• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

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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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.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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.

10 months ago
10 months ago

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

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Worth the early morning wake up. Colors before actual sunrise are better than the sunrise itself! Though a must do if visiting Acadia the crowd is a bit much! I walked a ways from the summit to get away from the crowd.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Don't drive up it, hike up early in the morning to see the sunrise, very rewarding.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The colors before the break are stunning

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great hike to catch the sunrise! First sun in the US

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I have done this adventure 3 times the sunrise should be on everyones bucket list!!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Seeing the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain is almost required when visiting Acadia National Park. Be sure to get there early as the parking lot fills up quickly. We arrived 30 minutes before sunrise and there were only a few dozen cars. By the time we left, the road was lined with parked vehicles. After watching the sunrise, get a head start on your hiking and take advantage of the empty park!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Me and my girlfriend ventured to Acadia last year and after exploring Bubble Pond and the surrounding carriage roads for a little while, we decided to explore a little path we found. The path led us up Cadillac Mountain. Beautiful hike. Amazing views all the way up.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

I wish I can say we made it to the top of Cadillac Mountain on foot but we took the road...a good option to get to the summit of you don't have time for a hike. The summit had space to explore and be removed from crowds. Find your own little space to relax and enjoy a sunrise, sunset, or just the spectacular views.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

I camped at Blackwoods Campground and drove up in early in the morning for sunrise. I had arrived in the dark with only one other car in the summit parking lot. I was very surprised on how many more people showed up to see the show, within an hour of arriving the parking lot was full. The views are incredible from the top especially during the sunrise.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

A terrific way to experience Cadillac Mountain, "The Crown Jewel of the Park" is to hike up from Blackwoods Campground. In the summer time you need to reserve a spot in advance. Also check out the Beehive hike in Acadia for a more extreme hike that has you hanging and pulling yourself up from monkey bars. See more at http://mrandmrsadventure.com/2015/06/09/the-best-hiking-biking-and-camping-adventures-in-acadia-national-park/

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Chris Mongeau Explorer

I am a 26 year old lifestyle and travel photographer from Providence, Rhode Island. I spend my time planning trips, scouring maps, and drinking lots of coffee. I love sharing travel tips and hearing stories from other folks, feel free to get in touch with any questions!

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