Elevation: 1,036 ft
GPS: 37.734, -83.662 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 77,166 total · 460/month
Shared By: Jason Halladay on Oct 4, 2006 with improvements by Will Wright and 1 other
Admins: Shirtless Mike, saxfiend, DrRockso, Billy Simek

Description

The Zoo is a bit of a misnomer as the real zoo atmosphere is across the highway at Graining Fork Nature Preserve (a.k.a. Roadside Crag). If you're looking for fewer crowds and a good variety of climbs, this zoo is for you.

The Zoo is probably best know for a pair of short, classic 5.12a routes at the The Old Zoo right next to each other with each route climbing markedly different from the other. Hippocrite involves big moves on mostly all big good holds. Scar Tissue serves up steeper, more sustained climbing on smaller but still great holds.

The Zoo has seen a bit of a revival in recent years with a flurry of development at two new walls north of the older area thus necessitating a renaming of the original Zoo area, here on Mountain Project, to The Old Zoo and adding the two new areas: The New Zoo and the Bird Cage Sector.

The middle portion of The Old Zoo has some fun, long 5.11s on somewhat lesser but still plenty good rock.

The The Old Zoo area is a large amphitheater that faces mostly north but because the wall curves, you can chase sun/shade pretty well. Many of the better routes stay dry in rain.

Getting There

From Miguel's Pizza head south on KY 11 to a large, gravel parking area (37.7334, -83.6591;00.2%22N+83%C2%B039'32.8%22W/@37.7332584,-83.6599108,434m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d37.7334!4d-83.6591) on the west side of KY 11. This parking area is the shared parking area for The Zoo and Graining Fork Nature Preserve (a.k.a. Roadside Crag).

From the parking area, hike west/southwest towards the river. Apparently there used to be a log crossing over this river but that no longer exists. Take your shoes off, ford the river and find the climber's trail on the other side.  Follow this well established trail to the left until you scramble up a very steep, rooty section of trail just right of a side drainage/ravine and continue steeply uphill for another five minutes.
When you reach a small arch at the top of the trail, pass through it (or around it to the left) and walk along the base of the wall a short bit and you're there. This area, to the left of the small arch, is the most well-known and established area, The Old Zoo.

If you go to the right when you reach the small arch, you get to The New Zoo. The New Zoo is a collection of newer routes. The New Zoo area begins with the route Sidewinder (5.12b).

If you continue along the wall beyond the The New Zoo, down the hill and down around the cave area, you get to a newer area called the Bird Cage Sector. The Bird Cage Sector begins with the route Sons of Perdition (5.12a).

41 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Zoo

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 52
Gunner
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 154
Put Me In The Zoo
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 32
Botanical Gardens
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 93
Chimp
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 139
One Brick Shy
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 66
Armadillo
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 31
Skin The Cat
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 22
Edgehog
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 284
Monkey in the Middle
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 45
Barrel Full of Monkeys
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 134
Geezers Go Sport
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 43
Animal Husbandry
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 46
Lynx Jinx
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 202
Hippocrite
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 99
Scar Tissue
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gunner Bird Cage Sector
 52
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Put Me In The Zoo Old Zoo
 154
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Botanical Gardens Bird Cage Sector
 32
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Chimp Old Zoo
 93
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
One Brick Shy Old Zoo
 139
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Armadillo Old Zoo
 66
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Skin The Cat Old Zoo
 31
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Edgehog Old Zoo
 22
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Monkey in the Middle Old Zoo
 284
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Barrel Full of Monkeys New Zoo
 45
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Geezers Go Sport Old Zoo
 134
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Animal Husbandry Old Zoo
 43
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Lynx Jinx Old Zoo
 46
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Hippocrite Old Zoo
 202
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Scar Tissue Old Zoo
 99
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Zoo »

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