Map of the rock climbing areas in Kentucky

The best place to go rock climbing in Kentucky is at Red River Gorge, which is located in eastern Kentucky in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Powell County. The climbing here is steep and pumpy on heavily featured sandstone rock, infused with large amounts of iron. The rock is very hard and offers great friction, but is also plastered with a variety of large holds, from jugs, crimps, huecos, pockets, slopers, crazy flutings, to chickenheads, and horns.

Though new route development is still happening at a great pace, there are over 2,000 routes at Red River Gorge. Roughly half of these are sport and half are traditional requiring the placing of protection such as cams and nuts. There are nearly 100 crags to choose from, each with its own unique character, across a wide range of grades from 5.7 to 5.14 (F5 to 8c+).

The best time of year is October and November when it is usually fairly dry with cooler conditions. The spring has great temperatures but tends to be a little wetter, while the summer is usually too hot. If the sun is out during the winter, this makes the climbing then very pleasurable.

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  1. Red River Gorge North Guidebook

    Red River Gorge North Guidebook

    Price:
    £26.95
    This is the definitive guidebook covering the northern half of the Red River Gorge climbing area in eastern Kentucky. The guidebook covers those crags that lie north of Miguel's Pizza and the Mountain Parkway, and is volume 1 - of a two-volume series. The classic and historic crags of Military Wall, Left Flank, Long Wall and Funk Rock City are included. Areas covered include Gray’s Branch, Lower Gorge, Middle Gorge, Northern Gorge, Upper Gorge, Eastern Gorge, and Tunnel Ridge Road. Published in December 2015, all the routes are shown on colour photo-topos, and includes both sport routes and traditional routes. More Information
  2. Red River Gorge South Guidebook

    Red River Gorge South Guidebook

    Price:
    £19.95

    Out of stock   |   

    This is the definitive guidebook covering the Southern half of the Red River Gorge climbing area in eastern Kentucky. The guidebook covers those crags that lie south of Miguel's Pizza and the Mountain Parkway, and is volume 2 - of a two-volume series. The guidebook includes most of the popular sport crags and has some of the hardest climbs in America. Areas covered include Natural Bridge, Muir Valley, PMRP, Chocolate Factory, and Motherlode. Published in January 2013, all the routes are shown on colour photo-topos, and includes both sport routes and traditional routes. More Information
  3. Best of the Red River Gorge sport climbing Guidebook

    Best of the Red River Gorge Climbing Guidebook

    Price:
    £24.95
    This selective guidebook covers the best of the Red River sport climbing in Eastern Kentucky. The guidebook is split into 6 main areas, which are; Northern Areas; Natural Bridge Area; Muir Valley; Coal Bank Hollow; Bald Rock Fork Road; and Miller Fork. In total the guidebook covers 46 crags and 1,271 sport routes across a wide range of grades from 5.2 to 5.14d. Published in January 2017, all the routes are shown on colour photo topos, along with a route description. More Information

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