Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 543 ft
GPS: 39.3246, -77.7255
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 121,563 total · 587/month
Shared By: John Kelbel on Apr 18, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Frances Fierst, C S
Warning Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures; Road Closures. See nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/… DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Please respect falcon closures which commonly occur from Feb 15 - July 31. A significant portion of Maryland Heights is closed to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons. All routes from the Gully to the Confederate walls are closed, including the popular Sign Wall and Ramps.

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 division photo

Mandatory Sign in

To climb on Maryland Heights it is REQUIRED to sign in at the ranger's information station it's easy and doesn't 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 it's 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 ranger's 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.

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 at the top.

Season

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 don't sit down.

Getting There Suggest change

Parking around Harpers Ferry can be frustrating and illegal parking is being enforced.  The main parking is at the Harpers Ferry Visitor center on Shoreline Dr off 340 about 1 mile west of the bridge and Shenandoah St.  Which includes an entrance fee.  From there a bus will take you into Downtown Harpers Ferry. Which also means you need to be out before 5:00 to catch the free bus back.

There is NO parking on Sandy Hook rd.  

There is NO more parking allowed in the CSX / Marc lot without a Marc permit.  This lot is located off Potomac St in downtown Historical Harpers Ferry, see marker 1 on map below. 

From Downtown Harpers Ferry.  It is a short walk to sign in at the rangers information station, see marker 3 on map below. Note sign in during covid was waived and is still waived as of 9/7/23.  This hopefully will be permeant. 

Head across the train bridge on the pedestrian walkway 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 climb the classic Hard up and all the routes left of the train tunnel are located on the right side of the old white stone building at the base of the cliff.  This trail is steep and in bad shape as of 9/7/23

 

64 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Maryland Heights, MD Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Maryland Heights, MD

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
A2 PG13
 4
Center Stage and All Alone
Trad, Aid
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 33
'D' Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
 5
'D' Slab Direct (DoubleD)
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 45
Hard Up Direct
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 9
Hard Up
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 4
Black Powder
Trad 3 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 6
Yellowjacket
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 4
Hard-On
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 4
Space Walk
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
 4
Sign Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 9
The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Center Stage and All Alone Train Tunnel Wall
 4
A2 PG13 Trad, Aid
'D' Route Sign Wall
 33
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
'D' Slab Direct (DoubleD) Sign Wall
 5
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad
Hard Up Direct Sign Wall
 45
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Hard Up Sign Wall
 9
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Black Powder Sign Wall
 4
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Yellowjacket Union Walls
 6
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Hard-On Sign Wall
 4
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Space Walk Sign Wall
 4
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Sign Route Sign Wall
 4
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad 3 pitches
The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up Sport & Transept
 9
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
More Classic Climbs in Maryland Heights, MD »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

loading