Cunningham Falls Bouldering
|GPS:||39.635, -77.467 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||3,078 total · 196/month|
|Shared By:||Christopher Peterson on Nov 6, 2016|
DescriptionThe Cunningham Falls area of Catoctin Mountain Park is located north of Foxville Road (MD 77) near Cunningham Falls, just north of the junction of Falls Nature Trail and Hog Rock Nature Trail. Many problems are located in the rock- and tree-choked ravine right by the road, with many more uphill from there. Downed trees and leaves, loose talus on the ground, and some underbrush make this a wilder experience than more-trafficked areas in the park, but the concentration of boulders and short faces make this an ideal destination.
The approach is a flat 1.4 mile (1.9 km) hike from the Visitor Center, or a steep downhill 1.4 mile (2.2 km) hike from the Hog Rock Parking area.
Primarily a bouldering area, Cunningham Falls contains slab faces, sharp fins of overhung flake, and many featured faces. Problems run from the old creekbed next to the road upslope and parallel to the trail and offer many unexplored opportunities for development. The first problem, Gateway Fin, is located off the Hog Rock Nature Trail, just north of the junction. Turn off the trail left when you reach a large slab of rock in the trail's center (just before the steep uphill section) and bushwhack 200' (60 m) to the outcrop. Outcroppings run Northwest to Northeast from there, and the first (Diamondface Boulder) is visible through the trees.
Bring insect repellent for ticks possibly mosquitoes in warmer months, and a brush for cobwebs and runoff sediment. Loose leaves, logs and sticks, and dead underbrush abound in this area.
Getting ThereTo find the crag itself, find the junction of the Hog Rock Nature Trail and the Falls Nature Trail (there is a sign). Follow the rail uphill towards Hog Rock for approximately 200' (60 m). Turn off the trail left when you reach a large slab of rock in the trail's center (just before the steep uphill section) and bushwhack 200' (60 m) to the first small outcrop (Gateway Fin). Outcroppings run Northwest to Northeast from there, with the first (Jabba the Hutt aka Diamondface Boulder) being visible through the trees from Gateway Fin.
NOTE: If climbing with partners, there is an option to drop off gear and people near the crag. Follow Foxville Road (MD 77) West from the Visitor Center for just over a mile to a a sharp bend in the road. There is a small parking and staging area on the left-hand (South) shoulder. All of the parking is designated for handicapped vehicles destined for nearby Cunningham Falls (the actual waterfall), but other vehicles have space to pull off and unload quickly. Drop off your friends and pads here so only one person needs to make the hike to the crag.
Classic Climbing Routes at Cunningham Falls
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Prime Climbing Season