Ohiopyle Climbing Guide

Climbing in Ohiopyle State Park, PA
by Tim Anderson

Laura Hahn on Arachnophobia 5.10d 
Schoolhouse Crag
Located in the Laurel Highlands region of Southwestern PA this State Park, primarily a whitewater town, is getting known as a fun cragging destination as well. Centered around the Youghiogheny River, this park is well known for white water rafting and kayaking.  Several crags reside along the Yough River Trail, some reaching upwards of 100' in length.  These crags are a fun place to visit as the approach is made easy by bicycling down the converted railway bed approximately 4 miles directly to the crags situated just off the trail. Steep sport climbing is the norm and for the most part the climbing is widely unknown. 2008/2009 development should perk up the traffic at these cliffs. The added bonus is that when the pump sets in and you want to chill, head down over the hillside and jump in the river to cool off.  Ohiopyle is a a great spot to hit on mild winter days since the crags get a great deal of sun.  On the flipside, tucked away in the nooks and crannys are some amazing gems that make Ohiopyle's climbing a winter climbers playground offering a considerable amount of ice and mixed climbing.

Ohiopyle State Park is one of our regions greatest natural resources and an invaluable asset to local climbing.  The park focuses on the Youghiogheny River and the gorge it created millions of years ago. The park first officially opened climbing in the early 90's at the Meadow Run crag.  Very coarse and cobbly, it didn't offer anything desirable to most avid climbers.  It was the only offering legally climbable in the park.  It was never really mentioned or even listed on park maps.  During the 90's and early 2000's climbers dabbled on the other, high quality cliffs and outcrops in the park.  In 2007 recently appointed, climber friendly, Park Manager John Hallas and Assistant Manager Stacie Hall assisted local climbers in gaining legal (much better) climbing access for climbers.  With the red tape work done by park officials and trail/crag development by local climbers and FOO (Friends of Ohiopyle), the majority of the now climbed crags opened in 2008.  The rock in the gorge is Homewood sandstone and appears chossy at first, but upon climbing the routes you’ll soon learn how solid the rock really is.  Climber friendly holds that are generally smooth in nature, offer great gritstone friction.  With climbs ranging from 5.1 to 5.13 there is plenty for all to climb.  Basic climbing instruction is offered by several local river guide services or private guiding is available through Climb High, Run Far (me).

From the West: From the PA Turnpike, take Exit 91, Donegal. Turn left onto PA 31 east. Travel about two miles, turn right onto PA 711 and PA 381 south. Travel ten miles to Normalville, turn left onto PA 381 south for 11 miles to Ohiopyle.
From the East: From the PA Turnpike, take Exit 110, Somerset. Take PA 281 south 25 miles to Confluence. Continue three miles up hill and at the church, turn right onto Sugarloaf Road, SR 2012. Continue nine miles to Ohiopyle.
From the South: (DC, MD, VA): Take I-270 north to Frederick, then I-70 west to Hancock, then Rt. 40 and I-68 through Cumberland. Take Exit 14 (Keysers Ridge) to Rt. 40 west to Farmington, PA. Turn right onto PA 381 north for eight miles to Ohiopyle.
From the South (WV): Take I-79 North to I-68 east. Take Bruceton Mills Exit to Rt. 26 north. At the PA border it becomes PA 281 north. Turn left onto PA 40 west, to Farmington, turn right onto PA 381 north to Ohiopyle.

For GPS Units Use this address for Ohiopyle State Park: 124 Main Street, Ohiopyle PA 15470. This should direct you to the center of the park. Follow signage once you are in the park to find your desired destination.

Approaching the crags varies by season.  The Spring/Summer season is April 1 - September 30 and the Fall/Winter season is from October 1st - March 31.  During the Spring/Summer season most climbers seem to favor the bike approach to most of the crags.  From the Old train station/Visitors center its a nice relaxing bike ride along the Great Allegheny Passage downstream to the crags.  The visitor center is open daily and offers free park maps which provide the icon locations of the crags, although not labeled, the map is very helpful in locating the crags plus I'll provide more detail below.  Usually the visitor center is manned and  hosts can assist you in general locations and points of interest within the park.  During the summer months you can ride the shuttle bus down to Bruner Run (or drive down on your own after October 1st) and walk the short approach trail to Bruner Run crag.  From Bruner Run parking area you can also shorten your bike ride to the crags by half.   There is also a walk-in approach via the Old Mitchell trail to the bike trail.  During the fall/winter season the easiest/preffered approach is to drive and park at the Bruner Run boater take-out/climbing area parking.  Note that all climbing areas/crags have light blue blazed access trails. This will also aid you in finding the crags.

