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Chickies Rock

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Chickies Rock Rock Climbing 

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Location: 40.05453, -76.52424 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ross Purnell on Feb 14, 2008
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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.

Getting There 

Chickies is just off Highway 441 near Columbia, PA. Use this map as a reference:

The parking area indicated by the "P" on chickies Rock Overlook Trail is NOT where you want to park. This is a longer hike and ends at the top of the overlook. the best place to park is to the north where the Susquehanna Heritage Trail meets 441. It's a pullout beside a grassy area with a few white municipal buildings. Follow the trail to the south along the river and old railway tracks to the far south end of the rock.

Rock Type 

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


Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.5 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Chickies Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Chickies Rock:
The Exorcist   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 12'   The Cave
Witches Brew   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Main Wall
The Library   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
Snowflake   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
Ivy league   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 65'   Northwest Buttress
Hit and Run   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 65'   Northwest Buttress
Hollywood   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 2 pitches, 160'   Main Wall
Josh's Hump   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   Main Wall
The Undercling   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
For Madmen Only   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     TR, 1 pitch, 105'   Main Wall
Lester the Molester   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
The Lower Undercling   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 120'   Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Chickies Rock

Featured Route For Chickies Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Northwest Buttress

Hit and Run 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  Pennsylvania : South Central PA : ... : Northwest Buttress
Cruxy start, smaller holds that get better....[more]   Browse More Classics in Pennsylvania

Photos of Chickies Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Decent perspective on the problem
Decent perspective on the problem
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanya on the final headwall of Sunday Morning.
BETA PHOTO: Tanya on the final headwall of Sunday Morning.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan following on Main St.
BETA PHOTO: Ryan following on Main St.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bird's eye view of Chickies Rock.
BETA PHOTO: Bird's eye view of Chickies Rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Street and Library
BETA PHOTO: Main Street and Library
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of Main Street
BETA PHOTO: Top of Main Street
Rock Climbing Photo: Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...
BETA PHOTO: Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...
Rock Climbing Photo: main wall at Chickies
BETA PHOTO: main wall at Chickies

Comments on Chickies Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul H
From: Pennsylvania
May 31, 2013
It's listed as a link in one of the images - but check out the site below for detailed guides
By johnva
Sep 15, 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.
By Corey Taormina
From: Sandy, Utah
Jul 1, 2014
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.
By Kevin A. Brenneman
May 27, 2015
Climbed here over the weekend, and can confirm that the pull-off parking down the hill north of the main overlook trail parking area remains off-limits. To get to the bottom of the wall requires a scramble down from the top using one of the branch trails. More power to you if it is at all wet/damp. Another option would be a long walk-in from the south using Chiques Trail from the parking area at the end of Breezyview Drive (off of Rt. 441) south of the main parking area.
By Hyo Byun
Feb 19, 2017
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.

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