Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Summit Road, a trip to the highest point on the east coast of the USA

Cadillac Mountain is a mountain peak at an elevation of 457m (1,499ft) above the sea level located on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. It is the highest point on the east coast of the U.S.

Is the road to Cadillac Summit paved?

Located within the Acadia National Park, the scenic road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called Cadillac Summit Road. The road opened in 1931 and meanders along the North and eastern side of the mountain. It winds approximately 3.5 miles (5,6km) to the summit and provides several key spots along the way where you can stop and take in the spectacular panoramic views. Driving to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to see "the nation's first sunrise" is a popular activity among visitors of Acadia National Park. However, Cadillac only sees the first sunrise in the fall and winter, when the sun rises south of due east. The summit offers magnificent views of a glaciated coastal and island landscape. With intense visitation through the summer months for the past eighty years. On exceptionally clear days, it is possible to see Mount Katahdin. At the summit is a large parking lot, restrooms, and even a gift shop. Please drive carefully and watch for changing conditions.

Is the road to Cadillac Summit in Maine steep?

Starting from Park Loop Road, the ascent is 5.31km (3.3 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 288 meters. The average gradient is 5.42%. You should drive slowly, especially as the roadside cliffs get steep. It is often an overcrowded traffic jam, especially during the late morning and early afternoon hours on popular tourist days. There are several small observation points along the roadway that offer prime viewing opportunities. Take advantage of them on the way up as well as on the way back down. It is easy to get caught up in the views while driving but be sure to remain attentive as much of the road is right beside steep cliff like areas. Exercise caution when getting in and out of your vehicle as this can be a well traveled road during the summer and autumn months.

 

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