Spring/Summer - April 1 thru Sept. 30
Approach By Bike: 
From the Old Train Station/Visitors Center. Start riding the bike trail downstream.  First you'll cross the iron bridge in downtown Ohiopyle.  Shortly after crossing the bridge you'll see the loop parking area on your right as well as a bench and rail/trail guidelines and rules.  By the bench you'll notice a white marker with the number 72 on top.  These are the mile markers along the Great Allegheny Passage (the trail your riding on).  These markers help in locating the crags and tell you how far you've gone.  The crags in order going downstream are... Beech Trail Crag, River's End, School House, Maple Wall, and the last/furtherest crag downstream is Bruner Run.

Distances downstream to crags from 72 marker on bike trail: Beech Trail Crag 1.25 miles, Rivers End 3.5 miles, School House 3.75, Maple Wall 4 miles, Bruner Run 7 miles.

Approach Walking-in:
Driving from the visitors center/town take Main Street, through town and cross the bridge over Meadow Run.  Take the first right after the bridge onto Chalk Hill/Ohiopyle road.  Follow past Cucumber Falls parking area on right and continue to top of hill.  At the intersection, go straight onto Holland Hill Rd./Sugar Run Rd.  Follow Holland Hill Rd. slightly over 4 miles to a Y at the Old Mitchell Place parking area.  Veer right to the upper parking area.  From here you start on foot.  Follow the right leg of Mitchell Trail apprx. 1/2 mile watching for Kentuck Trail on your right.  Follow Kentuck trail apprx. 1/2 mile downhill to the river.  At the river /rail trail turn left and walk (downstream) 10min. to River's End crag, or futher for School House, Maple Wall, etc...  Walking in is easy and downhill, but most climbers that have made the journey dislike the uphill walk back to the car after a long day of climbing.

Approach via Bruner Run Shuttle:
Since the Bruner Run take-out road from the gate down to the river is closed to the public, that doesn't mean you still can't have easy access.  The catch is it'll cost ya a few bucks.  Busses run every 15min. from the gate to the river and back (Bruner Run take-out/Bruner Run Crag) Their usual routine is to bring kayakers and rafters along with their boats up from the river to the Mitchell parking area.  Climbers can buy tokens in town and at the park office and use the busses and their trailers to haul you, your bike, your climbing gear and all the goodies you want right to the river.  From there you can walk up to Bruner Run crag in about 5 min. or by bike you can ride the bike trail upstream and be at Maple Wall in about 10 min. The other crags follow in the upstream order from Bruner Run take-out apprx. as follows.  Maple Wall 1.75 miles, School House 2 miles, Rivers End 2.25 miles.  When finished return to the take-out parking and get your bus back to the top where your parked. 

Fall/Winter October 1st - March 31
Fall/winter season is a very favorable time of the year to climb in Ohiopyle.  The temperatures are cooling, friction is good and the crowds are gone.  O yeah... The Bruner Run take out road opens up and approaches are even easier.  The only catch is that when the weather is too bad snow, ice, etc.- they will close the gate and access is restricted to bicycle or foot.

During Fall/Winter season, follow the directions as when using the shuttle above, but instead of buying a token and riding the bus, the gate will be open and you can drive the road down to the river park there and proceed to your desired crag.

Modern sites, some with electricity - Kentuck Campground is open from the beginning of March to late December. There are 226 campsites, 27 of which are walk-ins that have more privacy but require a short hike from the vehicle to the campsite. All campsites have a picnic table, fire ring and parking space, and the campground has washhouses with hot water and flush toilets, four children’s play areas, and a sanitary dumping station. A few campsites have electric hookups and more are planned for the future. There are three platform tents. These pre-pitched tents have electric hookups, dining canopy, bunk beds, mattresses, picnic tables, and fire ring. Advance reservations are required to insure campsite availability. Four yurts sleep five people and are equipped with bunk beds, table, microwave, refrigerator, stove top, picnic table, and fire ring.

Being a state park and major tourist attraction, many places in town offer rooms for the night, summer months are busy and reservations are recommended.  Take your pick.

