Monday Morning Local Crags: Red River Gorge, KY

Monday morning local crags is an ongoing feature that we’ll be posting on Mondays. Mainly we want to make you nostalgic for the weekend and see if any of you climbing fiends have some insider info on specific routes or special spots where you love to go climbing.

It’s tough to encapsulate the full climbing experience of going to Red River Gorge since there are SO many different sections and climbing areas, but we’ll try.

This intricate canyon system features an abundance of high sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, waterfalls, and natural bridges, making it a world-renowned rock climbing area.

Motherlode - Convicted

The vast number of bolted routes in overhanging, pocketed sandstone draws climbers from all over the world to “the Red.” Climbing in the region tends to be done at large number of separate small cliffs. Most climbs are a single pitch and most cliffs are less than 200 feet (61 m) tall. There are numerous traditional and sport climbing routes in region;, although the latter seems to be more dominant. Many cliffs lay within Daniel Boone National Forest; however numerous important cliffs are located on private land and in two privately owned preserves created to allow climbing access.

These two preserves are the Pendergras-Murray Recreational Preserve, owned and maintained by Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and Muir Valley, which is privately owned and operated by Rick & Liz Weber.

Routes at both locations range from some relatively easy climbs for beginners, all the way up to a 5.15a. The 5.15 barrier was recently broken at Southern Smoke Direct just last month!

There are tons of really great bouldering problems to start off routes. Do you have any favorite routes/locales at the Red?