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.

Backside Wall

Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.7 8 - - 8

Directions to Backside Wall

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. Turn right on 9B and drive 2.9 miles to a low concrete bridge which crosses the East fork of Indian Creek. Drive across the bridge and park immediately on the right near a Forest Service gate. Walk around the gate and follow the logging road for 150 feet, then turn left (uphill to the north), and angle right to a limestone band. Scramble up through a break in the band which is marked by a large tree. Continue up to a large outside corner with two separate roofs. To reach the remaining routes, follow the logging road to the east for about 0.5 miles, passing a small pond, and stop at a clearing on the left side of the road. Locate a second old logging road and follow it up and left (north) to the main cliff. Adjacent to the buttress on the right (southeast) end of this section of rock are three closely spaced towers. The third one is the most distinct, and can be spotted on a topographic map.

Wall Sun: Unknown

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Route Spray Name Type Grade Quality Length Picture


Handcrack My Ass Trad 5.7
From where the approach trail meets the wall, walk right and look for some blocks. Behind the blocks is this left-leaning offwidth with what appears to be a 15-foot handcrack at the top. Steepness:


Bartleby Trad 5.8
15 feet right of ‘Handcrack my ass’ is a wide flaring crack. Climb this to a ledge, improvise an anchor, and descend from a tree. Steepness:


Ends and Means Trad 5.7
If you walk around the cliffline right from ‘Handcrack my ass’ you will see a wall with several cracks. To the right of a straight fingercrack you will see a dihedral with a fist crack in it. One dihedral right of that you will see another dihedral, which has a loose looking block 10 feet up. Climb this dihedral to the ledge, and belay. Follow the OW to a series of small roofs and top out. Steepness:


Corridor Crack Trad 5.9+
Walk down the drainage until you see a ‘corridor:’ three walls that form an open box shape, with the open end being open in the direction you were walking. In the middle of the middle wall is a splitter fingercrack. Get to it via a crawl along a ledge, and heave up. Follow the fingercrack until it narrows, and lunge for a hueco. Follow the face to the top. Steepness:


Black Line Trad 5.9+
Use the approach described to get to the three towers. This route ascends the obvious black crack in the center of the first tower. Climb an offwidth to a roof. Pull the roof and belay when you get over a bulge. Continue up the crack to another bulge and belay from a tree on a ledge above the bulge. Rappel from the tree or continue to the top. Steepness:


Orange Newt Trad 5.8+
This route ascends the dihedral just right of Blackline. Steepness:


Back in the Saddle Trad 5.7
This route ascends a handcrack in the middle of the face of the next tower to the right of where Black Line is located. Steepness:


Mickeye's Bitchin Trad 5.8
Walk right from Back in the Saddle and around a corner to the left. Look for a crack with a low roof 20 feet from the corner. Steepness:


Huggybone said on February 7th, 2005
There are many more routes along this wall, many done, many not done.
Ascentionist said on January 31st, 2006
GPS for towers: 37.8880°N, 83.6413°W, for #1: 37.8870°N, 83.6447°W
Anonymous said on May 31st, 2016
This wall is very cool and just needs traffic. It is very close to the rerouting of the creek, where the road is now closed. Directions in book are spot on, after the lime stone band the trail fades just look for the large boulders.