Most climbers are environmentaly aware and have concern and respect for our pristine western Pennsylvania woodlands.  Please do your part to stay on designated trails and minimize impact while in these areas by staying in the obvious areas at the base of the cliffs.  If you see garbage laying around at the crag, please pick it up.  If you see someone being destructive, politely educate the person to respect the woods and areas we cherish.  We are all there to enjoy ourselves so lets keep the woods clean and natural.  Without the state park services in Ohiopyle none of this would be possible.

One word sums it up- “Subjective”.  Ratings are subjective.  They only offer a close idea of how difficult a climb is.  The ratings in Ohiopyle are the same as they are elsewhere.  Some will find them stiff, some will say soft.  Most will agree that the climbing here is FUN! One thing that helps out most climbers is learning to be comfortable taking falls.  Realizing that falling isn’t a bad thing will greatly improve your climbing ability on lead.  Not only that, it will also make the whole rating thing not seem so important.  In this guide I've abandoned the use of the abcd's and went with the traditional +/- to simplify.   Walking up to a climb and getting on it by visualization and without knowing the grade is a good thing.

This guide uses the YDS Yosemite Decimal System +/- when rating free climbs.  To give you an idea of how this system works, here is a guideline:

Easy  5.0-5.4
Moderate 5.5-5.9
Difficult 5.10-5.12
Extremely Difficult 5.13-5.15

R and X ?
If reading this far you should already know what this means. This signifies to proceed with great caution.  An (R) labeling on a route means that there will be long distances between protection or that protection may be marginal.  An (X) labeling on a route means that there will be little or no protection at all and that a gound fall is likely.  The nearest hospital location (Uniontown) and coroner should be known before attempting these routes.  In case of Emergency: Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to the nearest hospital look on bulletin boards or at the park office.

Uniontown Hospital
500 West Beckley St. Uniontown, PA 15401  Phone: 724-430-5000

For more park information Contact:
Ohiopyle State Park
P.O. Box 105
Ohiopyle, PA 15470-0105

Park Mangager - John Hallas
Assistant Park Manager - Stacie Hall

email: ohiopylesp@state.pa.us

Information and Reservations at:
www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.


Beech Trail Crag
1.25 miles downstream
Seldom used by visiting climbers.  Beech Trail Crag is the first crag you'll pass when riding downstream from town.  Primarily used by local outfitters for basic top roping classes.  Approximately 35' tall and has several short top roped routes that are fun for the whole family.

River’s End Crag
3.5 miles downstream (RE marker): just before marker
One of the several downstream climbing areas on the Ohiopyle bike path (Great Allegheny Passage) in Ohiopyle State Park. This crag consists of two separate walls with a short break down between. Unlike many of the overhanging routes at nearby Schoolhouse and Maple Wall, Rivers End offers a higher concentration of bolted face climbs. The left wall is easily recognized by a prominent roof and some overlaps. The right side is vertical face climbing with few overhangs. It gets full sun in the fall and winter which makes this a great spot on warm winter days. In the summer there is plenty of shade to stay cool. A great pit stop on the way to popular School House Crag (don't be surprised when you end up spending the whole day here).

Left Wall 
1. Creature Feature 5.12, Top rope - Start in the small cave.  Look for the “creature feature” about 10’ up.  Move up passing the creature through moderate climbing to the roof.  Pull the strenuous crux at the roof and finish. 30’

2. Sludge Factory 5.12+/13-, 5 bolts, ring shuts - (stick clipping 1st bolt recommended). Starts just uphill from where the trail meets the cliff.  Make easy moves to the large ledge under the low roof.  Traverse right and into the first crux.  Move up and right around the corner of the low roof.  Climb up easier terrain up through the middle of the route.  Rest well at the last ledge before the final roof.  Make strenuous moves and a tough final clip at bolt 5. Finish at the shuts. 50’

3. Petrified  5.11-, 5 bolts, ring shuts  - Begins right and around the corner right of Sludge Factory.  Climb the face passing the large petrified log coming out of the rock on your right.  Pull the bulge and get established on the rest ledge.  Finish the short face on crimpers to the shuts. 50’

4. Whale Tail 5.4, 5 bolts, ring shuts - Great route for the new sport climbing leader. Offers safe climbing on generous holds. A somewhat committing, short crux section mid route. Due to the prominent edge approximately 8' below shuts, it is recommended to rappel from the shuts after finishing or bring a second up from the top to clean draws, then walk off to the left. 50'

