Camping in the Red River Gorge
So you’ve arrived at the Red and now you need a place to sleep. Well luckily the dirtbag gods have smiled down upon you and gifted you Miguel’s pizza place and climbing shop. You might think this is a strange partnership but I assure you this match was made in heaven.
There is an excellent description about the history of Miguel’s and how it came to be the hub of climbers activity in the Red in the guidebook. You can read that at your leisure while you’re hanging out on a rest day.
The campground is well designed and inexpensive. It is $2/person/day for camping, $1.50 for a shower and $2/week for the internet. I personally appreciate this type of pricing structure. Everything is cheap and you pay for what you use.
The scene at Miguel’s can be social or congested depending on your perspective. Climbers pitch tents in an open field or sleep in their vehicles in the often crowded parking lot. Everyone cooks and eats under a shared cooking pavilion and there is not a lot of space for quite alone time.
We loved and loathed the scene at times as it is often young and rowdy but also a great place to meet amazing people.
The best alternative to Miguel’s is Loma Linda which is $5/person/day and it includes your showers and internet. The scene at Loma Linda is quieter and everyone gets their own individual campsite though there is a shared cooking pavilion.
As a single climber you will definitely want to stay at Miguel’s. You will easily meet people willing to take you out climbing, especially if you have a car. Even without a car it will be easy for you to find rides to the crag and the grocery store.
Miguel’s is in a dry county which means he doesn’t serve any alcohol, but you are able to bring in your own which makes this relationship that much better. The beer trailer is a short drive away about 5 miles from Miguel’s over the county line. With a big banner out front welcoming climbers they cater to you by carrying a fantastic selection of craft beers at reasonable prices.
The weekends can get pretty crowded. The Red is a short drive from many metropolitan areas which lends itself to a plethora of weekend warriors. We would usually plan on avoiding the crags on either Saturday or Sunday by scheduling our rest days accordingly.
We stayed at Miguel’s for a total of 3 weeks and spent shockingly little money. Depending on your eating and drinking habits you can easily get by for less than $200 a month and enjoy as much world class sport climbing as your skin can handle.