Test your traditional climbing skills at scenic Red River Gorge and learn about gear, standard rack, cams, and nuts. Review proper belay, tie-ins, rappelling, double checks, and climbing techniques such smearing, edging, or palm press. By the end of the day, you will pick up on how to easily build an anchor and do mock leads, all while learning from an experienced guide by your side!
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Red River Gorge, please refer to the Kentucky Public Health website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local rock climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Four to eight hours of rock climbing per day, depending on the chosen itinerary
- All technical climbing gear
- Meals and snacks
- Personal equipment
If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus, but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. So don’t let your perceived lack of strength keep you away from rock climbing — you’ve got what it takes.
No prior experience is necessary. Whether you’ve never donned a harness or you’re a seasoned climber, a guide will help you meet your individual objectives. Above all, your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. As long as you listen to the given instructions, you’ll succeed in completing your climb.
Red River Gorge has plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun!
For intermediate to advanced climbers, the Red River Gorge has loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
- Rock shoes* (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and prices:
- Group sizes are usually between 1–4 people with one guide, but you can also go with a larger group of up to 6 people per guide.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
- Climbing days can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Climbers as young as 4 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis. A parent or a guardian will need to provide a signed waiver and accompany the minor on the tour. Children should weigh at least 50 lbs (23 kg) to take part in climbing.
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Slade, the closest town to Red River Gorge, is about an hour’s drive from Lexington, KY, two hours from Louisville, and two hours from Cincinnati, OH.
There is no direct connection via public transportation to Red River Gorge. You can, however, take the bus to Lexington, then drive to Red River Gorge. You’ll need to make your way to the Slade Rest Area. This is the best place to collect yourself, meet up with any friends that might be driving separate, and prepare yourself for your adventures.
The meeting point is usually at the Muir Valley parking pavilion. Climbing in the Red River Gorge is spread over a large geographic area, and the exact climbing spot will be discussed after the booking. Guides make location decisions after considering the skill level of the group and factors such as crag traffic and weather.