5. Snail Trail 5.5 G, Trad - Fun line with good protection. Follows inside corner to a crux top out involving some stemming. Good climb for the grade. Takes solid cams all the way. Top out at trees and rap or walk off. 30'

6. Itchy Alage 5.10+, Top rope - Short and pumpy climb. Thin crimps and seams up a slightly overhanging wall. From the small ledge its fairly continuous and finishes on precarious moves at the top. Can be easily climbed via top rope after lowering from Carl's Bunnies the 5.9 arête to the right. Located on the short face just left of the centrally located cliff breakdown between the right and left walls. Easier described as (right end of left wall). 30'

7. Carl's Bunnies 5.9, 4 bolts, rap anchor - Quality line of SWPA gritstone. A short but very fun route. Worth getting on despite its short nature. Several committing moves put you at the tricky top out. Commit to the finishing move and success is yours. Highly recommend. One of the best 3 bolt routes in SWPA. 30'

Right Wall 
8. The Bee's Knees 5.10+, sport, 4 bolts, ring shuts - Very fun climbing on flakes, crimps and a jug here and there. Start can be damp several days after a rain. The start is a little less than picturesque, but quickly turns quality. The crux is up high on the route after the burn sets in. Overhangs more than it looks. Cool looking cobble rock! Left end of right wall. First bolted climb coming down from the center of the two walls. 40'

9. B.O.P  5.10+ R,  5 bolts, ring shuts  - Starts below ledge on right wall.  Climb up technical section down low to large rest ledge.  Climb up from the rest ledge passing the bulge crux and finishing on the face above. Don't blow the fourth clip, the consequences are obvious.  50’

10. Thieves in the Night 5.11 sport 4 bolts, ring shuts  Starts on the right end of the large ledge above the start of B.O.P.   First starting moves could be considered a crux and stick clipping might be a good option as is a belay anchor. Easier climbing from bolt 1 to 2. Sustained climbing to be found above. 40'

School House  Crag
3.75 miles downstream (SH marker): just before marker
One of the most popular climbing areas in Ohiopyle State Park.  Steep and tall, obvious from the bike trail.  The size of this crag is impressive for SWPA.  Tiered roofs and intimidating in nature, it's similar to climbing found at the New River Gorge in West Virginia. 

1. Flying Dutchman 5.5, 6 bolts, ring shuts - Starts slightly uphill on the left side of the cliff.   Very generous holds, short crux section at the conglomerate.  Great climb for a first lead.   As easy as Eclipse at Breakneck in Connellsville, but longer and better climbing. 70'

2. Metamorphosis 5.8, 6 bolts, ring shuts  - Climbs up large holds up to a small bulge, Pull the bulge and climb up through the gulley to ledge.  Finish on the short crux to the ring shuts at the top. 75’

3. Cry Me a River 5.6, 4 bolts, shuts - Just right of the start of Metamorphosis.  Climb the slightly overhanging face to the bulge.  Pull the bulge to find easier climbing to the shuts. 50'

4. Firefly 5.8, 3 bolts, ring shuts - This short one is a good intro to the steep climbing at School House.  Climb the line of 3 bolts up the slightly overhanging face to the ledge and shuts.  Finishes 1/2 way up the wall below an obvious bulge. 40’

5.Good Day to Die 5.11-, 7 bolts, ring shuts - Climb Firefly to the shuts, clip a shut and keep climbing over the bulge and up the face to shuts. 80’

6. Kaya 5.11, 7  bolts, ring shuts - Climb up the inside corner about 20’ right of GDTD.  Aim straight up face to the alcove. Use the (nasty) undercling to reach jugs out over the lip of the roof, pull through and up to the inside corner.  Continue up the corner to the squeeze and a sit down rest ledge.  Climb up the next overhanging corner to the base of the large roof looming overhead. Traverse left on exposed moves to the obvious prow.  Pull up to the ledge and climb the easy face above.85’

7.Humpty Dumpty 5.10+, 7 bolts, Chain Anchors - Climb up tiered roofs passing "the block that should not be" up onto the face. Continue up the face to the base of the final overhang.  Climb up and right out the roof to the chains. 65’ 

8. Natural Mystic 5.12-,  8 bolts, ring shuts - Climb the steep line of bolts up overhangs and bulges to the large roof. Pull the final roof (with the fixed chain) just to the left of the center bent tree. Finish on easier flake climbing to the anchors. 90’

