Dunkan Rock

Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.8 6 - - 6

Directions to Dunkan Rock

This wall is in property owned by USFS. Be respectful.
From the parking lot of the Junior Williamson Rest Area in Slade, turn left (north) on KY 11, drive 0.1 miles under the Mountain Parkway overpass to a "T" intersection with KY 15. Turn left (east) and continue for 1.5 miles, then turn right (north) on KY 77. This highway is also known as "Nada Tunnel Road", and you may see a street sign so designated at this intersection. Drive 4.4 miles through the tiny town of Nada, through the tunnel, and over the steel bridge (stay right after you cross the steel bridge) to the intersection with KY 715. KY 77 curves left near an old barn while KY 715 continues straight. Follow KY 77 around to the left, past the barn on the right and uphill for 0.8 miles. There is a small pulloff on the right just before the road curves left. From the curve, look to the right (northeast) and you will see a rounded buttress. You can also park in the Phantasia pulloff and walk back down the road to where it curves left. The buttress will have a wide crack splitting the face above the trees. This is the second pitch of Frenchburg Overhangs. Walk straight down the hill to the creek, cross it and walk straight back up the hill toward the cliff. Try not to meander too much or you will end up getting lost. This wall has the simplest approach if you are familiar with it but seems to be quite popular for losing people.

Wall Sun: Unknown

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Route Spray Name Type Grade Quality Length Picture


Frenchburg Overhangs Trad 5.8
From the main corner of the wall, hike left past some small corners to a hancrack with a roof about 15 feet up. Climb the crack to an alcove, pull the overhang and follow the handcrack to a ledge and belay or continue to the top via an offwidth of sorts. Steepness:


Tom's Route Trad 5.3
Walk right around the corner from Frenchburg Overhangs to a pair of cracks. This route ascends the crack on the left. Steepness:


Joe's Route Trad 5.3
This route climbs the crack about 30 feet right of Tom's Route. Steepness:


What's Left of the Beeneling Trad 5.10c
Walk around the corner to the right about 200 feet from Frenchburg Overhangs to a pair of unique looking cracks. This route ascends the crack to the left of the acute dihedral. Begin in an offwidth, climb to a chimney, take the chimney to some fists and end with hands. Master it all. Steepness:


The Beeneling Trad 5.9+
This route ascends the acute dihedral to the right of What's Left of the Beeneling. Climb the left side of a boulder to access the ledge on which the route begins. Fingerlock and stem the dihedral until it thins. Then either smudge to the top or step right to the arete to find a hidden hold. Steepness:


Treason at the Watchtower Trad 5.9
This route is located on a bluff near Dunkan Rock. Located across the street from Fortress and Phantasia is this open corner of towering rock. From the road you should be able to identify a large pine tree on the left hand side of the cliff that is about 30 feet from the top. This is the belay station for the final pitch of this route. To reach, follow directions for Dunkan Rock, but direct yourself one bluff south of Dunkan. Upon arriving at the bluff, walk around the left side until you spot a pair of cracks about 50 feet up. This is the start of the second pitch. Keep walking around left (north) side of bluff another 50 feet until you can scramble up a ramp that leads to your right. This begins the first pitch, which consists of a thin chimney to a large ledge (25 feet, 5.6). Pitch two starts in the left crack of the pair you can see from the ground and goes over a bulge, up a hand crack to a no hands rest in an alcove. Place pro in the top of the alcove, down climb a bit and traverse ten feet right to the adjacent crack the bottom of which has a tree. Build a hanging belay ten-twenty feet up the adjacent crack to protect you second from a potential pendulum (50 feet, 5.Cool. Pitch three, pull a short roof off bomber hand jams, trudge some sludge up and right to an easy, but wildly exposed, mantle. Set up a belay off the big pine tree (50 feet, 5.Cool. Pitch four, a slab face with three pieces of pro (and no more), top out the route to one of the very best views in the Gorge (30 feet, 5.9). Walk off or perform three raps to reach the start and keep your rope. Steepness:
vertical-1 : adventerous-1 : exposed-1


pawilkes said on June 8th, 2009
A tip for the approach: When you hit the creek you should see a huge boulder (~30 feet tall) basically in the creek bed. My tip is to hike up the hill starting from the down stream side of the the boulder angling back up river a bit following the path of least resistance up the hill for a couple hundred feet. theres a bit of a cliff band down stream, hike down stream a little until you get past the dense rhodo's and then head up hill.
pawilkes said on November 30th, 2009
GPS coordinates for Frenchburg Overhang ~ N 37Degrees50.652', W083Degrees38.418'
campby said on October 14th, 2015
This approach is kind of a sandbag. The problem is, it's not a hike. There is no "trail" to find or follow. It's a bushwack. Treat it as a bushwack, and you'll be fine. Basically, you just hike on the road until you see Dunkan rock to your left. After that, just find a way down the steep hill and eventually cross a stream. You'll likely see a huge boulder to your left. Don't go that way. Instead, hike upstream to your right until you see a place where you can begin hiking uphill. Head straight up along the path of least resistance. Keep working your way up the hill and you'll eventually run into the wall. It's kind of hard to miss. Approach time: Approx 15 minutes, if you figure it out quickly. Wear solid shoes.
MikeWilkinson said on May 2nd, 2019
Couldn't spot Dunkan Rock from the road. Parked for Phantasia, across from Creature Feature in a paved pullout and you could see a lightly beaten trail right there heading down. Followed it, trending south following path of least resistance, ending up at the creek. Walked past huge boulder in the creek. From here, hike another minute or so south on the creek then look for a way to head up, it's kind of steep but goes. Keep your eyes open for signs of previous hiking and you should find some sort of trail that puts you just left of frenchburg overhangs.