Franklin Gorge

  • Grades: US
  • Approach time: About a dozen cars or so.
  • Photos: 7
  • Ascents: 543


Located entirely on PRIVATE LAND, single pitch, mostly sport, some mixed & trad.

Access issues

All known routes at Franklin are located on PRIVATE LAND, and therefor, access should not be taken for granted. Keeping a low profile is of utmost importance. The landowner & his family hunt on the plateau above the routes, so please apprise yourself of the State & Local hunting seasons, and act accordingly.


Your typical Potomac Highlands approach: Short & Steep. Staying on the trail is imperative, as even a slight mis-step causes a good bit of negative impact. Always remember that a hillside trail is much stronger on the uphill edge, and much weaker on the downhill edge. Approach times are from 10 seconds to about 15 minutes.

Where to stay

Brandywine Recreational Area, Thorn Springs Campground, Star Hotel, Thompson's Motel


Dogs are not welcome (PRIVATE LAND), Leave No Trace, stay on trails, you-damage-trail-you-fix-it-NOW, no trundling onto road, no Quick-Links, no tick marks, clean up your chalk, clean up your tape, no chipping, no theft, no defacement, use camouflaged hardware, inspect & replace worn carabiners, respect red tags, respect hunters & hunting seasons, no top-roping through fixed gear, etc., etc.


View historical timeline

Sport climbing is known to have come to Franklin in the early 1990's, by then Harrisonburg local John Burcham. Other key developers are believed to be: Eddie & Tracy Begoon, Howard Clark, George Powell, Darrel Hensley, & Mike Artz, along with various others. Later & continued development was brought by Michael Fisher & Michael Gray. Later development at the River's Bend area is believed to be by Matthew Fanning, Matthew Behrins, Sam Powell,

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