9. Soul Rebel 5.12, 5 bolts, cold shuts - First  line climbed at the cliff. Start right of the obvious center bent tree and climb up past 3 bolts to a rest ledge. Pull off the rest ledge on the underclings up to the fixed draw, pass the draw and up through the crux to continuous face climbing above to the shuts. 75’

10. Arachnophobia 5.10+, 7 bolts, ring shuts - Climb the first 3 bolts of Soul Rebel to the rest ledge.  From the ledge move right out a balancy, slabby crux up to the base of the roof. Traverse left several moves to the roof flake.  Pull the roof at the flake and continue to the top. 80’

11. Black Stallion 5.10-, Top rope - Start off jugs above the small cave near the far right end of the cliff, climb up to a large ledge.  Make several balancy moves up to the base of the blocky bulge, follow the lip of the bulge to the base of the corner.  Follow the short corner to the base of the roof. 40’

Maple Wall at 76
4 miles downstream (76 mi. marker): shortly after marker
There is an access trail directly across from the rest bench along the trail.  Upon reaching the crag you will see a massively roofed crag.

1. Mellow Mood 5.10a 5 bolts, ring shuts - Start up the route directly in front of the bench.  Climb up moderate climbing to the rest ledge.  Continue up from the ledge through the crux of the route and finish on balancy face moves at the top. 60’

2. Bil-Jac-Son 5.7, 5 bolts, ring shuts - Start 10 feet right of Mellow Mood. Climb up the obvious inside corner.  Hit the ledge and continue up the left-facing flake on your right to the top of the cliff. 65'

3. Get Up Stand Up  5.8 5 bolts, ring shuts - start below the right corner of Loggia’s ledge.  Climb up thorough generous holds to a tricky stance on the right tip of Loggia’s Ledge. Continue up through the notch to the tree passing it on the left.  Finish committing moves on the short flake and face above. 70’

4. Sabotoge 5.9+ Top rope - This line begins just 15’ left of Solstice.  Climb up the easy face and inside corner to the imposing roof.  Move out delicate holds to a jug in the center of the roof.  Commit and pull up over the lip to the ledge.  From the ledge finsih on easier climbing above. 70’

5. Solstice 5.7 PG13, 6 bolts, ring shuts - Begin just right of the blank roof on the way up to Loggia’s Ledge.  Climb the big, jugs up the ever so slightly overhanging roofs. Continue up through the crux to the left facing flake.  Finish on easier climbing above. 80’

6. Small Axe 5.9+, trad -  Climb up the face right of Solstice to bird poo corner.  Climb up through the interesting corner to fantasic easy climbing above. 80’

7. Loggia 5.12a, 7 bolts, ring shuts - This is an amazing route. Looks can be deceiving.  Climb up past the first 2 bolts to the base of the roof.  Clip the bolt  under the roof and make the committing moves right out over the lip.  Pull up to the rest ledge.  Shake it out and continue up and left through the bulging crux and continue up to the comfort ledge.  Move up the easy face to the shuts. 75’

8. Shifticus 5.11, 8 bolts, ring shuts - Climb the first three bolts of Loggia. Start heading right under the roof to the inside corner. Follow corner through several overlaps to the top. Same start as Loggia, then heads right. 80'

9. Prince of Darkness 5.12+,  6 bolts, ring shuts - Starts off the right end of the large block below the center area.  Climb the short face passing 2 bolts to the base of the roof.  Climb out the roof on large blocks to the crux lip.  Pull the lip and climb the overhanging face to the shuts under the large roof/alcove above. Route is noted by the glue-in bolts.  Watch for loose rock in the roof. 55'

Bruner Run Crag
An easily accessible crag.  With an enjoyable 5 minute walk from Bruner Run take-out road to the crag.  To find the the approach trail from parking area, walk uphill across the bike trail on Bruner Run take-out road.  You will see a Yellow "Bridge Ahead" sign.  The access trail goes into the woods just before the sign.  Trail blazed in light blue.  Several high quality face climbs and some fun easier top roped routes.   Piton Corner is a fun 5.7 trad route to be enjoyed by many.  Bring your A game for the technical face climbs and the inner beast for the projects and thug fests.  Most of all bring a positive attitude and be ready to smile!

