• Activities:

    Hiking, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    0 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Boxcar Rocks, AKA the Chinese Wall, is probably one of the most impressive rock formations in the entire state of Pennsylvania. It's a sharp knife edged ridge made up of conglomerate and large quartzite pebbles allowing for great hand and foot holds.

The parking lot can be tricky to find your first time. From I-81 Take Tower City exit on Rt. 325 W. Before airport, take Gold Mine Rd south over first major ridge. After ridge look for a driveway/parking lot on the left, it is the one just downhill of the big wide open parking lot. The road has a gate across it, where hunters also park. Note: There a numerous gates along this road. The coords to the gate you want are N40.32.672, W76.32.136. The Coordinates to Boxcar are 40.54680°N, 76.5261°W.

From Lickdale: Follow Rt. 72 North and it will turn into Rt. 443 by Swatara State Park. Follow 443 East through state park to Gold Mine Rd. Look for the same parking lot on the right as you are crossing over the second mountain (Almost at the top of the crest in the second).

Approach instructions: Go through the gate and follow road up the hill for about 5 minutes (two tenths of a mile). A beaten down trail through thick evergreens will on appear on the right. Follow trail for only about 300 yds to rock. Climbing is on the back side of the rocks as they appear when you first see them. A PA rock climbing guidebook is useful here, but there are some visible bolted routes and anchors up along the top.

Beware that others not climbing can be above you and in the rock "windows" so make sure your presence is known. We always wear helmets incase any pebbles pop off, which they have.

There is no camping nearby that I am aware of due to its location within the PA state game lands. Hunting is allowed, so take that into consideration when hiking there during the season. There are no bathrooms and no trash cans, so LEAVE NO TRACE!

This is a fun, little off-the-beaten-path gem and is definitely worth checking out!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Climbing gear
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Boxcar Rocks was amazing, definitely some good sport routes (although we didn't partake), and excellent boulder problems if you have a crash pad. For non-climbers, the hiking is great, you can follow a route that keeps you on top of the rocks for a bout a quarter mile, great views. Worth the trip, bring water, have fun, be aware of the rocks.

8 months ago
8 months ago

Tiffany Micek

Wanderer, writer, forager, and lover of all things wild..

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