Jake McCrary

Climbing at Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks

A few days in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia finished off a road trip Jenn and I took from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

2021-09-19 Sunday

Most of this day was walking around the National Mall in Washington and visiting the Hirshhorn Museum. The Seneca Rocks part of the day was arriving at Yokum’s store and reserving our camping spot at the Princess Snowbird campground.

We arrived right before Yokum’s general store closed and managed to check-in. It was so dark we had a hard time navigating the campground, despite it being very easy to navigate.

2021-09-20 Monday

Jenn and I meet Kevin, the guide we hired, at Yokum’s store. From there we headed to the rocks and started the adventure.

Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time finding the routes on Mountain Project so some of below are guesses from my poorly taken notes.

First group of climbs:

  • Wisder’s Thatch (something like this, can’t find on mountain project)
  • Something else (something the guide wasn’t even really sure the name of)
  • Humphrey’s Head

We might not have climbed the Humphrey’s Head route but we climbed up to the feature. Overall, we ended up climbing five pitches.

Then we rappelled on the other side of the rock formation and did another three pitches

Second group of climbs:

We rappelled back down and then hiked out over so many stairs made of rocks.

2021-09-21 Tuesday

We had breakfast at Yokum’s again and met Kevin there.

We then climbed the following:

Skyline Traverse was three pitches. After it we scrambled/climbed up to the Gunsight notch and did the two pitches of Gunsight to South Peak Direct.

Skyline traverse was pretty fun. It involved some chimney climbing, traversing off a ledge around a bulge to another crack, and some more chimney climbing. My limited description does not do it justice. Go look at the photos on Mountain Project.

We finished Skyline Traverse and then hiked with small sections of climbing to the Gunsight notch. There we climbed Gunsight to South Peak Direct.

The next picture is Kevin leading the first pitch of Gunsight to South Peak direct. This part of the climb felt real epic.

From where Kevin is, you continue up a bit more and then move left before continuing upwards and pulling the top and following the ridge line. There was a moment when I found myself stemming in a small dihedral with hundreds of feet of air below me. It was cool.

First pitch of Gunsight to South Peak Direct

After the first pitch, you pretty much could scramble to the peak. I found myself using my hands and feet, even in spots where I could probably just use my feet, as if you looked to either side you had hundreds of feet of drop.

This route felt really exposed and epic. The epicness went up a few notches as it started to rain as we started to climb it.

The slightly damp rock felt slicker and definitely made me think harder while climbing.

Jenn got to the top and made some comment along the lines of “That was really exposed but really easy” and that is a pretty accurate statement.


Seneca Rocks was a great climbing experience. We didn’t climb anything hard but had an extremely fun time. It would not take much to convince me to go back again.