Share:

Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop

Catoctin Mountain Park

Greater Washington D.C., Maryland

Start Exploring
Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop

Share:

Advertisement
  • Park at Catoctin Mountain Park's visitor center to start this loop.  Head to the right of the parking lot.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • The trails through out the park are well marked.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • The trail can be rocky.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Rocky and steep trails to Chimney Rock.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Take a left to get to Chimney Rock.  - Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • The view from Chimney Rock is spectacular.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • This is a relatively easy hike with great views, so it can get crowded. Go early.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Views from Chimney Rock.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • As an added bonus, hawks love to play in the wind near the rocks.  Keep an eye out for them!- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • After admiring the view and the hawks, return to the trail and head to Wolf Rock. This sign will greet you as you arrive. And it is no joke.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Take a moment to read about the magnificent geology of the region.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Follow the trail to the top of the rocks and be prepared to scramble.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Be careful...the crevices are deep!- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • The view is wonderful.  - Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • The terrain is so interesting and fun to (carefully) traverse.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • A vulture may even eye every move you make.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • Fascinating geology at Wolf Rock.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
  • To finish the loop, make a right out of the trail and follow the orange blazes and the signs to return to the visitor center and complete your hike.- Wolf Rock + Chimney Rock Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Excellent views.
Cons: 
Can get crowded.
Advertisement
Region:
Greater Washington D.C., MD
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
1,420.00 ft (432.82 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Total elevation gain: 
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
920.00 ft (280.42 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

The Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Loop in Catoctin Mountain Park will take you to two sweeping vistas in a geologically interesting area of Maryland. The loop is 4 miles long with some steep elevation gain and optional rock scrambles. The park contains four different rock formations according to the National Park Service, and Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock are part of what is called the Weverton Foundation. This rock formation includes quartzite, metaconglomerate, phyllite and metagraywacke rock. Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock are quartzite, which is the hardest type of rock and which erodes at a slower rate than the surrounding mountain. This phenomenon led to the unique and beautiful formations that make the hikes and areas so popular.

To experience Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock in a relatively simple 4-mile loop, park at the Catoctin Park visitor center. From there, head to the right side of the parking lot to reach the trails. Even though the sign has entries for both Chimney Rock and Wolf Rock, make sure you follow the Chimney Rock signs that will take you straight instead of left up the hill. You will see the orange blazes.  The first part of the hike is on relatively even ground. After about a mile you will make a left up the mountain to Catoctin Rock. This section can get relatively rocky and steep. At the top of the mountain, a sign will direct you left to Chimney Rock. Take a moment to rest from the uphill climb and enjoy almost 360-degree views.  

After taking in this view, return to the trail and follow it for about another quarter mile to Wolf Rock. A sign will greet you at Wolf Rock warning of the deep crevices, and they are not kidding. Once you climb up to the top of Wolf Rock, make sure you have sure footing, because there are many crevices that can cause injury. Once you get to the top of Wolf Rock, however, the view and the rock scrambling make for a fun excursion. There are no actual trails at the top of Wolf Rock, so roam as you see fit and keep safety in mind. Hawks and vultures call these areas home, so make sure to watch for that wildlife as you enjoy the view.

After exploring the summit of Wolf Rock, return to the trail and make a right. Follow the orange blazes until a sign directs you either to Thurmont Heights or to return to the visitor center. Follow the orange/purple blazes until you reach another sign that changes the blazes to orange/yellow and continue toward the visitor center.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
4 Members
Who's Done It
Have you done this adventure? If so, be the first to check this adventure off your list.
Submission by
Sponsored Contributor
17 Adventures Explored
12 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info