Catch the first rays of sun in the U. S. at the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. Beautiful panoramic views over Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay. Easy accessibility by road.

Seeing the sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain is an absolute must when in Acadia National Park. Not only is it awesome to catch the first sunrise in the U.S., but the views from Cadillac Mountain are unparalleled. At 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and because of it's close proximity to the ocean, it feels even higher than inland mountain tops.

If you plan on catching the sunrise here during your time in Acadia, be sure to scour weather reports and look at the details by the hour. Acadia sees quite a bit of fog, especially during the summer months, so be sure to pick a day that looks clear, or as clear as possible (However, don't be discouraged if all you have are foggy/cloudy days on the weather report—seeing the fog here is awesome in it's own way, and watching it roll off the mountain is also great for photos).

Once you pick a day, make sure you check the sunrise time; it usually ranges between 5:30 and 6:10 in July and August, with the summer solstice being the earliest in June. You'll want to plan to be on Cadillac Mountain 15-20 minutes before the actual sunrise, if you're hoping for a good spot, and it gets crowded surprisingly fast for such an early time. There will be cars and cars of people who come up to the mountain for just a few minutes to say they saw the sunrise here—find some seclusion and stay awhile, as eventually it clears out once the sun is above the horizon.

To get to the top of Cadillac, you'll need to drive along the Park Loop Road to Cadillac Summit Road, which brings you straight to the parking lot at the summit. If you really want a more secluded area to photograph the views from the top of the mountain, turn left right before the main parking lot at the top into the second overflow lot before the bathrooms/store. You can park in this lot and hike around with views of the surrounding mountains. All of the bus tours drop tourists off at the main lot at the top, so this spot is usually a lot less crowded.

Don't forget that this is Maine, and even the warmest of summer days are still usually chilly in the morning, and on top of Cadillac Mountain you can expect it to be at least 10 degrees F cooler, with wind common. Bring layers just in case!

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Layers
  • Warm hat
  • Boots
  • Tripod
  • Water
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

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4th of July Fireworks

I watched fireworks from Cadillac Mountain, it was cool to see all of the surrounding towns set them off in the distance. Catching the sunrise or sunset off this mountain is spectacular.

Catch a sunset

I went here with my family years ago and I am so glad someone created an adventure for it here on the Outbound. Hanging out on top of Cadillac Mountain gives you awesome 360-degree views and can also show you a killer sunset. I am sure the sunrise over the bay and ocean is even better.

Loved it!

Spent the night in the car and waited for Sunrise the next morning. This is something very New Englander must do at least once. Acadia NP is also loads of fun to explore


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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

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Hike the Jesup Path & Hemlock Road Loop

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