1. Trundle Queen 5.7, Trad, top out - On the left side of the cliff is a series of blocky ledges.   Moderate climbing leads to an open book.  Follow up through to the top. 35’

2. Bruner Run Roof 5.10, Top rope - On the left side of the cliff is a blocky roof. Climb the face up to the roof.  Pull the roof at the notch and thrutch through the corner to easier climbing and the top. 45’

3. Piton Corner 5.7+, Trad, ring shuts - around the corner from BRR in obvious corner. Named for the 2 pitons located on the route.  Climbs inside corner up to ledges climb ledges to a stemming finish and shuts.  Climb is much better than it looks.  45’

4. Split Decision 5.10+, 4 bolts, ring shuts - Climb up moderate 5.8 face holds to the first clip. Continue up the bolt line on flakes and face holds to a large horizontal. Finishes on larger holds above. Steep and continuous from the first bolt up to the top.

5. Grounded 5.10+, Trad, topout - Starts just left of the start to Devil’s Doorway.  Work up to a large horizontal.  Follow left to crack and flake.  Pull up into the corner and ramp.  Climb up to the left leaning ramp.  Follow the ramp and easy face above to top.

P. Devil’s Doorway - PROJECT (5.13+) - A difficult line can be envisioned here.  Starts under the overhanging open book corners. Work into corner and finishes at the anchors at the lip. There are shuts with snap-links and red biners at the lip. Rap down and use when top roping. Rigging from here prevents rope abrasion. Please do not remove the red biners they are there for everyones convenience.

6. Easier Said than Done 5.10+, Mixed, 4 bolts, .5cam, ring shuts - Climb the awkard corners up to the small roof.  Pull the roof and grovel your way up the chimney. Finish on the steep face above.  A .5 cam is helpful between bolts 3 and 4. Interesting moves for SWPA 50’

7. Redline 5.11, 5 bolts, ring shuts - Begin 12’ right of ESTD corner.  Follow the red streak up technical moves to a rest.  Follow steep face to shuts above. 50’

8. O’Brien’s Line 5.11-, 5 bolts, Metolius Rap Anchors - Near the right end of the cliff.  Follows a prominent arete up through some thin moves. Very good route 45’

9. Deliverance 5.11+, Top rope - Starts below obvious flake 10’ right of O’Briens Line.  This route has a very short bouldery start to the first bolt.  It then backs off to 11- climbing for the remainder.  Work up through balancy feet and a powerful reach to the flake overhead.  Move right around the arete.  Finish with face climbing to the shuts.

10. Dave's Dangle 5.10-, Top rope, Shuts - Short overhanging face to the right of the tall wall. Located above the steps coming in and out of the crag.  Climbs on the left side of the large tree. 30'

Meadow Run Climbing Areas
Aside from the climbing found along the bike trail in Ohiopyle, climbing can also be found along Meadow Run.  Climbing opportunities exist for both summer and winter climbers.  The Meadow Run rock climbing area is the most upstream of the three Meadow Run climbing areas.  It was the first legal climbing in the park and is home to some fun top roped climbing in a beautiful setting.

The rock climbing area along the Meadow Run Trail is accessed from the parking lot about 1/4 mile off route 381 along Dinnerbell Road found shortly before the park office on the left.  From the lot hike the right leg of the trail and it will lead you right past the crag.  The hike takes approximately 15 min. to reach the rocks.  The 35' tall rocks have several sets of top rope anchors setting up climbs.  Several fun moderates exist.  No names or ratings have been documented, so the climbing is a little adventurous.  Most climbers find the rock to be very coarse in nature and tend to favor the other crags in the park.

Lower Meadow Run and Meadow Run Amphitheater are the places to visit in the park for ice/mixed climbers.  The rock is chossy and seeps plenty of moisture which is less than desirable for typical rock climbing practices, but these same conditions produce some incredible playgrounds for winter climbers...  More to come as the temps drop and winter draws near!

Additional useful information for cragging in Ohiopyle

Climbing Gear/Bike Rentals: 
Wilderness Voyageurs - Largest area outfitter.  Located on Route 381 on the left coming into Ohiopyle before the tracks. They can supply you with a fine riding machine and a cart to haul your butt, all your heavy climbing gear, a cooler of your favorite refreshments and just about anything else you’d want to take to climb. Gotta love cart and climb along the river...  They carry a small amout of climbing gear, outdoor clothing, etc. 103 Garrett St. Ohiopyle, PA 15470 phone 1.800.272.4141 www.wilderness-voyageurs.com

Camping - Ohiopyle State Park campground - tent sites and all the peace and quiet a climber needs. There's a trail that connects the campground to the bike trail which is very convenient for those spending the weekend.  Ride your bike right from tent to crag in 25min.

