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.
Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.11 17 1 - 20

Directions to Hen's Nest

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. Stay on KY 715 (do not take the curve to the left) for about 6.7 miles (0.5 miles past the pulloff for Upper Small Wall) until you see a pulloff on the right near a large boulder in the river. Cross the river and look head upstream a bit along the bank until you see a faint trail. Follow the trail to a drainage then head up to the wall. An alternate approach is to keep driving on 715 for another half mile to a one lane concrete bridge which crosses the Red River. Cross the bridge and park in the parking area on the left. Walk across the road and down to the river bank. Follow the river downstream for about a half mile. After the river bends to the right, look for the bright orange wall of Hen's Nest on your left. Follow the river a bit more then head up to the wall near a drainage.

Wall Sun: Unknown

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


Lip Appeal Trad 5.10b


Mr. Freeze Trad 5.11a


Dwayne's Pain Trad 5.9


Wrong Crack Trad 5.8
2.88  (17) 50ft


Right Crack Trad 5.8
2.61  (18) 50ft


Lunatic Fringe Trad 5.8+
4.00  (19) 75ft


Daydreams and Nightmares Trad 5.11a


Finger Lickin' Good Trad 5.10c
4.36  (11) 50ft


Sultans of Stem Trad 5.9-
4.00  (13) 70ft


Close to the Edge Mixed 5.10a
3.33  (9) 50ft


The Edge Toprope 5.11b
 (2) 50ft


Atomic Cafe Trad 5.10c


Masters of the Universe Trad 5.9+
3.00  (4) 60ft  


Fingers in a Light Socket Toprope 5.11c
1.00  (1) 50ft  


Astro Flex Trad 5.10a
3.40  (10) 40ft


Planet Waves Trad 5.9
2.50  (6) 60ft


Mindy Trad 5.5
3.00  (1) 150ft


Starship Trooper Trad 5.9
3.50  (8) 40ft


Gold Digger Trad 5.9+
3.50  (2) 130ft


Stonespear Trad 5.9
3.50  (2) 70ft


Anonymous said on February 28th, 2004
This is a great wall to hit in the rain. Plenty of the routes stay dry.
B.J. said on April 13th, 2007
I thought the rock quality here kinda sucked. Very brittle.
Myke Dronez said on July 14th, 2008
The river crossing is definitely the way to go- you will save much time, frustration and swearing, especially if you're hiking out in a fierce downpour in search of dry crack. You can see Hen's Nest from the road but no so much from the trees. Faint trail might be an understatement so don't waste too much time looking for a beaten path, just find the drainage and go up. The cracks here are short and sweet, but most importantly, dry in a downpour and rarely visited. Go give em' some love.
elcapitan1974 said on January 5th, 2009
Your taking your chances in the rain. The routes that stay dry are closed. Most of the cracks had some sort of green slim on them. Seepy rock in an all day rain drizzle.
512OW said on January 5th, 2009
I've climbed here umpteen times in a downpour, and it was nearly all dry. Elcap, you must've been there on a condensation day... not a seepy one.
Anonymous said on May 21st, 2010
Any one know the gps coordinates? Thanks in advance.
cliftongifford said on November 19th, 2011
This place is a bitch to find. Good luck out there.
caribe said on June 17th, 2012
37.8234, -83.5813 Hen's Nest Parking Pull Off. It is 6.2 miles from the KY 77/ 715 intersection. Master's of the Universe is ~37.823019,-83.58396. At the massive boulder, hike across the river. Go up where it is the easiest. The trail jogs left for about 100-150 steps and then goes straight up the cliff. If you go to the pull off that is 6.5 mi from the KY 77/ 715 intersection (37.8206,-83.5801) and cross the river you will not get to Hen's Nest. You will hunt around and end up at Lower Sky Bridge Ridge--a short jog to the climber's left as you approach the wall. When you try to go to the climber's right, you will approach a rhododendron tangle in a deep crevasse that will stop even the most determined bushwhacker.
caribe said on June 17th, 2012
Hike up where it is easiest means cross the river and enter the forest at the climber's right. Follow the easiest path to the right and then watch for signs of a trail that take you back to the left. The trail runs left and up and then turns more to the south, more direct to the cliff and gets steeper.
dustonian said on June 23rd, 2015
The best pullout for the river crossing is 0.6 miles from the concrete bridge/Upper Gorge parking area
Smiles said on September 22nd, 2015
Never did find a trail...River crossing at 6.2 is correct. Just go straight up hill from there. My 4 year old made it so you can.
Anonymous said on January 25th, 2021
laid an egg here...hehe