> Red River Gorge
Officially known as Muir Valley Nature Preserve, Muir Valley is one of Red River Gorge's crown jewels. Originally the area was privately owned by Rick and Liz Weber, but in March 2015 the Webers gifted the land to the non-profit Friends of Muir Valley
(FOMV), a 501(c)3 organization. FOMV is now 100% responsible for the ownership, in addition to already funding and up-keeping the property.
The valley is home to more than 20 separate climbing areas, all open to climbers at no charge.
While there's a smattering of trad lines, the climbing in Muir Valley is mostly sport. Muir has a reputation for soft grading, but don't take it for granted. There's also a lot of variety in the valley; new leaders can have fun at places like the Great Wall or Bruise Brothers, while hard climbers can throw themselves at the 12s and 13s of the Sanctuary.
The Webers are generous with access to their valley treasure, but there are some rules that must be followed. A complete list can be found at muirvalley.com/warnings---r…
, but the most important are listed below:
- All climbers must fill out a legal release form before climbing. This can be done online at the above URL.
- The parking lot described in the directions below is the only permitted parking. Do not park on private drives.
- No dogs are allowed in Muir Valley (nor left in your car in the parking lot.)
- No hammocks are allowed to be hung/used in Muir Valley.
If you're driving from Miguel's, follow KY 11 south for about six miles to the intersection with KY 715. Take 715 for about 2.5 miles, then turn right onto CR 2016. Follow this road just over a mile past a closed carpet store, then take the first gravel road to the left. Continue down this road, bearing left at each fork. After about 3/4 of a mile, turn right on a gravel drive to the parking area (you'll see a garage). Take the appropriate trail to the area where you plan to climb.
While there is not officially a fee to enter and climb at Muir Valley, donations to the Friends of Muir Valley (FOMV) are strongly encouraged.
Climbers can donate online or in person at Muir Valley using the donation boxes at the parking lot.
However, effective March 1, 2016,
parking at Muir Valley will cost $10 per car
per day. Alternatively, users can purchase an annual parking pass for $120. This parking fee aims to encourage carpooling and help alleviate parking issues on busy weekends. The official FOMV press release on the new parking fee is: We have some important news to share with you concerning changes for the 2016 climbing season.
As you know, Muir Valley is one of the most popular climbing destinations in North America, with over 40,000 visitors each year. This enthusiastic utilization requires significant resources to maintain and operate the preserve, as well as continue ongoing improvements such as vault toilets in the valley, emergency response system upgrades, and new trail development. FOMV is fortunate to own and steward such an amazing place, and we couldn’t do it without the
dedication and support of the climbing community.
Muir has become so popular, however, that our parking lots are full to overflowing most weekends and some weekdays throughout the climbing season, necessitating the hiring of staff to manage the busy
lot, and occasionally visitors have had to be turned away when we reach capacity.
We have implemented a plan to achieve a fairer distribution of support, and to avoid over-crowding by charging a fee for parking at Muir Valley. Admission to the Valley will remain free, but we will institute a daily parking charge of $10 per car starting March 1, 2016. Visitors may also purchase a 2016 annual parking permit for $120, and we will provide a laminated ID to display on the dashboard while visiting. All revenue raised by parking fees will go to FOMV and will be used to operate, maintain, and further enhance Muir Valley. Parking fees will augment the donations made by our generous supporters, enabling us to continue making Muir such a special place to climb, hike, and enjoy nature.
Beginning in March, there will be a kiosk as you enter the Muir Parking area. We will have staff present as much as practically possible to assist you, to process your cash or credit/debit card payment, and to give you a receipt to display on your dashboard while parked. At other times, when it is not practical to staff the kiosk, the plan will operate on an honor system with instructions and routine monitoring, as is done in many other climbing areas. In case the kiosk is not staffed, please plan to bring $10 cash (per car, not per person) so that you can use the honor system.
Alternatively, you may complete an application on this website for an Annual Muir Valley Parking Permit, and pay $120 by PayPal, credit, or debit card. We will then send a laminated 2016 Annual Parking Permit (good until Dec 31, 2016) to your postal address.
Thank you for your support and cooperation. We value your feedback as well as your support. If you have questions or comments, please contact us at FOMV.email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you in the spring!
Andrew Messick climbing on Gettin Lucky in Kentucky in Muir Valley of Red River Gorge
Jakob and i after a long day in 90+ degrees...
Nicholas Hernandez clipping in the rope while climbing "Return of the Manimal" in the Muir Valley section of Red River Gorge
Corey Day climbing "Plate Tectonics" in Red River Gorge
Map Of muir Valley climbing area with call outs for different walls
Bolt testing done in Muir Valley.
Zach Adamczyk going for the clip while climbing Getting Lucky in Kentucky in Red River Gorge
Muir Valley between winter and spring
The hidden Hemlock
Makin Bacon. Indy Wall, Muir Valley
Ascentuality, Stadium, Muir Valley