Mountain Project Logo

Areas in Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor North 9 / 108 / 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 133
Safe Harbor South 15 / 102 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 118
Elevation: 194 ft
GPS: 39.935, -76.385 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 173,273 total, 2,344/month
Shared By: Justin Johnsen on Nov 17, 2011
Admins: Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp

Description

Safe Harbor, approached through the village of the same name, is a sport crag that was closed for most of the last 15 years. Though originally established as a runout (R and X) trad crag, it is now one of Pennsylvania's best sport climbing destinations. Most rock here is low angle with good friction, with a few steeper lines mixed in; like the classic steep arete Wonderama (5.12b) in Safe Harbor South. The walls of Safe Harbor all face west-southwest, giving it plenty of daylight - very inviting in cool weather. After dark, I've seen groups climbing by headlamp.

Conestoga township now owns the land that Safe Harbor South is on, and access is free and open as of November 2011. Driving out of the crag on a Saturday evening, the Conestoga Wagon Restaurant looked pretty hopping, but as a "family" restaurant I don't think they serve "adult" beverages. Driving ten miles north to Lancaster will give you many choices.

There is no camping allowed at the crag. The nearest campground is Pequea Creek right down the road. Unfortunately, they are currently only open from April to October. Tucquan Park a few miles to the south might be open in the cool season.

Eric Hörst's Safe Harbor Climbing Facebook group is the best please to network with other SH climbers.
2016: Closure LIFTED of Cemetery Wall to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons Details

Getting There

The north and south areas have very different approaches. See those pages for driving and hiking directions.

Driving from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, take New Danville Pike south to Conestoga (5 miles from Central Park, Lancaster). Turn right on Main Street (3 1/2 miles). Main Street ends in a T-intersection with River Road.

You'll turn left on River Road to climb the south, or right to climb the north.

251 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Safe Harbor Change
Type:  to 
Quality: Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Safe Harbor

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Le Eaglet
Trad, Sport, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pro Bono
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Public Service
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Adopted Son
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Eminant Domain
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Slab Master
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mental As Anything
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Safe Harbor Direct
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Tenuous Odyssey
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Locomotion
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Autumn Arch
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Electric Co.
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Super Slab
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Hydroman
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Wonderama
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Le Eaglet Safe Harbor South > j. Hydroman Sector 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport, TR
Pro Bono Safe Harbor South > e. Super Slab Sector 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Public Service Safe Harbor South > b. Electric Co. Sector 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Adopted Son Safe Harbor South > j. Hydroman Sector 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Eminant Domain Safe Harbor South > f. Autumn Arch Sector 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Slab Master Safe Harbor South > e. Super Slab Sector 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Mental As Anything Safe Harbor South > j. Hydroman Sector 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Safe Harbor Direct Safe Harbor South > b. Electric Co. Sector 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Tenuous Odyssey Safe Harbor South > c. Tenuous Odyssey Sector 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Locomotion Safe Harbor South > f. Autumn Arch Sector 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Autumn Arch Safe Harbor South > f. Autumn Arch Sector 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Electric Co. Safe Harbor South > b. Electric Co. Sector 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Super Slab Safe Harbor South > e. Super Slab Sector 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Hydroman Safe Harbor South > j. Hydroman Sector 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Wonderama Safe Harbor South > f. Autumn Arch Sector 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Safe Harbor »

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
Was just thinking about Safe Harbor and looked it up. Apparently open after a really long closure. I led Autumn Arch around 1983 on gear and it was called 5.9. I climbed there a bit in the late 80's and early 90's when it got bolted; which was a great improvement. Maybe I'll take a trip back with my kids ! Jun 29, 2017
TyrelJ
Alexandria, VA
TyrelJ   Alexandria, VA
There are now several no parking signs along River Road right before the tunnel (I don't remember them from last October). So it seems that you have to drive through the tunnel to park, or park a hundred yards or more before the tunnel. Apr 20, 2015
Holy Slab Batman!!

Safe Harbor is an awesome sport climbing location - with easy access to camping and town, this area makes for a wonderful weekend trip with friends. There is so much to do! You better make this a two day trip!

Be prepared though to blow your feet trying to stand on tiny crips along the slab routes here. Bring a comfortable climbing shoe (if there is such a thing) and make sure to warm up.

Also! If you pick up Green Hill Rd (to get to crag parking) from the south, you're going to have a bad time. The road is trashed and your puny cars wouldn't be able to make it without some damage to the undercarriage. Map of what entrance I'm talking about: goo.gl/maps/XEhA7

Anyway, take some time to meet the locals climbing here; their passion for this crag is palpable. Everyone is so friendly and has a story to share.

Cheers,
-PaulFish May 6, 2013
I am new to the area and would love to get on some climbs. Any rating 5.7 to 5.11. Is anyone willing to show me around? Jul 21, 2016
Adam Marcus
Salt Lake City, UT
Adam Marcus   Salt Lake City, UT
Caution: Although there is a parking lot at the north end of the Safe Harbor South crags (on the east side of Powerhouse Road just before it crosses the Conestoga River), climbers should *not* park there! The hike from that lot to the crags crosses private property and access is still a sensitive issue. Additionally, the trail is badly eroded and a bit treacherous, and if you miss the trail you'll end up on active train tracks.

Also: According to Eric Horst, the North crags *are* open. Here's a message from him with directions: SH North crags are open, but the main climbing area (Cemetry Wall) has no direct access yet. So the instructions to visit SH North….is to park at the north-end Trailhead of the Manor Twp rail trail, located on River Rd just north of Turkey Hill dairy. An almost 5 mile hike or bike ride is required to get to Cemetery Wall, although you will pass occasional scattered route development along the way. Direct access to Cemetery Wall (from Observation Road above the crag) currently crosses private property. Thus, we can’t encourage climbers to enter this way…although some surely do. I’ve met with Manor Twp numerous times and they are working on an easement across the private land that will allow climbers to use this more direct approach—this may come to fruition later this year. Apr 14, 2014
where do you camp when climbing at safe harbor?
how does safe harbor compare to west point, ny?
thanks! Sep 12, 2012
Larry S
Easton, Pennsylvania
Larry S   Easton, Pennsylvania
minquatrails - I think there has been some discussion of this over on the facebook page for safe harbor. If you ask there you usually get a quick reply from Eric Horst. I think the summary is the town is supposed to acquire the land sometime soon, but they don't have a usable bridge from south to north, so once they do that will need to be built, otherwise the only access is from a trailhead 4 miles north. Sep 7, 2012
minquatrails
Lancaster PA
minquatrails   Lancaster PA
Any info on when SH North will open? Sep 6, 2012

More About Safe Harbor

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New
Guidebooks (1)

All Photos Within Safe Harbor (223)

Most Popular · Newest