Elevation: 255 ft
GPS: 39.323, -77.726 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 161,581 total · 1,876/month
Shared By: John Kelbel on Apr 23, 2012 with improvements by Conrad S. and 1 other
Admins: Frances Fierst
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Access Issue: Mandatory Sign in for all outcrops. Closed West Virginia, Maryland Heights, Skink Rock, Stone Fort. Details


Take Action to Save Harpers Ferry Climbing! Join the campaign with Mid Atlantic Climbers and Access Fund.

CLOSED AREAS are Maryland Heights, Skink Rock, Bug Valley and everything in West Virginia.
OPEN... AREAS are All areas within Elk Ridge including Balcony Rocks, Balcony Jr, The Tiers and The Pit, The Highlands, The Outlying Area, The Underground Railroad, Land of First Light
Per Harpers Ferry National Park

The Harpers Ferry region includes cliffs in all 3 states MD, WV, and VA due to their close proximity to each other all the information is contained here under Maryland.

Here is the original historical guide to Harpers Ferry by Rob Savoye:

The Climbing ranges from multi-pitch trad, sport and top-roping areas to tons of excellent bouldering. Maryland Heights stands 200 feet tall and is the tallest cliff in central Maryland. It is REQUIRED to sign in at the ranger's information station to climb or boulder on any outcrop, this is new since spring 2018.  Most of the rock in the region is a hard quartzite providing good crack systems and positive edges on the faces.

Contributing Web Sights
Harpers Ferry Climbing Blog
Indy's Underground Climbing Guide to Maryland

Getting There

Harpers Ferry is located 17 miles South-West of Fredrick Maryland on interstate 340 where it crosses the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The individual cliffs should provide specific parking information. The Mark train and Amtrack both stop at Harpers Ferry.
All of the Harpers Ferry cliffs are located on National Park Land and some of the parking areas will include a $10 entry fee, however a year pass can be purchased for $30 at the visitor center. Also the annual National Park Pass can be used as well. The National pass cost $80 and has two signature spots so it can be shared with one other person and covers entrance fees for the owner and 3 accompanying adults into all National Parks.

278 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Harper's Ferry

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5
Little Dipper
V2 5+
Orion's Belt
V3 6A
Big Dipper
V4- 6B
Dirty Hooker
V4 6B
Stinger Arete
V4 6B R
The Iron Pickle
V7 7A+
Underground Railroad
A2 PG13
Center Stage and All Alone
Trad, Aid
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
'D' Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Hard Up Direct
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rags to Riches
Trad, TR
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Sign Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Salty Dog Saloon
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Potomac Power Plant Pump
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Sweet Piss
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Little Dipper Highlands
V1 5 Boulder
Orion's Belt Highlands
V2 5+ Boulder
Big Dipper Highlands
V3 6A Boulder
Dirty Hooker Balcony Rock Boulders
V4- 6B Boulder
Stinger Arete Highlands
V4 6B Boulder
The Iron Pickle Highlands
V4 6B R Boulder
Underground Railroad Underground Railroad…
V7 7A+ Boulder
Center Stage and All Alone Maryland Height… > Train Tunnel Wall
A2 PG13 Trad, Aid
'D' Route Maryland Height… > Sign Wall
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Hard Up Direct Maryland Height… > Sign Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Rags to Riches Skink Rock
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Sign Route Maryland Height… > Sign Wall
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad 3 pitches
Salty Dog Saloon Balcony Jr.
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Potomac Power Plant Pump Balcony Jr.
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Sweet Piss Maryland Height… > Sport & Transept
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Harper's Ferry »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Chris Irwin
Silver Spring, Maryland
Chris Irwin   Silver Spring, Maryland
The park has temporarily closed the Sign Wall and the Gully the the public effective April 10th, 2015- August 15, 2015 due to nesting Peregrin Falcons.
midatlanticclimbers.org/new… Apr 10, 2015
Use the below links to access some videos of bouldering in Harpers Ferry.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXrIp0_eq0Q&feature=plcp" Sep 24, 2015
Newark, DE
Torren   Newark, DE
Parking Beta:

Update 02/20/2016

The former "Cindy Dee" carpool lot is maybe a parking option again. It now looks like the restaurant is closed again (for lease sign in the window). They removed the no parking/towing signs too that were there when the Lowry's restaurant was open a few months ago.

Any locals know more about that lot situation? The bus turnaround is a mess since the two "spots" are currently big dirt/ice piles from plowing. There is basically only one big spot (suv/truck) or two small car spots on the good side of the no parking sign. Nov 16, 2015
More parking beta

If you are sketched out by parking in town like me, drive past the town on Sandy Hook Rd., past the school bus turnaround and park at the small roadside parking by the NPS trail. Cross the road to the towpath by the river and walk back, with the river to your right.

Stop when you reach the turn at Lock 33, directly beneath the bridge that crosses to Harper's Ferry WV and under Maryland Heights. You can cross up to the road on stone steps and walk the road under the railroad tracks, continuing around to Elk Ridge using the road. Be careful crossing under the tracks because the road narrows to one lane. This method is also good for accessing the Maryland Heights routes. Dec 17, 2016
I heard that parts of Harper's Ferry were closed due to nesting,

What areas are closed and what are open. Mar 5, 2017
Lex Rodgers
Martinsburg, WV
Lex Rodgers   Martinsburg, WV
Parking Update: officers are ticketing anyone that parks in the school bus turnaround even on weekends.
New Trail: there is an EMS access trail that runs from the school bus turnaround to the top of balcony and finally to Balcony Jr. It is well developed and makes the hike to jr much gentler. However, I believe it's also one reason why they are enforcing parking restrictions more strickly.

Trying parking under/around the bridge on sandy hook or at the MARC station in town and walk the foot bridge over the river. Mar 25, 2017
The Gully, Sign Wall, and ABC ramps are currently closed and are expected to remain closed until August of 2017. You can find further information at the following link:
nps.gov/hafe/learn/manageme… Mar 27, 2017
Shanda Finnigan
Falls Church, VA
Shanda Finnigan   Falls Church, VA
2017 Falcon closures have been lifted: nps.gov/hafe/learn/manageme… Jul 15, 2017