Maryland Heights, MD Rock Climbing
Approach the wall via the railroad tracks that cro...
Maryland Heights is the tallest rock in central Maryland reaching 200 feet tall and offering much multi pitch trad climbing, some sport lines, and a few aid lines. There is very little top-roping that can be done without leading a climb first. Be sure to check out the Area Divisions Photo Seasonal Closures
As of March 4, 2016, Sign Wall and points right are closed for Falcons. Confederate Wall is open. Rangers claim Union Wall is also open, but there are signs along the approach trail indicating the trail area is also closed, so while the wall itself may be doable it'll require a different approach, from climber's far left. This closure is now expected yearly and normally ends in August. For further information check with Mid Atlantic Climbers
. Mandatory Sign in
To climb on Maryland Heights it is REQUIRED to sign in at the rangers information station its easy and doesnt take long. Not signing in may result in a $150 fee. This is the only cliff in the Harpers Ferry area that one needs to sign in for. The rangers often get reports from non-climbers that someone has climbed up onto the cliff and are in trouble. So by signing in the rangers know who should be on the cliff and who should not be. The rangers ask you to sing out however if its after hours 5:00pm and the station is closed there is no need to worry about it. Please do sign out to keep good relations with the park when possible. The rangers information station is located in the historical town in WV. The station is the last building on Shenandoah street (south side), near the intersection of High street. see marker 3 on map Rock quality
The Rock quality varies form excellent solid clean rock to broken and loose blocks with razor sharp edges. Most of the popular routes are fairly clean. The areas to avoid are above the sign particularly the top right section. Also The Union and Confederate Walls and the Gully seldom see climbers and will contain much loose rock, See Area Divisions Photo
The Climbing Season is early spring to late fall, but seldom in the peak of summer. The rock faces South West so there is morning shade for most of the cliff. However the Train Tunnel wall and Confederate walls face south and will see the sun much earlier. Also the rock is mostly black and soaks up the solar heat making temperatures 10 degrees hotter then forecast. Harpers Ferry is notorious for chiggers in the summer time. So bring bug spray and spray your shoes and socks and dont sit down.
Parking around Harpers Ferry can be frustrating when arriving after 9:00am on beautiful days. The recommended parking lot is the CSX / Marc lot located off Potomac St in downtown Historical Harpers Ferry, see marker 1 on map
. This lot fills up quickly. The Fee is $10 and a year pass can be purchased at the visitor center for $30. From here it is a short walk to sign in at the ranges information station, see marker 3 on map
. Head across the train bridge on the pedestrian walk way to the cliff. At the bottom of the stairs for the bridge walk under the railroad and go another 60 feet walk into the dry canal and mantle the wall on the other side from a stack of rocks. Cross Sandy Hook road to access the trails to the cliff. The trails to the climb Hard up and all the routes left of the train tunnel is located on the right side of the old white stone building at the base of cliff.
Alternative parking on the Maryland side is the trail head parking for MD heights,see marker 2 on map
. Located a half mile north from the cliff on Sandy Hook / Harpers Ferry Rd. However this lot only holds about 8 cars. If you arrive later in the day its possible to find a spot here particularly if you wait around for 15 minutes as someone may leave. There is a self pay box located 100 feet up the trail for Maryland Heights.
If everything mentioned above is filled up you will be forced to park at the visitor center and take the bus into town which also means you need to be out before 5:00 to catch the free buss back.
Climbing Season For the Harper's Ferry area.
Weather station 0.7 miles from here
58 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',31],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Maryland Heights, MD
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Maryland Heights, MD
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Maryland Heights, MD:
Featured Route For Maryland Heights, MD
Sign Route 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
: 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
Climbing wall. Photo: Dave Fiorucci
BETA PHOTO: Maryland Heights Area divisions
Scott McClurg. The classic Harpers Ferry photo. (R...
Paul Clancy, Rob Savoye (foot), Maryland Heights (...
Rob Savoye lead climbing on Maryland Heights
Rob Savoye lead climbing Maryland Heights.
BETA PHOTO: The original guide image from Rob Savoye. Taken fr...
BETA PHOTO: Yellow Arrows are the main Rappel A single 60m rop...
View from Maryland Heights, looking down on Harper...
BETA PHOTO: Marker 1: CSX / Mark Parking Marker 2: Trail Head ...
BETA PHOTO: An overview of Maryland Heights. The Sign Wall is ...
Looking up the Potomac river north-west into WV. C...
Brain Roland, free climbing above anchors bare foo...
Scott McClurg. Recharging in Harpers Ferry after a...
Rob Savoye and Ed Bollack, on a Sign Route day. (R...
View of Maryland heights, looking down on a popula...
By Gabe Cisneros
From: Baltimore, md
Aug 12, 2016
Per ranger station downtown: Back in business as of three weeks ago. Sign wall and right are reopened.
From: Westminster/ also DC area
Aug 19, 2016
Injured my ankle on Dees revenge this morning and had to leave behind 3 cams and a anchor cord... Would be eternally grateful if someone happens to clean them off the route and return em. Also just a heads up the Marc parking lot is closed, so you have to park by the top lot and take the shuttle.
By Bridget T
Sep 21, 2016
Due to climbing activity last year at Maryland Heights Peregrine Falcons' nesting was unsuccessful. These falcons start preparing nesting sites in January, not March. Harpers Ferry National Park will temporary close specific routes in the upcoming nesting season in consideration of the peregrine falcons. Thank you for being considerate and sharing the Maryland Heights wall with these feathered friends!
By Conrad S.
Sep 22, 2016
After PM'ing Bridget T we have some more information. She says she works "with" the Audubon Society and they work with the National Park Service. It looks like she is likely a volunteer with good intentions. Look for official announcements from Harpers Ferry National Historic Park on cliff closures via their Current Conditions page nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/con...
By Mark'Indy' Kochte
Sep 22, 2016
I, too, am curious as to the data used in the conclusion re: the falcon nesting. I am currently working on a new climbing guide to Maryland and want to have the best data and information possible in it.
By Jeff Beavers
Sep 25, 2016
Went in to visitor's center today (Sept. 25, 2016) and asked two different park rangers. There are currently no cliff closures on Maryland Heights.