It seems almost like a pilgrimage. Lines of glowing headlines and blearily eyed folks wrapped tightly in blankets. Everyone in search of the first rays of light to illuminate the United States.
Why Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain?
Located within Acadia National Park, Maine, Cadillac mountain is one of the top sites to visit in the Park. With the height and location of Cadillac mountain, you can see for miles which is why you are treated to the first sunrise in the United States. Watching the sky illuminate the water and the little islands out there was beautiful experience. The light appears to dance along the surface of the water below. The colors appear to change as the minutes drift by.
Our Voyage to the Mountain
We arrived early…probably a bit too early actually for sunrise. There were however a handful of cars in the parking lot, but still nothing of significant numbers. Something that was a false sense of the numbers to come. We arrived about 5am, not realized that sunrise was about an hour away though.
The one thing they don’t really warn you about is the cold. Even in the middle of the summer, mornings up on the summit of Cadillac an dip into freezing. And the winds, at least this morning there were terrible gusts of winds that tore through your clothing.
Having a car here, was probably the best decision (I suppose you can actually hike the mountain the summit, but most people do drive). It gave us the ability to stay in somewhere warm while we continued to wait until sunrise.
Sunrise though is an experience. One that is best shared with others, both those you come with and the other onlookers who came to share the time with you.
We did luck out with beautiful weather (except for the wind and cold), the skies were clear, which was a great benefit after several days of rain.
Overall the experience was quite good. It was something everyone who had been to Acadia told me I needed to do. And one that most everyone who goes to Acadia wants to do.
Seeing it from the mountain is a beautiful sunrise. The thing of it being the first light into the US is something novel for sure and something that gets the masses to go there. The best part though is the scenery around the mountain, such as the water and the little islands that dot the landscape. They are what really makes the experience one that is worth witnessing.
Certainly great for sharing with family and friends.
The following should hopefully help you with your own trip to Cadillac Mountain. Do let me know if there is anything else you need.
Cadillac Mountain is part of Acadia National Park, Maine. Admission to the National Park is required for visiting Cadillac Mountain. You need to display the pass in the car if you are in Acadia National Park (or requested by a ranger if you are on foot).
Valid for 7 Days:
Private Vehicle: $30
Per Person (non vehicle): $15
Acadia Annual Pass: $55
Cadillac Mountain is located within Acadia National Park. If you are planning to go early in the morning for sunrise, a private vehicle is needed to get here.
Parking is available on the summit along Cadillac Summit Road. (which is off Park Loop Road).
From late June to early October, the Island Explorer bus stops at the trailhead for the North Ridge trail for Cadillac Mountain.
- Check the weather before you go. You need to have clear skies to really see much of anything at all. Days of rain limited which days we could go to the mountain.
- Get there Early. Like much earlier than sunrise. It gets crowded.
- You don’t need to get here extremely early though. Otherwise you’ll be waiting around for a long time.
- If you are parking at the summit, the lot fills up fast.
- It is cold. Dress Warmly. Bring blankets if you have them. It’s really no fun if you are too cold to enjoy it, or spend the entire time in your vehicle.
- If you have time, there are several trails you can take to get various different views.