Elevation: 503 ft
GPS: 39.325, -77.72 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 15,077 total · 195/month
Shared By: Conrad S. on Nov 21, 2012
Admins: Frances Fierst
Access Issue: Mandatory Sign in for all outcrops. Closed West Virginia, Maryland Heights, Skink Rock, Stone Fort. Details


Balcony Jr. is a south facing wall along a power line clearing on Elk Ridge, MD, within the National Park Service property for Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The wall is 30 to 65 feet tall and nearly every portion of the wall overhangs to some degree. The holds tend to be large but open handed and somewhat slopey. For these reasons the rock can be difficult to read as what looks like a hold may be too slopey to grab. The rock is very hard.

It’s just a short uphill hike from Balcony Rock where most people have climbed in the past. Due to the lack of trees in the powerline clearing and the position of the cliff up the mountain side there is an exposed feeling while climbing on this cliff.

This cliff is a great winter climbing area. It faces due south and gets bombarded by the sun all day long. It is climbable through most winters if the wind is not too strong.

The bottom left corner of this cliff is known as The Sunshine Wall for its good sunny winter bouldering. The landing zone is flat and the variations are fun.

The center area of the cliff sees some seepage during wet conditions and during the winter. A small bit of ice can form on the bottom half but it isn’t climbable. Multiple types of snakes have been sited below this cliff though not on a consistent or frequent basis. One of these types was poisonous.

Getting There

Parking is the main issue for this cliff and for most of Harpers Ferry. The parking situation changes with the seasons, the quantities of tourists at the park, and people recreating in the water gap. It is best to reach out to local climbers on facebook or in local clubs or outdoor shops to get the current parking beta.
The approach is uphill about 10-20 minutes depending on your leg strength.

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HEADS UP: This area is not included in the area closures at HF this summer, but I noticed a falcon nest there that looks active (not that I know jack about birds). NPS has been made aware. Jun 23, 2015
For those looking to get to Balcony Jr. from Balcony Rock, my advice is to not go uphill directly from the top of Balcony Rock. There looks to be a trail there when you start from the top, but it has been washed out in places before picking up again. There is an easier trail to take if you go left at the boulder right before the base of Balcony Rock. So if coming from Sandy Hook Rd., you'll come across a boulder where you can see Balcony Rock and a trail to the base of it on the right and a trail leading off to the left, you want the left trail. The trail isn't marked, but will be much easier than scrambling through loose rock and leaves. May 31, 2016
@JacobDE , Thanks Jacob. Your description is correct. The way you described is the way that has been lightly groomed over time in the hopes of establishing a common approach to Balcony Jr. Going the way you described spreads the hill climb over the whole distance rather than climbing uphill all at once up front. Jun 15, 2016
Hey, does anyone know about the new trail that has been put in that runs from near the top of Balcony Rock and heads *straight* over to the base of Balcony Jr? This new trail forks off right from the trail that comes up from the turnaround drive, just above where the "Train Song" block is. The new trail which has been cut into the hillside, heads straight over, flat and level, to the base of Balcony Jr. It definitely eliminates the steep bushwhack hill climb up to Balcony Jr from Balcony, and makes accessing Jr much more pleasant. Jan 2, 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