The Red River Gorge Today, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

Emergencies in the Red River Gorge

Many emergency situations are avoidable, but they still happen. When they do, call 911. Cell phone coverage is very patchy in parts of the forest. The higher you go, the better chance you have of getting a signal.

When you do reach 911, stay calm, and stay on the line. If possible, send someone to the trailhead or parking lot to lead emergency personnel to the victim.

From the backcountry, report only serious emergencies by calling 911. Due to the remote area, expect a longer response time than you would in a city. It will be very important to know your location.


There are only two venomous species indigenous to the Red River Gorge: copperheads and timber rattlesnakes. Should you or a friend get bitten by one of these pit vipers, there is only one important thing to do, and it doesn't involve cutting, suction, or tourniquets. Here is a YouTube video on snakebite first aid, presented by the nationally renowned Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade: