Elevation: 268 ft
GPS: 40.055, -76.524 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 35,026 total · 259/month
Shared By: Ross Purnell on Feb 14, 2008
Admins: Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp, SCPC
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Chickies Rock is a traditional climbing crag on cliffs rising over the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It has single- and multi-pitch routes, ranging from 5.0 to 5.10+ or 5.11-, on adequate quality metamorphic rock. It's popular to climb on top rope on the Main Face, with slings and trad protection to build anchors; you'll find no bolts here!

The crag is in the eponymous Chickies Rock Park. The rock itself is Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite. Chickies Rock is the largest exposed anticline on the East Coast. According to USGS, the summit of the ridge is 587 feet (179 metres) above sea level. The state park info says the cliff is 200 feet tall--and that might be true by the overlook, but at the south end--on the face where the main crowd climbs--the cliff is about 150 feet. Maybe 75-100 feet up to Riverview Ledge, and then another 50 feet up The Block if you try for a second pitch; very few people do that. The climb straight up the center of The Block is an excellent 5.8 called Ape Call that is rarely climbed.

This is a traditional trad area. If you set up top ropes on Riverview ledge, allow ground-up leaders to climb through, and share the lines with other parties. It's generally a friendly group of people eager to share the Chickies Rock experience.

Getting There

Park at the new Furnace Road parking area for Northwest Lancaster County River Trail (NLCRT). There are signs on Route 441 in Marietta to guide you. If you are in doubt, the county has provided this map: co.lancaster.pa.us/Document…
Follow the NLCRT east and south (downriver) until you get to the cliff. The first area you encounter is the Northwest Buttress. The Main Wall is the open sunny face at the far end (on the way to Columbia).

Rock Type

Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite : "light-gray to white, hard, massive quartzite and quartz schist with thin interbedded dark slate at top."

33 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Chickies Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5-6 6C+
The Exorcist
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13
Witches Brew
Trad 2 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
The Library
Trad, TR
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Hit and Run
Trad, TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Ivy league
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Undercling
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Josh's Hump
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
For Madmen Only
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Trad, TR 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Lower Undercling
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lester the Molester
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Exorcist Cave
V5-6 6C+ Boulder
Witches Brew Main Wall
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13 Trad 2 pitches
The Library Main Wall
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, TR
Snowflake Main Wall
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13 Trad
Hit and Run Northwest Buttress
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Ivy league Northwest Buttress
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
The Undercling Main Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Josh's Hump Main Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad
For Madmen Only Main Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R TR
Hollywood Main Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR 2 pitches
The Lower Undercling Main Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Lester the Molester Main Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Chickies Rock »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Paul H
Paul H   Pennsylvania
It's listed as a link in one of the images - but check out the site below for detailed guides

http://mhartman.net/climbing/chickies.html May 31, 2013
two sets of bolts and chains, thank you to the installer.

However the chain at the top is a little short and if you rappel down to main ledge pulling rope very hard/impossible. Adding a couple of links would allow rope to float as opposed to getting stuck on rock due to bend. Sep 15, 2013
Corey Taormina
Sandy, Utah
Corey Taormina   Sandy, Utah
just to let people know, the parking area that is noted in here, you can't park there anymore. There are three no parking signs by the open grassy field. And I did confirm this with the Lancaster County Parks Department as well. They said it the land is owned by a private owner. Jul 1, 2014
The pull-off parking just down the hill north of the main overlook trail parking area remains off-limits. To get to the bottom of the wall, either walk in from the south using the parking area at the end of Breezyview Drive, or walk in from the north using the parking area on Furnace Road. May 27, 2015
Hyo Byun
Baltimore, MD
Hyo Byun   Baltimore, MD
Drive slightly past the parking area suggested here and park at "Chickies Rock County Park Northwest River Trail Parking Lot" (Google Maps). After enjoying the luxurious porta potty at the lot, just go down furnace road & continue on to the river trail. It is a easy 1/2 mile walk, all paved. It will bring you to the bottom of all of the cliffs. But seriously, check out the porta potty, it is huge.

Be prepared for a huge crowd to be staring at you while you climb. Also, At the tops of climbs, we encountered kids, kilts, dogs, and teenagers smoking blunts next to our anchors. Feb 19, 2017
Ross Purnell
Ross Purnell   Palmyra
The bolts and chains have been removed from Riverview Ledge. Aug 30, 2017
Andy Weinmann
Silver Spring, MD
Andy Weinmann   Silver Spring, MD
Surprisingly better quality rock and climbing than I was expecting. Offset nuts/brass are helpful here as there are some odd flaring cracks where those will fit nicely. A good range of small cams (e.g. purple C3 size) will really help too. Oct 3, 2017
David Wallace II
Dover, PA
David Wallace II   Dover, PA
Visited the area on Sunday to work on setting gear for BSA climbing instructor class. Was surprised by all the posted signed and unauthorized persons beyond point signs. These signs are at the top, bottom, and all sides. Can anyone help to understand if something has changed with climbing here? Nov 6, 2017
Jay Bengtson
Baltimore, MD
Jay Bengtson   Baltimore, MD
Can anyone tell me how this area is after a rain. Or during snow melt? Feb 2, 2019 · Temporary Report