Introducing The Red’s Newest Climbing Area: The Rock Domain

We’re pleased to announce the opening of The Rock Domain, a brand new climbing area in the Red River Gorge that boasts 180+ routes ranging from 5.4 to 5.13and potential for many more.

The Rock Domain is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky and has never before been open to climbing. The 800-acre property is operated as a summer camp and conference center and is surrounded by Daniel Boone National Forest.

Recognizing the benefits that rock climbing brings to the Red River Gorge community, the landowners began investigating climbing potential on their property.

“We were looking for ways to expand our offerings and take advantage of what our property has to offer,” explains Jon Ott, Co-Chair of the Camp and Conference Board. “The past model of heavy use of the property during summer camp season, and less use during the off-season was not ideal. We were missing opportunities. So we explored different uses and that led us to rock climbing.”

In addition to climbing, the area will soon offer showers, bathrooms, campsites, and cabins (build out is still in progress). Anticipating the area’s popularity, Access Fund provided the landowners with a $2,500 Climbing Conservation Grant to construct toilet facilities in order to sustainably manage and minimize human waste impacts on this undeveloped property.

The Rock Domain is open now, and land managers are excited to welcome climbers and hikers. There is a $10/per day parking fee and climbers must park in designated areas, sign a waiver, and follow the rules. For more information and to sign the waiver, visit: http://www.cathedraldomain.org/rock-domain.

“We are currently sitting at 180 routes, ready to climb. Our trail system has been expanded and improved for access to all of the new climbing areas, and the parking and information area is ready to accept visitors,” says Ott.

The Rock Domain marks another major addition to one of America’s largest and most significant climbing areas.

“Access Fund is thrilled to recognize a community-minded landowner who took steps to responsibly develop an amazing new climbing resource for the public to enjoy,” says Zachary Lesch-Huie, Access Fund’s Southeast Regional Director. “Nowhere else in the country are there more non-profit owned and managed climbing areas. Local organizations like Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and Friends of Muir Valley have set a great example for others in the region.”

Take a Tour of the Property

Photo courtesy of Episcopal Diocese of Lexington