Written by Jody Trammel


Woman rock climbing at Carederock Park, MarylandThe neighborhood of Carderock in Montgomery County, Maryland is located along the Potomac River in the western portion of Bethesda. The town has become popular for rock climbing at the recreation area, at Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center and along portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Carderock also has a local elementary school (Carderock Springs), public pool and a professional golf course.

Whether you want to go rock climbing

at the Carderock recreation area or ride a bike back to the airport at the end of your stay, call Affinity Airport Sedan. Our professional car service will pick you up and get you were you need to be.

Olden Times

Carderock is one of the oldest climbing areas in the eastern part of the United States. It dates back to the 1920’s when three climbers (Gustave Gambs, Don Hubbard and Paul Bradt) started to scale the area. The first climbing guide, “Rock Climbs Near Washington” was written by Don Hubbard, and published in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Bulletin in July of 1943. In 1942, Herb and Jan Conn began climbing at Carderock. They named several routes like Herbie’s Horror, Jan’s Face and Ronnie’s Leap. The course climbed by Herb Conn was among the first climbing routes in the country. Carderock is a 1,705 acre tract registered in 1802 with state of Maryland by Robert Peter of Georgetown. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was constructed between 1828 and 1850 and shut down in 1924. The inland waterway was acquired in 1938 by the government and converted into the park.

Recreation Area

The park is a hundred acre square. It is popular for outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking and biking. There is a picnic shelter (C section of Billy Goat Trail) with convenient access to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and popular rock cliffs. Visitors are not charged any fees.

The rock cliffs range from 25 to 60 feet and there are 100 established climbs within 200 yards of the cliff. Traditional climbing is not recommended since it is difficult to ensure protection. The metamorphic rock is easily breakable so climbers will be at risk.

If you want to take in some music and tour the Carderock, call on Affinity to get you there! Our reliable car service can drop you off and pick you up.