Climb at the Motherlode in Red River Gorge

motherlode parking - Search Nearby - Added by Thomas Ostapchuk

In addition to being some of the best climbing in North America, Red River Gorge is a stunning place to explore. Get a sense of awe with its giant overhangs and looming cliffs whether you're climbing or hiking.

These directions are similar to those marked in the Red River Gorge Climbing Guide. Be sure to pick one up at Miguel's Pizza or elsewhere to get a good idea of where all of the crags and climbing routes are. This adventure is to the Volunteer Wall and The Gallery crags. 

The parking lot is marked on Google Maps as "Motherlode Parking Lot" which is at the base of a very unmaintained gravel rode. In the rain or with a small vehicle it can be very challenging to get back up from the valley. Consider parking at the top (where it says you shouldn't).

Follow the road by foot until you see a marked path on the right with a sign that reads "Volunteer Wall". Follow this trail to an inner parking lot, and then up the subsequent trail on its opposite left side. This will lead you to a fork left (for The Gallery) or right (for the Volunteer Wall). Both are incredible places to climb, with a really great 5.8 on The Gallery side which is a great starting point. The climbs are not always marked, so again, be sure to pick up a guidebook from Miguel's Pizza.

Either will put you on the path to the rock amphitheater, which connects the two walls.

My favourite nearby camping is called "Land of the Arches". $5/night honor system. Easy drive to the crag.


1.2 Miles RT




Rock Climbing, Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Family Friendly

Nearby Lodging

Renfro Valley KOA

Mount Vernon, Kentucky

Corbin / Laurel Lake KOA

Corbin, Kentucky

Ashland / Huntington West KOA

Ashland, Kentucky

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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