Maryland Heights, MD Rock Climbing
|GPS:||39.325, -77.726 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||John Kelbel on Apr 18, 2007 · Updates|
Registration is required prior to climbing on Maryland Heights. To register visit the Lower Town Information Center.
Climbing is Closed in all of Virginia and West Virginia at Harper's Ferry
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 Maryland Heights Area divisions
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. No closures expected for 2017. 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. Marker 1: CSX / Mark Parking Marker 2: Trail Head Parking Marker 3: Rangers Station Red line: Approach trails
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.
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.
Alternative parking on the Maryland side is the trail head parking for the MD heights trail, 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 bus back.
Marker 1: CSX / Mark Parking Marker 2: Trail Head Parking Marker 3: Rangers Station Red line: Approach trails
Classic Climbing Routes at Maryland Heights, MD
Days w Precip