Planning a climbing trip to Red River Gorge, Kentucky can be exciting but also requires some preparation. Here are some steps to help you plan your trip:
- Choose your dates: Red River Gorge is a popular climbing destination, so it’s a good idea to plan your trip well in advance to secure accommodations and availability of guides or instructors. The best times to climb are typically in the spring and fall, when temperatures are mild, with the fall being the least amount of rain. Throughout summer and early winter can also offer fair climbing conditions with less crowds to contend with.
- Decide on your climbing goals: Red River Gorge offers a wide range of climbing routes for different skill levels and styles from steep jug hauls to techy face climbs. Decide on your goals, whether you want to push yourself to climb harder grades or just enjoy the scenery while climbing more moderate routes.
- Research climbing areas: There are many different climbing areas within Red River Gorge, each with its own unique character and style of climbing. Do some research to find the areas that best match your goals and preferences. You can find information on climbing routes, grades, and difficulty levels on websites such as Mountain Project and the print guidebook for the area..
- Book accommodations: Red River Gorge has several options for accommodations, including campgrounds, Airbnb’s, cabins, and hotels. If you plan to camp, be sure to check the availability of campsites and facilities, and make sure to make a reservation if necessary. For cabins or hotels, be sure to book well in advance, especially during peak climbing season. Check out Bluegrass Climbing School’s top picks for lodging here.
- Hire a guide or instructor: If you’re new to climbing or want to improve your skills, hiring a guide or instructor can be a great investment. There are several local guide services that offer guided climbing trips and instruction in Red River Gorge. You can book an AMGA certified guide for your trip from Bluegrass Climbing School here.
- Pack your gear: Make a list of all the climbing gear you’ll need for your trip, including ropes, harnesses, shoes, and protection equipment. If you don’t have your own gear, consider renting from a local gear shop or from your guide service.
- Plan for logistics: Red River Gorge is located in a rural area, so plan for logistics such as transportation to and from climbing areas, food and supplies, and emergency services. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with local rules and regulations, such as permit requirements for certain areas or Leave No Trace practices.
With these steps, you can plan a successful climbing trip to Red River Gorge and enjoy the beautiful scenery and challenging climbs that the Red River Gorge has to offer.