Climbing

Historically, the cliff faces within the legislative boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, specifically the Maryland Heights Cliff in the "Elk Ridge” area, have been widely considered to be some of the best climbing in the tri-state area, drawing hundreds of visitors to the cliffs each year. Within the park, there is a broad range of rock types, as well as a broad range of climbing.

All climbing activities, including traditional, top rope, belay, lead climbing, bouldering, etc. within the legislative boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in the state of Maryland are open to climbing. These include, but are not limited to, the following climbing and bouldering areas:

1. All areas within “Elk Ridge"
2. The Main Cliff of Maryland Heights, including the Union Walls, The Gully, The Sign Wall, ABC Ramps, Train Tunnel Wall, and Confederate Wall
3. Balcony Rock
4. Balcony Rock Jr.
5. The Tiers and The Pit
6. The Highlands
7. The Outlying Area
8. Skink Rock
9. The Underground Railroad Overhang
10. Bug Valley
11. Land of First Light

All rock climbing activities, including traditional, top rope, belay, lead climbing, bouldering, etc. within the legislative boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, in the states of Virginia and West Virginia, are closed through a Superintendent Compendium closure.
 

Regulations

  • Registering before your climb is mandatory.
  • Observe posted route closures; contact the park for specific closure areas.
  • Practice Leave No Trace Principles. Do not leave gear on the cliffs or rocks.
  • Any climbing or bouldering access trails, besides the trails designated by the park on the park’s trail map, are considered “social trails” and are not maintained by the National Park Service. The intentional development of approach trails is prohibited. Any park visitor climbing or bouldering within the park using these climbing and bouldering areas, as well as any “social trail” assumes all risk unto themselves.
 

Climber Registration


Registration is a mandatory requirement for all persons planning to climb or boulder. The registration is free.

Failure to register for climbing or bouldering is subject to citation and fine. This mandatory registration is in the best interest of the climber and the climbing community as it ensures climber safety, documents climbing use, and becomes part of a historical database.

To register before your climb, visit the Lower Town Information Center, ask the ranger or volunteer for the climbing registry book, and fill out your information in the log.

Last updated: March 26, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Phone:

(304) 535-6029

Contact Us