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Northwest Branch

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Dirty Ernie 
North Bank - Chaos Roof Area AKA Snowflake Boulder 
North Bank - Crack Line Boulder 
North Bank - Tulip Area 
North Bank - Uphill Slab 
South Bank - The Cracks 
South Bank - Tick Area 
South Bank Falls 
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From MP's sister site:

Northwest Branch Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.0303, -77.0041 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,845
Administrators: Frances Fierst, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kristan Markey on Nov 16, 2012


83° | 62°

84° | 65°

86° | 67°

85° | 67°

83° | 66°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Parker Reed, Charlie Thompson on spot.


Collection of 100 boulder problems in a wooded area of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River just minutes north of DC. Watch for families hiking through on the weekends.

Topos available at: (newer)

Getting There 

Drive to exit 30 on the Capital Beltway (495). Head north on Colesville Rd/Columbia Pike (Route 29).
Drive 1.4 miles on Route 29. Parking lot for the Northwest Branch will be on the right. If you get to the Citgo/Trader Joe's/California Tortilia (Lockwood Plaza)x, you've gone too far.
Follow the trail at the parking lot

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 4.3 miles from here

38 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',19],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Northwest Branch

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Northwest Branch:
The Fin   V2 5+     Boulder, 14'   North Bank - Chaos Roof Are... : Fin Boulder aka Trailside
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Northwest Branch

Featured Route For Northwest Branch
Rock Climbing Photo: Follow the yellow line (for the starting traverse,...

Pleasantly Pebbly 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Maryland : Northwest Branch : South Bank Falls
Sweet route! Too bad it's so short. Climbs as two boulder problems. Start to the right of Crack Baby. Make a delicate rising traverse to the right, above the water and along the edge of the slab. Reach a stance at the top of the slab and find a bomber finger jam in a short, diagonal crack. From here, make a second rising traverse out left to the apex of the boulder for an easy top-out. Slightly contrived; you can escape out right to considerably easier ground.Protects well with offset nuts/t...[more]   Browse More Classics in Maryland

Photos of Northwest Branch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: NWB
Rock Climbing Photo: WARNING* Swim at your own risk. Syringes litter th...
WARNING* Swim at your own risk. Syringes litter th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Parker Reed
Parker Reed

Comments on Northwest Branch Add Comment
Show which comments
By Brian S
Nov 27, 2012
Here is another (newer) guide -
By Kennedy O'Donnell
From: McLean, VA
Jul 20, 2014
Toured this area yesterday for the first time with two others. Pleasantly surprised by how accessible every boulder was. Some boulders were absoloutely beautiful and dying to be climbed. Graffiti on almost every boulder- wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that it seems the state has tried to paint over it all which just made small crimps where paint is almost impossible to hold on to. This might make some of the higher skilled routes no longer doable. Bad landings also put a lot of problems out of commission.
By sasquatch
Oct 11, 2015
Any issues with doing a bit of night bouldering here?

Also im flying down from Alaska tomorrow and I'm interested in getting out tomorrow or Thursday morning if anyone is available to give a quick tour.

By dah3586
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 21, 2015
Hey! Looking for any psyched locals with a boulder pad and able to get out and climb here or elsewhere tomorrow, Tuesday 22 Dec 15. My Friend and I are solid 5.12 climbers and v6-7 boulderers. Trad climbing 11+. Hope to hear from someone, your Christmas shopping can wait!!! Grew up in Harrisburg climb out west now ;)

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