Cadillac West Face Trail

Acadia National Park, Maine

Distance0.8mi
Elevation Gain1,170ft
Trailhead Elevation333ft
Top1,379ft
Elevation Min/Max330/1379ft
Elevation Start/End333/333ft

Cadillac West Face Trail

Cadillac West Face Trail is a hiking trail in Hancock County, Maine. It is within Acadia National Park. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 333 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,170 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms and parking.

Cadillac West Face Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This rugged climb, once known as the Steep Trail, can be treacherous, especially when wet, because it doesn’t have the man-made handholds and footholds that distinguish other Acadia cliff side routes. It’s the shortest but steepest route up Cadillac and begins by rising swiftly from Bubble Pond.

The loop described here provides a gentler descent, down Cadillac’s south ridge, to a little-used part of the Canon Brook Trail and back to Bubble Pond on a carriage road."

"The highest point on America’s Atlantic coastline, Cadillac Mountain is a must-visit destination. While there are many options to consider, this one combines the best of what the mountain offers, including: a long, exposed scenic ridgeline; a deep, glacier-carved gorge; small cascades; and an occasional scramble up Acadia National Park’s famous granite slopes. While not easy, together these features can be enjoyed along a 5-mile loop appropriate for healthy hikers of all ages."

"Located at the top of Acadia’s highest mountain, this short and easy trail offers maybe the best views in the park and plaques that identify more than forty islands, peaks, and other key points that lie off its slopes.

On a sunny day this loop is the best place for any hiker to get some bearings before exploring the rest of Acadia. The trail is often busy during peak summer months, since cars and buses can drive up the mountain’s access road."

"Located at the top of Acadia’s highest mountain, this short and easy trail offers maybe the best views in the park and plaques that identify more than forty islands, peaks, and other key points off its slopes.

On a sunny day this loop is the best place for any hiker to get some bearings before exploring the rest of Acadia. The trail is often busy during peak summer months, since cars and buses can drive up the summit road."

"A relatively long hike over open ledges to the summit of Mount Desert Island’s highest mountain. There are great views during most of this hike. Although this hike is not a loop, the south ridge of Cadillac Mountain, with its open forest of pitch and jack pine, is worth experiencing twice in the same day.

This hike starts on Maine Route 3 near the entrance to Blackwoods Campground and makes a moderate, enjoyable climb to Cadillac’s busy summit over a leisurely 3.5 miles. While the summit may not be the wildest spot in the park, with its gift shop and parking lot full of tourists, the south ridge of Cadillac is relatively quiet and full of excellent views."

"Start this view-heavy hike at historic Sieur de Monts Spring. Visit the Abbe Museum of American Antiquities, then hike century-old paths to Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park’s high point.

En route, pass The Tarn, then climb the Ladder Trail. Surmount the open slopes of Dorr Mountain, named for the man who helped the park come to be. Make a final push for Cadillac Mountain, where vistas of the adjacent hills, Atlantic Ocean, and the isles of Maine make this a classic New England hike."

"The open north ridge of Cadillac Mountain provides expansive views of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor, and the Porcupine Islands. In season, naturalists and volunteers help spot migrating raptors at perhaps the prettiest hawk-watching site in North America. Cadillac North Ridge Trail follows old Native American footpaths and nears the route of a former buckboard road up spectacular 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic coast.

Like many of the ridge trails in Acadia, this one traverses exposed granite ledges much of the way, offering grand scenery. Here the views include Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, Schoodic Peninsula, and a series of distinctive rocky islands, beginning with Bar Island and extending into the bay with the Porcupines."

"Cadillac Mountain is the highest on Mount Desert Island. This hike climbs the South Ridge past several waterfalls. The summit of Cadillac Mountain can be reached by car, so expect crowds in the summer. This route avoids the crowded trails and takes in a lot of the mountain’s highights."

Cadillac West Face Trail Reviews

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6/1/2017
My boyfriend's brother took us on this trail. We did not know what we were in for. He also had his Great Pareneese Dog and his daughter who was in her 30's. I am 62 years old and OMG! I was on my hands and knees on part of the trail! It was the scariest hike I ever done. It had rain the night before and with my sneakers on it was so slippery. I will never do it again
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8/28/2010
Great hike, but because the bus also brings people up, it's pretty crowded at the top. It's also the most popular hike, which makes the trails pretty crowded as well. We found the other mountains much better in that regard. Having said t hat, there's some great viewpoints, specifically would recommend the Eagles Crag detour.
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8/3/2008
This is an excellent, ridiculously scenic short day climb up to the summit of Cadillac Mt. Bring your camera, it is absolutely breath taking after about 0.6 miles up where you jump over some boulders. I went in the height of bar harbor tourist season in the middle of the day and I only saw three other parties on the entire trail. Alot of wild blueberries along the way to much on. Many places to just stop and chill and take in the view of ocean. Fairly steep ascent at 1.2mi to the summit but very clear, very little brush mostly just rock. Kid and pet friendly trail, no ladders etc. Alot of tourists that drive up at the top. Around 1500', est 2.5 - 4hrs w/ return.
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4/15/2008
Definitely my favorite trail in Acadia. The views are "inspiring".
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9/5/2003
For the above average hiker/climber who's not afraid to take a little risk. Steep incline on rock face has you using hands on a constant basis as you climb (not hike) up the mountain. Be careful of water coming off the mountain as rock becomes extremely slippery as I lost footing once that I did not care to repeat.
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Cadillac West Face Trail Photos

Trail Information

Acadia National Park
Nearby City
Acadia National Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Waterfalls
Features
USGS: Seal Harbor, ME; Bar Harbor, ME
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018