Group Climbing

The Acadia National Park Climbing Management Plan, completed in 1997, recommended a reservation system for organized groups climbing at Otter Cliff. Otter Cliff is popular with organized groups for introducing clients to rock climbing. A spectacular oceanfront setting, easy access, and beginner routes all contribute to this popularity.

The Climbing Management Plan described damage to soils and vegetation and problems with crowding at Otter Cliff. Some of the damage and crowding was due to several groups arriving to climb on the same day. Also, the number of climbing routes, especially beginner routes, is limited. The goal of the reservation system is to spread this group use out across the summer to protect resources and provide a better experience for group and individual climbers.

Reservation Information
Reservations are required for organized commercial and noncommercial climbing groups wanting to climb at Otter Cliff (commercial groups are also required to have a commercial use authorization). They are not needed for groups of friends climbing together. The reservation season will run from Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Two groups of up to twelve persons, including any guides or instructors, will be accommodated per day. Organized groups of five persons or less do not need a reservation for Otter Cliff. Organizations will be limited to 10 days of climbing between the above dates.

The group size limit of 12 applies to ALL climbing groups using ANY park climbing areas at any time of the year. The purpose of this size limit is to reduce the effects of large groups on park resources and the climbing experience. We request your cooperation.

Reservation Procedures
Complete a separate reservation request for each day you wish to climb, up to a maximum of 10 days per organization. There are no fees. Reservations can be sent by mail or fax, postmarked or faxed March 15 or later. Mail or faxes postmarked or sent earlier than March 15 will be discarded without action. Reservations can also be made in person at park headquarters beginning March 15. Telephone requests will not be accepted. A lottery system will be used to process requests by the date received. We will then notify you by mail. You may call (207) 288-8791 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to check the availability of dates and for general climbing information.

An Otter Cliff climbing reservation does not authorize the exclusive use of any climbing routes. Group leaders are expected to contact other climbers about sharing routes. They are also expected to use extreme courtesy when dealing with other groups that may not be aware of the reservation system. If there is a conflict, work out an appropriate on site solution together and tell the leader to contact the park. You should then contact the park also. We can suggest other climbing areas suitable for groups. Thank you for your cooperation.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


(207) 288-3338
General information and questions. The phone is answered weekdays 8 am - 4:30 pm.

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