COVID-19 Climbing Guidelines: The Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Muir Valley, and all RRGCC-owned property - which includes Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, Bald Rock Recreational Preserve, and Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve - request that you follow the guidelines outlined on each website if you choose to climb during this time. See links above for more details about each climbing area.

Muscle Beach

Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.9 19 - - 20

Directions to Muscle Beach

This wall is in property owned by USFS. Be respectful.
Drive 1.4 miles down County Road 1067 from the steel bridge on KY 77 (1.2 miles from the Long Wall parking area). The gravel road changes to asphalt at the Menifee and Powell county line. About a mile farther is a farmhouse and barn on the left and a gravel road on the right (Forest Service Road 9). Turn down that road and proceed 1.1 miles and cross a bridge. This brings you to the intersection of 9A and 9B. Drive 1.5 miles down 9B after it's intersection with 9A. Park in a small pull-off on the right. Cross the East Fork of Indian Creek to the east of the parking area via the concrete dam and ford. Immediately turn right and follow a dirt road for about 150 yards or so and look for a trail that ducks off to the left. Take this trail uphill and eventually you'll wind up back on the logging road. Follow this road until it levels out. Ignore the first road that branches off uphill to the right. Follow the road as it switches back to the right. After you cross a couple of "speed bumps" going uphill, leave the road for a trail that heads off to the left and uphill. Follow this faint trail which will probably bring you up directly beneath the huge roof of Close Encounters With a Wench.

Wall Sun: Unknown

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Click the column heads to sort. Hold shift to sort on multiple columns.
Route Spray Name Type Grade Quality User Stars Length Picture


Minas Ithil Trad 5.2
1.33  (3) 70ft  


Close Encounters With a Wench Trad 5.9+
4.20  (5) 70ft


Casual Corner Trad 5.6
2.50  (8) 45ft


Carnivorous Trad 5.7
3.22  (9) 30ft


Woman Trouble Trad 5.7
1.00  (1) 50ft  


Muscle Shoals Trad 5.8+
4.33  (15) 40ft


Coup De Graus Trad 5.11b
2.67  (3) 40ft  


Cruising For a Bruising Trad 5.8


Rock Rash Trad 5.9+
4.25  (8) 80ft


Last Wave Trad 5.7
4.00  (1) 110ft  


Rocket Man Trad 5.8+
4.71  (17) 110ft


Jaws Trad 5.8+
3.00  (1) 120ft


Trouble Toprope 5.10b


Surfin With Grizz Trad 5.6
2.44  (18) 60ft  


When Gravity Fails Trad 5.9-
3.73  (22) 80ft


Mama Told Me Not To Come Trad 5.7
3.50  (28) 85ft


Lost Soul Trad 5.9


Grand Illusion Trad 5.7
3.55  (20) 60ft


Bloody Fingers Trad 5.8
3.00  (7) 60ft  


Mental Mantle Trad 5.8


Anonymous said on January 4th, 2005
GPS (Corner where Close Encounters is located): 37.8742N, 83.6538W
Anonymous said on January 4th, 2005
GPS (Minas Ithil): 37.8756N, 83.6554W
adkclimber said on June 23rd, 2009
To find this wall do you take a left up the foot trail off of the logging road with the old trail head box? We tried that and found ourselves at another wall with some large boulders directly below it and no well defined routes. Any insight would be helpful and if anyone knows what wall we were at. Thanks
jrathfon said on November 3rd, 2009
trailhead box? no idea. the trail is flagged (with orange survey tape) as of 11-1-09, granted only one piece of skinny tapes marks most turns, they are all there. park, walk across the concrete dam, make an immediate right down the brushy old logging road. after a 100+ yards, step over (1), slide over (2), than barrel roll over (3) three large logs. now take a faint trail heading off left from the old faint logging road (flagged). hike this through some flats, then it will start to ascend, then it will merge left with another old logging road. take this up the hill, make a right at the 2nd obvious logging road branching off to the right. go 100+ feet up this road untill you see large obvious breakdown boulders on your right (uphill side), immediately after these boulders make a left onto a very faint climber's trail (small flagging, hard to see), this will take you directly up to the cliff in 100yds. the coord.'s are spot on, a GPS is very handy, but not necessary.
jrathfon said on November 3rd, 2009
sorry, boulders on left uphill side.
Anonymous said on November 5th, 2009
There is well defined trail that requires no flagging at all. Anything eles is likely shortcutting and to be avoided.
dustonian said on May 25th, 2010
oh my gawd don't go to this crag in spring unless you enjoy wading through poison ivy most of the way to the crag
jrathfon said on November 16th, 2010
The flagging was there from somebody else, I agree it's not necessary, but hell, it may even be from the developers or a time where muscle beach wasn't as en vogue.
Ascentionist said on February 13th, 2014
There's a route called Punch Myself 5.6, that goes all the way to the top of the cliff (1 or 2 pitches). FA Rick Faulkner 2003-ish. It's a wide crack (oddly enough) on the main corner left of Carnivorous.
jenbongo said on August 4th, 2014
The trail is very overgrown (including poison ivy) and isn't recognizable as a logging road for the most part. We didn't notice any flagging or branches in the trail until the end. Where you are supposed to make a sharp right and head uphill, it looked like the trail ended, and we had to bushwhack a few feet to find the trail again, but then you can see the boulders which can help orient you. The last turn was marked by a log across the "road", which actually almost looks like a road at this point. Bring some poison ivy balm.
Ascentionist said on August 21st, 2014
There's some decent moderate bouldering well left of the main corner (around the base of Minas Ithil) with top outs. There are a few honest-to-god boulders and a low cliffline with numerous lines facing the approach.
Ascentionist said on October 19th, 2016
Updated approach description: Park at the developed lot with pit toilets on 9b. Hike across the open area near the kiosk/parking to some boulders across the creek. Cross over and parallel the creek hiking downstream and bearing toward the treeline on the left. Near the end of the open area look for a large fallen tree that you can duck under (2016) and find an overgrown path beyond. Bear left and follow the trail through the dense undergrowth until you pick up the logging road mentioned in the directions above.