Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Cadillac Mountain is centrally located within the Desert Island region of Acadia National Park. At 1,530 feet (466 m), it is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the finest location in the United States to see the sunrise from October 7 through March 6 each year. Because of this fact, Cadillac Mountain is an extremely popular location for guests to the park to watch the sunrise.

In addition to being among the first point to see the sunrise, the peak provides a great perspective of the surrounding landscape, ocean, and harbor. With low-lying clouds commonplace in Maine, sunrise often features dramatic orange and magenta hues just before the sun hits the horizon. Lucky visitors can be treated to a cloud inversion with blankets of soft clouds covering the harbor below.

The peak can be reached via hiking trails or, more popularly, by car. Given its attraction, if arriving by car plan to arrive around 1 hour prior to the scheduled sunrise. This will allow for sufficient time to battle the traffic up the winding mountain road and the short walk to the viewing area of your choosing. The trails around the mountain are paved and suitable for most persons.

For photographers, the peak provides a supreme spot for sunrise and sunset photography. During sunrise, consider taking the lower trail, which meanders counter-clockwise around and up the mountain. This lower vantage point, especially near the parking lot, provides excellent views of the many small islands in the harbor without the worry of other people in your photos. Alternatively, continue along the trail to find a higher location to be the first to gain a glimpse of the sun. There are diverse options for landscape photography, including the wide angle grand vista, or if conditions allow a telephoto lens to capture the inversion rolling over the islands.

The parking area at Cadillac Mountain can be congested at both sunrise and sunset. At the overlook of Cadillac Mountain, there are vault toilets but no potable water.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Big vistas. Amazing sunrise.



Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Bird watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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