Red River Gorge: Rock Climbing in Slade, Kentucky


For those of you who know, Red River Gorge hosts some of the best rock climbing sites in the United States. There are many different crags to choose from within Muir Valley and the North, and over the past week, I managed to access several of these on an eight-day long climbing trip.

It is hard to describe the feeling of rock-climbing to those who haven’t ever climbed, and even more difficult to describe the elation when surmounting a route. If you climb, you’ll know what it’s like to overcome fear, head up into the treetops, and look out at the anchors to the valley below and the pitch that you just went up. Who does these kind of things?!

Climbers, and let me tell you, climbing can be enjoyed by all levels, not only the most skilled and experienced. *At the very start of this journey, I could only do a 5.8, being without training for five months, but after eight days, I quickly sent a 10.b.

In the spring, the valley is blooming with wildflowers and the trees turning over new leaves. It is a time to go on nature hikes and experience the changing of the seasons in a land which in many places, looks as it did in the 1800s. Try hiking to Gray’s Arch, or going around the circle to see Whistling Arch, Skybridge, Chimney Rock, and the Angel Windows. You will see how beautiful it is to be in the middle of a national forest (Daniel Boone). Surprisingly, there are many arches in the sandstone of the Red River Gorge, some as magnificent as in Arches National Park.

On this trip, I went to the North and also Muir Valley, and though listing the pitches isn’t really necessary, here’s a quick run-down to let you know it is possible to crag-hop quite easily.

Muir Valley – Bruise Brothers Wall, Johnny Wall, Tectonic Wall, Land Before Time Wall, The Hideout Wall, The Great Wall, Animal Crackers Wall, and on the way back, Roadside Crag.

In the South, at PMRP – Velo Wall.

The North – Tower Rock (Caver’s Route surprisingly a fun multi-pitch climb with an astounding view at the top!), The Left Flank Wall, Long Wall, Phantasia, and Military Wall.

As usual, all opinions are my own. Time for the photos!

Golden Fields IMG_8796 IMG_8826 IMG_8842 IMG_8868 IMG_8918 IMG_8923 IMG_8926 IMG_8928 IMG_8929

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