Muir Valley

Crown Jewel of the Red River Gorge

News and Event – Archived Postings 2013

Posted December 3, 2013


Wilderness First Responder Course

Dates: June 14 – 22, 2014

Location: Muir Valley, Wolfe Co., Kentucky

Price: $625.    Special price of $575 to members of the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team and the Muir Valley Rescue Group

Course Sponsor: Muir Valley

Course Description:

This intensive 80-hour class focuses on basic life support techniques and tools for the outdoor professional working in the wilderness.  It covers trauma, environmental and medical issues that arise in a wilderness setting. The class is tons of fun and hands-on skills with the use of scenarios and labs.  This class is a must for any outdoor professionals looking to take their first aid skills to the next level, and to be prepared for anything in the wilderness!  Join us!

Registration Info: Go to and register under “Wilderness First Aid Courses” or call 800.208.2723



Posted September 1, 2013


A HUGE thank you to all 230 of you who worked your fannies off during Muir's Tenth Annual Trail Day! Bridges, stairs, and trails were built; landscaping and grounds maintenance was done; route hardware was inspected and maintained; and dozens of projects were completed. Unlike other trail-day/play-day events, Muir's volunteers labored hard the entire day. So, the number of man-hours worked was... well, incalculable. But, the number had to far surpass any other Access Fund trail day in North America for 2013. A really fine crew of rock climbers performed an outstanding job of helping make Muir Valley a World Class climbing venue. We can't thank you all enough!  -  Rick and Liz Weber


Photos of this event will be posted soon on this website.


Posted September 10, 2013


Muir Valley will be CLOSED TO CLIMBING all day on Saturday, September 28, 2013 for our Annual Trail Day activities. Want to help out? Go to: to get more details and to preregister.


Well, the


Posted September 1, 2013


Well, the fall climbing season has started in earnest. 80 cars on Friday; 102 on Saturday; and 115 Sunday. And we still have Monday (Labor Day) to go! Everyone is learning to spread out to the 30 different walls in Muir, so overcrowding is becoming less of a problem. The three new restrooms in the Valley floor are seeing a lot of business as are the two at the main parking lot. Just that much less impact on the fragile ecosystem down here.


We recorded the number of visitors per vehicle on Saturday and Sunday, and the average was 3.29 persons per vehicle.  That came to 240 visitors on Friday, and 714 visitors for Sat and Sun. This average stays surprisingly constant throughout most of the year. But in March and the first half of April, it jumps to over 4.0 per car. We think this is due to Spring Break kids packing more people into vehicles than our average visitors.


And so the good news is this: With close to a thousand visitors during the first three days of the extended four-day Labor Day weekend, there were no emergency responses.


Based on last year's stats, it looks like we will end 2013 with close to 42,000 visitors to Muir Valley.


This year we have made four stick clips available for loan at the Shelter house on a first-come, first-served basis, and they are usually gone by 10 am. We will be making up a few more to fill the demand. Sure beats having to cart climbers with broken ankles out of the Valley. We also have helmets available for loan to anyone who has forgotten theirs.


Jake the Snake—Muir Valley's resident bridge troll— is back again this year hanging out at the stone steps to the Tantroft bridge. He now has a girl friend who shares the steps. Unfortunately, he is not the best judge of character, as she is a rather large copperhead. Please watch your step while crossing the bridge and please don't harm these critters.


The route information guides that we started giving out to visitors to fill in the huge gaps left in the Muir Valley section of the current RRG guidebook have been overwhelmingly popular. And, as a consequence, they are hard to keep in print. Our third printing—the largest to date—just arrived and will be given at no charge to those who request them.



Posted June 6, 2013


We've finally finished installing climbing route I.D. Discs at the bases of every rock climbing route in Muir Valley - over 365 of 'em! This tedious project was undertaken to solve two annoying problems found in all climbing areas: 1) "I can't find the @#$% route; this guidebook description sucks!" and 2) "I wonder what this route is rated?"


  The nickle-sized aluminum discs (shown here) are installed in tiny recesses in the rock faces at eye level at the starts of every climb in the Valley. Each disc displays the name of the route, whether it is a sport or trad line, and the difficulty rating.


Posted May 30, 2013


* Wow! A new attendance record: 165 vehicles on Saturday, May 25. 107 on Sunday, and 118 on Monday. As the ratio of passengers per car here has been running at 3.8, that comes to 1482 climbers for this holiday weekend! If this keeps up, Muir will see well over 40,000 visitors in 2013.


The good news! As usual, the popular walls saw the most traffic. I was at Bruise Brothers Wall all day on Saturday, and surprisingly, although there were lots of climbers there, routes were open and the waiting time to get on specific routes was not very long at all. Lots of activity and camaraderie.


And best of all... no accidents of any kind.


As new climbs continue to be developed, the crowds are dispersing more and more throughout the Valley.


Posted May 15, 2013


* Many climbing visitors to Muir Valley have brought it to our attention that the latest edition (Fourth) of the Red River Gorge South guidebook includes significant errors and omissions in the Muir Valley section. This seems to have caused a lot of confusion and frustration on the part of visitors coming here for the first time—especially those wanting to climb Muir's more moderate routes. As it will probably be two or three years before a new (and hopefully corrected) edition, we have attempted to alleviate the problem in two ways: 1) by printing a temporary MicroGuide that we are now handing out to visitors needing updated info, and 2) by providing a link on this website that you can click to download a pdf file  you can print that includes photos and info for all the new climbing routes at the Front Porch, Land Before Time, and Guide Wall.


Click here for more info.


Posted May 10, 2013


* Work continues on the three new public restrooms being built along the main trail running the length of the floor of Muir Valley. Roger VanDamme, Anne Altor, Paul Shellabarger, Tom Truesdale and other volunteers have dedicated hours of hard labor to bring these buildings to fruition. The restrooms will be a welcome relief to climbers. Their presence is especially important to the preservation of the ecology of the preserve in view of the ever increasing number of visitors—now projected to exceed 40,000 during 2013.

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