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, in the US state of Maine. It is the highest point on the east coast of the U.S.

Cadillac Mountain

Is the road to Cadillac Mountain paved?

Located in the Acadia National Park, the scenic road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called Cadillac Summit Road. No RVs or trailers (vehicles over 21 feet long) are allowed up Cadillac Summit Road.

When was Cadillac Summit Road built?

Construction of the road started in 1924 and opened to traffic in 1931. It meanders along the north and eastern side of the mountain.

Is Cadillac Summit Road worth it?

The road 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. At the summit is a large parking lot, restrooms, and even a gift shop. With intense visitation through the summer months for the past eighty years the summit parking area becomes congested with autos and tour buses most of the summer. Reservations are now required to drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain during tourist season (usually May through October). On exceptionally clear days, it is possible to see Mount Katahdin.

How long is the road to Cadillac Mountain in Maine?

Starting at 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%.

Is the road to Cadillac Mountain in Maine challenging?

Please drive carefully and watch for changing conditions. 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. The speed limit on Cadillac Summit Road is 25 mph.

Is the road to Cadillac Mountain in Maine open?

This road is usually closed from December through late April (depending on the weather). Some sections do remain open as weather permits.