Crown Jewel of the Red River Gorge
What is Muir Valley?
Muir Valley, LLC is a nature and rock climbing preserve owned, operated, and maintained by Friends of Muir Valley. The Valley is approximately 360 acres in size and walled in by over seven miles of majestic cliffs of hard Corbin Sandstone that range in height from 20 feet to over 200 feet. Waterfalls cascading off the cliffs abound, as do caves and stone bottom creeks. Mountain laurel, rhododendron, and many other species of wildflowers and plants grace the valley floor and hillsides. Muir Valley is indeed one of the prettiest little places of natural beauty to be found anywhere.
Although privately owned, Muir Valley may be freely enjoyed by all—hikers, climbers, and folks just sauntering through taking in the spectacular beauty of the Valley. No admission fees are charged. As such, the Valley falls under the provisions of Kentucky’s Recreational Use Laws.
Because Muir Valley is operated as a non-profit LLC, we appreciate our visitors contributions of money, time, and effort in helping us maintain the land and its trails. You may climb, hike, and enjoy the natural beauty as our guests, but at your own risk.
The name, "Muir Valley", was chosen by the Preserve's original owner/developers—Rick and Liz Weber—to honor the memory of a great American. John Muir is revered as the "Father of the National Parks." His reputation as a conservationist has overshadowed his achievements as a rock climber. The climbing community recognizes him as the greatest climber in America during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in terms of first ascents and technical skills. His achievements are especially impressive in view of the fact that he free soloed his climbs and did so without the benefit of modern climbing equipment.
Muir discovered that climbing rock provided him with an enchanting perspective of the natural beauty around him that viewing from the ground could not. Many of us who climb have been fortunate to make this same discovery. We believe, as John Muir did, that responsible rock climbing in places of natural beauty is altogether fitting and proper.
In 1890, when Yosemite Valley was set aside as a national park, largely due to Muir’s efforts, the land was scarred by logging trails and tree stumps. With much work and the natural healing effects of time, Yosemite has grown into a wondrous place for all lovers of nature — flatlanders and rock climbers alike. On a much smaller scale, we are faced with similar challenges and hold hopes that this little Kentucky valley, with its waterfalls, caves, and breathtaking cliffs will grow into a place that old Muir would have enjoyed climbing in and sauntering through.
Friends of Muir Valley
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." -- John Muir, (1901)