Rooms - Hotel, various cottages, rooms, etc. for rent in the town of Ohiopyle.  Very easy to find.

Who’s Hungry? Where to eat in Ohiopyle

THE place to be after a day of climbing.  Located at the end of Garrett St. on the left.  Follow the road past Wilderness Voyageurs about 200 yards.  Falls City Pub is on your left.  Can't miss it!  This is the epicenter of Garrett St.  A fine selection of beers, munchies, dinners and colorful entertainment await you.

The Firefly grill 
Located only a block from the parking lot.  They offer a large selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads and delicious treats (should you indulge).  Outdoor tables offer a climber style dining experience. beside the church across from the entrance to the parking lot. no alcohol - byob  25 Sheridan St. 

The Ohiopyle House Cafe’ 
A  little more upscale than the firefly, but still very climber friendly (as is most of Ohiopyle) with outdoor deck dining.  They offer more plated dinners and alcoholic beverages.  Located directly across from the exit of the parking lot at the train station/visitors center.

In Conclusion...
Thanks for taking the time to read my little guide.  I hope it gets you out climbing and smiling!  If you like this guide and find it useful, be sure to let me know.  If there's enough interest I'll make more guides to the other great crags in SWPA.  Hope to see you in the woods.

Be safe,


  1. I vote for more guides. This is extremely helpful.

  2. Replies
    1. Your very welcome Regina! I put a few more routes up like the Dutchman for you to come and enjoy.

  3. Would anyone know if any ice is in around ohiopyle?

    1. On route 30 east when the road is about to merge after the split before idlewild. There is an exit before a little concrete bridge over the loyalhanna creek for darlington. As soon as you exit, park and walk up the shorg road on the right. There is an amazing quarried wall that runs about a mile. Plenty of ice when we rapelled there in the late spring.

  4. This is great. Thanks for posting. Having just come from Colorado, I'm really impressed that the PA scene has free online guides like this while Colorado has none. Keep up the good work and thanks for promoting the sport!

  5. Checked out Schoolhouse and Maple crags yesterday. Just wanted to offer my opinion on the grades of the 12's:

    Natural Mystic - 12a***
    Soul Rebel - 12b** (needs old piton replaced at the crux)
    Loggia - 12a***
    Prince of Darkness - 12a* (fun, but dirty)

    Great stuff! Can't wait to check out more.

  6. Thanks for the input and opinions Chaz. Glad to hear you're enjoying the PA climbing scene. See you out there!

  7. Nice and interesting climbing guide. Please keep on sharing!

    online climbing resource

  8. Hey Tim,
    Great guide! Do you happen to have any more pictures you could add to the site?

  9. Hi Tim...your site looks to be a great resource. Any tips for a novice 8 year old climber and his even more novice dad to do some bouldering in the Ohiopyle area without getting ourselves hurt?

  10. Hi Tim - thanks for the fantastic site. I wanted to ask you what you know about a somewhat hidden, unsigned crag right across from the slides down near town. I ventured up the hill there (the side opposite the creek from the parking area) just to explore the woods and found a long cliff band with some lines that are maybe 30-45 feet. There are actually bolts here and there and some chains so it's obviously been climbed before but was pretty dirty and showed little signs of use - is it closed to climbing these days? I'm sure you know about it but it was news to me...

  11. That area is known as "Lower Meadow Run" and is primarily equipped for mixed winter climbing. Although they may appear seldom climbed this time of year, during the winter months the seeping water freezes and the crag becomes a popular mixed climbing playground. If you venture a short distance upstream on the parking lot side you'll find similar only a lot steeper and harder

  12. Tim, I was at Ohiopyle this weekend and noticed nice signs marking all the crags!

  13. Thanks for the great write-up!

  14. One of the bolts on Arachnaphobia (school house) has a nut that is loose. The nut and plate are spinning and the nut can be tightened with just your fingers. I believe it is the fourth bolt on the route...on the face right before the roof. Unfortunately we didn't have any tools to tighten it at the time, but something to keep in mind. I believe my buddy posted this on a few other websites as well (Mtn Prj, etc). And, as everyone else stated, thanks for the excellent write up and hard work.

  15. I was able to find good advice from your blog posts. rock climbing

  16. Really great intel. Hope we can connect for some personal guiding. Thanks:) danyelle