Mountain Project Logo

Red River Gorge visit

Original Post
Zach Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

Me and a few friends are looking to head down to Red River Gorge this weekend Friday-Monday. We will probably climb sport and trad 5.7-5.11 though I doubt we will be climbing too many 11's. Any suggested areas we absolutely must hit?

David Tennant · · Denver, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 2,041

Here's most of a post from another thread for areas which I've recommended before (With a few updates). These were/are my personal choices for sport, which is what the other thread asked for, and I added my suggestions for trad after the sport suggestions (link to original post: MP First RRG Trip Thread). I generally only climbed up to 5.9 so for 5.10/5.11 recommendations, I'll leave that up to someone else:

"In terms of 5.7-5.9 climbing I would suggest the following places (Start with the * ones):

Muir Valley: Land Before Time Wall (South RRG) - A few short 5.7's then two longer sport, 5.8 and 5.9 sport climbs. Flakes are really cool

Muir Valley: Bruise Brothers Wall (South RRG) - Probably the most busy wall in Red River Gorge during peak season because it's a very high concentration on climbs in the 5.7-5.10 range, lots of rain protected routes***

Muir Valley: Practice Wall (South RRG) - Around 10 short routes, all top rope accessible including awesome 5.10b, and including 2 trad routes, some rain proctection*

Muir Valley: Guide Wall (South RRG) - Just to the right on a small path from Practice Wall. A few good routes, and one really good longer 5.8*

Muir Valley: Animal Cracks Wall (South RRG) - Slab climbing, like 6 routes at 5.8/5.9 range

Muir Valley: The Great Wall (South RRG) - Just a few lower grade sport routes

All of the Muir Valley crags have incredibly easy access in terms of a gravel parking lot, and even an overflow parking lot at the top of the hill, as well as restrooms at the trailhead. It's about a 20-30 min drive from Miguels and always try to get there early, lots of groups or guided excursions can take up a lot of routes. It's about a 20-30 hike to most of the crags from the main parking lot.

Global Village (South RRG) - South of Miguels, 5 star 5.6 and 5.10a sport, longer woodsy approach. On a busy weekend there are good trad routes you could top rope if you just ask another party to throw it up for you. There's also some 'bouldering' sort of at the enterance (which is called Emerald City) which is lots of V0/V1's, which may or may not be enjoyable.*

Whittleton Branch (South RRG) - There's a cool waterfall you can check out on the way. You can hike there from Miguels. One 5.6 sport and one 5.5 trad. You can probably get over to the trad route to top rope it.

Pistol Ridge (North RRG) - In the north, more adventurous, 2 easy sport routes (I think 5.7, 5.8), questionable directions for the approach. Message me and I can get you there. You can also solo a '5.0' trad climb to get on top of the ridge, which makes for a gorgeous campsite and views. There's a cave up there with a crazy hard roof bouldering problem.

Left Flank (North RRG) - In the north, has an awesome 5.8 sport climb (Mr Bungalo), and then at least 1 5.9, and then a really cool 5.10a all the way to the left (not many routes)

Friction Slab (South RRG) - A big boulder that is fun to play on, or at least check out, you pass it going south of Miguels. There's at least one V0/V1 worth trying, as well as a good few of crazy hard problems closer to the river."

Phantasia (North RRG) - Trad and sport options, most people do the long Pogue Ethics 5.9+ and Creature Feature 5.9.*

Also two areas that I'm not very familiar with but have lots of routes are PMRP (South RRG)and newly developed Miller Fork (South RRG) area.

For Trad:

Fortress Wall (North RRG) - Tons of easier trad and a classic 2 pitch 5.6. No sport routes*

Global Village (South RRG) - (Repeat from sport section) 3 very cool 5.7's and my my all time favorite trad route Casual Viewing 5.7*

Tower Rock (North RRG) - Good array of routes and grades including a classic multipitch Cavers Route 5.3, and classic Arachnid 5.8. No sport routes*

Jewel Pinnacle (North RRG) - Obscure, out of the way, and having to cross the Red River, but an awesome two pitch 5.6, and another 5.6. Only two routes. No sport routes.

So out of that list I'd recommend going to Muir Valley one day and taking your pick of which crag to go to there and then go to Phantasia Wall and Fortress Wall (which are very close to each other). Muir Valley is way less crowded on Sundays but even if you go on a Saturday, during the winter it's pretty much your choice of routes for the most part. I highly recommend getting there early though, it can get crowded quick.

Zach Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

Thanks David you have been more than helpful!

Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 45

You should go to the gallery at the pmrp. Preacher's daughter was one of the more memorable routes I got on during my only trip there, a great 5.11- that's not too steep but has good holds. Johnny B Goode is another great 11a that is super steep but on huge jugs. The hard part is at the top of the route so whip away!!

Plenty of great stuff at the 5.10 grade at that crag and the standout 5.8, 27 years of climbing.

I think it gets some winter sun too. I think the road can get kind of fucked up if it rains a lot but I was able to get in there with a small car.

Matt Looby · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined May 2011 · Points: 5,504

It's also possible to get to The Gallery and other crags in the Sore Heel area by parking at the new Flat Holler parking lot, walking back along the road a little and taking the flat trail through the forest.

Zach Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

Eric I will definitely try to check those out. I'm not sure what to expect of an 11 yet. I'm used to devils lake ratings and those 11's are pretty stiff. Can't wait to see how RRG compares.

S. Neoh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 10

Visit -
Lots of Beta; sun vs shade, OK in rain, quality of climb, etc, etc. Hosted by the same guy who writes the guide books.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 367

If you make it to Miller Fork (guidebook now available for purchase online, truly one of the best looking guidebooks for any area, or you can print pages from The two crags that meet your criteria and have short approaches are Chaos Wall and The Secret Garden.

daniel gurule · · Seoul, Korea · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 0


I'll be passing thru tomorrow and am looking for a partner. Mind if I tag along?

Chad Davis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0

I'd be up for some climbing tmrw thru Saturday if anyone needs a partner...I'm visiting from Colorado and have very little gear with me. Plus I'm a newbie so there that. You guys still around?

Zach Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5
daniel gurule wrote:Zach, I'll be passing thru tomorrow and am looking for a partner. Mind if I tag along?
Sorry guys just now getting your messages.
ottice webb · · Stanton KY · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 5
Zach Robinson wrote: Sorry guys just now getting your messages.
The Red is soaked right now
Zach Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5
ottice webb wrote: The Red is soaked right now
Yes which is why I'm cozy in my house in Wisconsin. Thanks for the update :D
Chris Watkins · · Jackson, Ohio · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 5

Anyone up for the Red this week-end (1/1-1/3)?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern States
Post a Reply to "Red River Gorge visit"

Log In to Reply