The Precipice Trail-Acadia National Park


We had a great long weekend in Acadia National Park. One of the highlights was The Precipice Trail to the top of Champlain Mountain. The Precipice is an iron rung and ladder route up the steep cliffs along the east face.


Last year, we were not able to hike the Precipice  because the parking lot was packed. We did the Beehive instead. The Precipice is twice as long as the Beehive and harder. This year we took the park shuttle from Blackwoods Campground where we were staying with friends. It worked out great.


There is an 850 foot elevation gain up the trail and it takes about 1 and 1/2 hours if you go at a safe pace. Wear good hiking shoes and bring water. This hike/climb would be hard to do if you are afraid of heights! There are several exposed areas and narrow ledges. Sometimes you will have to wait on a ledge for others to climb. 

There are a few different trails you can take back down the other sides of Champlain Mountain.

I thought the Precipice Trail was amazing and challenging. I am glad we hiked when it was a cool 70 degree day out. It was definitely more like climbing than hiking. Have fun and be safe if you do The Precipice. Remember the trail is usually closed from March-August for Peregrine Falcon nesting.

National Parks Visited

  2014-Grand Teton and Yellowstone

2015-Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon

    

Future:

2016-Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas

2017-Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree

2018-Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon (planned so far!)

The Beehive Trail-Acadia National Park

I wanted to try one of the iron rung trails at Acadia when we visited. I was not sure if I would be able to reach some of the rungs, but I figured if little kids had hiked some of the trails I could too! We decided on The Beehive because it was shorter than The Precipice Trail with more open views on the way up. Also, the line of parked cars near the Precipice was crazy on the day we went. There are a few other iron rung trails at Acadia.

While the Beehive is a short 0.8 miles long, it is rated as a “Strenuous” climb/hike. You have to pull your weight up in several spots and you should not have a fear of heights. There are some steep spots and thin ledges. You can go back down the easier back side after enjoying the view at the top.

There were only two spots that were scary for me, and Craig and I had a blast. It was one of my favorite hikes I have done so far. My top three so far are The Mist Trail in Yosemite, The Beehive in Acadia and Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone. I also fell in love with the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone, but that is more of a walk than a climb or hike. 

Our friends joined us in Acadia for this trip, and we had a lot of fun visiting the park and Bar Harbor, hiking and getting passport stamps. The Night Sky Festival had a lot of cloudy nights, but we got to go to a great Star Party on top of Cadillac Mountain one night. I will save that for a future post!