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Harper's Ferry

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Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Sherman Gap Trail
This singletrack trail heads up and over the ridge line of Massanutten Mountain. Near Strasburg, Virginia
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Sherman Gap
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The Massanutten Ring
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Harper's Ferry Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.3226, -77.7264 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 30,479
Administrators: Frances Fierst, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Kelbel on Apr 23, 2012  with updates from Conrad S.


79° | 63°
Memorial Day

81° | 61°

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81° | 60°

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Twilight at Harpers Ferry John Kelbel HDR Photo


The Harpers Ferry region includes cliffs in all 3 states MD, WV, and VA due to their close proximity to each other all the information is contained here under Maryland.

Here is the original historical guide to Harpers Ferry by Rob Savoye:

The Climbing ranges from multi-pitch trad, sport and top-roping areas to tons of excellent bouldering. Maryland Heights stands 200 feet tall and is the tallest cliff in central Maryland. It is REQUIRED to sign in at the ranger's information station to climb on Maryland Heights. None of the other areas require a sign in. Most of the rock in the region is a hard quartzite providing good crack systems and positive edges on the faces.

Contributing Web Sights
Harpers Ferry Climbing Guide
Harpers Ferry Climbing Blog
Indy's Underground Climbing Guide to Maryland

Getting There 

Harpers Ferry is located 17 miles South-West of Fredrick Maryland on interstate 340 where it crosses the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The individual cliffs should provide specific parking information. The Mark train and Amtrack both stop at Harpers Ferry.
All of the Harpers Ferry cliffs are located on National Park Land and some of the parking areas will include a $10 entry fee, however a year pass can be purchased for $30 at the visitor center. Also the annual National Park Pass can be used as well. The National pass cost $80 and has two signature spots so it can be shared with one other person and covers entrance fees for the owner and 3 accompanying adults into all National Parks.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.6 miles from here

252 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',19],['3 Stars',80],['2 Stars',121],['1 Star',30],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Harper's Ferry

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Harper's Ferry:
Little Dipper   V1 5     Boulder, 12'   Highlands
Big Dipper   V2-3 5+     Boulder, 20'   Highlands
Orion's Belt   V2-3 5+     Boulder, 10'   Highlands
Dirty Hooker   V4- 6B     Boulder, 10'   Balcony Rock Boulders
Center Stage and All Alone   A2 PG13     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 80'   Maryland Heights, MD : Train Tunnel Wall
A-1 Climb   5.1 2 6 II 7 MD 2a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 190'   Maryland Heights, MD : ABC Ramps
'D' Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   Maryland Heights, MD : Sign Wall
Grooving Up Slowly   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Balcony Jr.
Crown Of Thorns   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR   Balcony Rock
Carpet Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 25'   Skink Rock
Cliff Monster   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X     TR, 1 pitch, 90'   Balcony Rock
Hard Up Direct   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 170'   Maryland Heights, MD : Sign Wall
Black Powder   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 180'   Maryland Heights, MD : Sign Wall
Cold Steel Corner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 65'   Balcony Jr.
Rags to Riches   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 33'   Skink Rock
Popeye's   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR   Balcony Rock
B & O Burn   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Balcony Jr.
Salty Dog Saloon   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Balcony Jr.
Potomac Power Plant Pump   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Balcony Jr.
The Paymaster   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Balcony Jr.
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Harper's Ferry

Featured Route For Harper's Ferry
Rock Climbing Photo: Not sure if the guy in this pic is off-route but h...

Sign Route 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b MD : Harper's Ferry : ... : Sign Wall
P1 - first pitch of Hard-Up P2- from bottom left corner of the sign, follow the two right-leaning cracks across the sign. finish at the top right corner of the sign. P3- from belay ledge continue straight up to a right trending ramp 5.7 R or escape off the ledge to the right.Notes from other climbers: 1. This is a spectacular route. Some of the pins seem to have disappeared- but modern tiny gear might save your ass. The third pitch is a bit chossy and bird shit encrusted. Save yourself the troub...[more]   Browse More Classics in MD

Photos of Harper's Ferry Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview sketch map of Harpers Ferry bouldering ar...
BETA PHOTO: Overview sketch map of Harpers Ferry bouldering ar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Map of roads leading to Harper's Ferry
BETA PHOTO: Map of roads leading to Harper's Ferry
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview sketch of the bouldering areas on Elk Rid...
BETA PHOTO: Overview sketch of the bouldering areas on Elk Rid...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of town from top of Maryland Heights
View of town from top of Maryland Heights
Rock Climbing Photo: Don't climb mad, or sad, or even serious, at Harpe...
BETA PHOTO: Don't climb mad, or sad, or even serious, at Harpe...

Comments on Harper's Ferry Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bill Kirby
From: Baltimore Maryland
Mar 30, 2016
As March 30 2016 all of Maryland Heights is closed from B slab left due bird nesting

The Tunnel Wall and Confederate Wall are only sections open.
By Chris Irwin
From: Silver Spring, Maryland
Apr 10, 2015
The park has temporarily closed the Sign Wall and the Gully the the public effective April 10th, 2015- August 15, 2015 due to nesting Peregrin Falcons.
By Conrad S.
Sep 24, 2015
Use the below links to access some videos of bouldering in Harpers Ferry."
By Torren
From: Newark, DE
Nov 16, 2015
Parking Beta:

Update 02/20/2016

The former "Cindy Dee" carpool lot is maybe a parking option again. It now looks like the restaurant is closed again (for lease sign in the window). They removed the no parking/towing signs too that were there when the Lowry's restaurant was open a few months ago.

Any locals know more about that lot situation? The bus turnaround is a mess since the two "spots" are currently big dirt/ice piles from plowing. There is basically only one big spot (suv/truck) or two small car spots on the good side of the no parking sign.

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