? On The Water 5
smscheick Packrafting Willow/Davis/50 mile Backpacking 22
K I am hoping to do a 6-8 day packrafting trip on the Dirty Devil in early April. Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
George_Washington_Hayduke Twilight Canyon- Cottonwood Gulch- Llewellyn Gulch- 8 Days Backpacking/Packrafting Backpacking 15
LizardAZ Verde River/Mazatzal Wilderness packrafting On The Water 8
J Escalante Packrafting Backpacking 4
LizardAZ Packrafting Black Canyon On The Water 3
wsp_scott Packrafting the Big South Fork (KY) On The Water 7
J Invite Packrafting the Thorofare area Meet Up (Members Only) 5
George_Washington_Hayduke Packrafting and Bikepacking from the San Rafael River to Muddy Creek On The Water 0
George_Washington_Hayduke Price River (Utah) Packrafting @200cfs From Woodside to Swasey Beach On The Water 4
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 3: Fifty Mile Canyon Backpacking 4
George_Washington_Hayduke Canyonlands Figure 8: Packrafting Loop through the Needles and Maze District Backpacking 2
George_Washington_Hayduke Packrafting Cataract Canyon @17000cfs On The Water 0
Aldaron Packrafting Alaska Trip Planning 35
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 2: Davis to Fifty Mile Backpacking 12
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 1: Willow to Davis Backpacking 10
dug When things don't go just as planned. Bikepacking, backpacking, packrafting Escalante. On The Water 0
Nick Best Packrafting Paddle Gear 8
steve Invite Dirty Devil Packrafting/Float Trip April 11 Meet Up (Members Only) 14
Parma Canyonlands Packrafting Trip Backpacking 41
steve Invite Last-minute Maze Figure 8 packrafting trip this weekend Meet Up (Members Only) 3
steve 2015 packrafting trips Meet Up (Members Only) 41
steve Planning a packrafting trip to Hole in the Rock Trail - April 10-12 Meet Up (Members Only) 74
Bob Packrafting the Little Colorado River Gorge On The Water 1
mattvogt7 Packrafting the Dirty Devil, March 2014 On The Water 12
BJett Packrafting the Rockcastle River On The Water 14
BJett Packrafting Guide - Southern Utah General Discussion 3
Kullaberg63 Packrafting the Colorado River Daily run at 6000 cfs On The Water 2
mattvogt7 Packrafting? Trip Planning 2
Stephanie B Our Intro to the Red Desert, September 14 - 16, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
fossana Red Cliffs & Dixie NF fire-related trail/road closures (St George area) Trip Planning 1
wsp_scott Two kids and the Red River Gorge Backpacking 7
wsp_scott A year in the Red River Gorge Backpacking 15
Artemus Road Proposed to be Bulldozed through Red Cliffs Recreation Area General Discussion 7
wsp_scott Red River Gorge (KY) Backpacking 3
WasatchWill Red Castle vs Cirque of the Towers vs Titcomb Trip Planning 50
Ehouston24 Uintas Loop (Red Castle/Kings Peak) Trip Planning 14
Rockskipper Snowshed on Red Mountain Pass, Colorado, 3-16-19 General Discussion 7
b.stark Red River Gorge 2010 "From The Vault" Backpacking 5
fossana Red Reef loop Hiking & Camping 3
DrNed Red Castle Kings Peak Henry's Fork Take Two Backpacking 8
cmgz Red Breaks from Harris Wash Canyoneering 13
fossana Red Cliffs Après Work Scramble Hiking & Camping 3
J Red Rock(s) Canyon Natl.Conservation Area Hikes and Scrambles Nov. 15 and 16, 2017 Hiking & Camping 0
L Red Castle Lakes / Wilson Peak OR Rock Creek Basin Trip Planning 4
Dustin Gent Red Breaks via Spencer Creek Road General Discussion 1

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top