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.

Princess Arch

Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.1 8 - - 8

Directions to Princess Arch

Drive past Half Moon to the end of Chimney Top Road. On the right side of the terminal loop is the trail head to Princess Arch. Hike the half mile trail over the miniscule arch to a buttress on the end of the ridge. The easiest way to the base of the route is to rappel from one of several trees in the area. As you look down from the top, the obvious dihedral to the right is Ripp-Off. Alternatively, meander down on the left side of the ridge before you reach the buttress.

Wall Sun: Unknown

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


Beginner's Nightmare Trad 5.1
If you walk straight out on the top of the buttress to its end, which faces Red River, you can't help but notice a squeeze chimney which marks the finish of this route. From the base of the cliff, scramble up third class to this chimney. Ooze up the chimney if you have large pro, or traverse right and friction to the top if you have no pro and no fear. Steepness:


Adrenaline Trad 5.10d
Walk left from the base of Beginner's Nightmare to an inspiring crack which splits a bulging face. Climb a short slab to the left of a seam. Protect out of the crack but climb slippery ladder-like holds to its left until the lip. Reach back to the crack for some gnarly fingerlocks and thrash over the bulge. Saunter up the crack, move right, and face climb to a substantial tree. Steepness:


Ripp-Off Trad 5.6
The classic dihedral mentioned in the introduction. Layback the sandbagged start, then pull over the deceptively easy overhang near the top. Steepness:


Face Farce Trad 5.8
Climb the low-angled face left of Ripp-Off, working slightly left. Mantle off an undercling to a sloping dirt ledge. Wander to the top. Steepness:


Golden Fleece Trad 5.6
Worm up the dirty jamcrack left of Face Farce. Steepness:


Finger Filet Trad 5.8
Climb a sharp flake 30 feet left of the previous climb. Steepness:


What a Maroon Trad 5.10a
Walk left from Finger Filet to a conspicuous pointed boulder. Climb the hand and fingercrack just right of the boulder. Steepness:


3D Trad 5.9
Walk left about a hundred feet to a left-facing overhanging dihedral. Climb up a crack to the corner, then stem to a ledge. Traverse right to a rappel tree. Steepness:


Anonymous said on May 17th, 2005
Can you find your way back to the top, or is the only way to get up to climb a route? Thanks, Brian
Ascentionist said on November 16th, 2005
You can walk down/up on the west side of the arch and then contour all the way around the cliff to the routes. There is also a bushwhack scramble on the east side of the arch, best found by hiking left from 3D. Once you know where it is then it is much easier to find from the top. Also, there are few good top rope anchors remaining here. The routes are dirty and there are tourons above you so beware.