Are you planning a visit to Acadia National Park? The park now hosts more than four million visits every year.
Before you get here, it's important to know the difference between an entrance pass for the whole park, and a vehicle reservation just to drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.
All visitors need a park entrance pass.
You can buy and print a pass before you leave home at Recreation.gov.
Once you arrive, simply display it on your dashboard as you find a safe and legal place to park.
Check your wallet to see if you already have a plastic pass that can look like a credit card.
These can include the Acadia annual pass, the senior pass, and several other Federal Recreational Lands passes.
If you have one that's valid, just put it on your dashboard with the signature and expiration date facing up so a ranger can read it. That's it. You don't need to get another one.
If you do need to buy an entrance pass or annual pass, in-person sales are available year-round at a fee station along the Park Loop Road.
During the summer and fall visitor season, in-person sales are also available at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, at the park's three campgrounds, and through a number of third-party sellers throughout Downeast Maine. Find a list and learn more at go.nps.gov/AcadiaPass
One of the most popular destinations at Acadia is Cadillac Mountain.
If you want to drive a personal vehicle to the summit between May 25 and Oct 22, 2022, you will need to buy a vehicle reservation in addition to a park entrance pass.
Both are available online at Recreation.gov.
The vehicle reservation system helps to reduce congestion, increase safety, and make finding a parking spot a lot more predictable for visitors.
Vehicle reservations are not required for any other area of the park, or for visitors who reach the summit by foot, bike, or taxi. Cadillac is not served by the fare-free Island Explorer bus system.
Vehicle reservations are not available for purchase at the park.
Thirty percent are made available 90 days ahead of each date.
The remaining 70 percent are released at 10 am Eastern Time two days ahead of each date.
Please be sure to print out or capture a digital copy on your phone of the QR code that comes with your confirmation email from Recreation.gov. A ranger will have to scan that QR code to verify it, and connectivity is unreliable in the park.
Vehicle reservations tend to sell out quickly, especially for sunrise visits, so please plan ahead and come prepared with more than one backup plan to make the most of your visit.
For ideas, please visit nps.gov/Acadia
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Are you planning a visit to Acadia National Park? Before you get here, it's important to know the difference between an entrance pass for the whole park, and a vehicle reservation just to drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. You can buy both before you leave home at Recreation.gov. (Still photo by Sam Mallon, Friends of Acadia)
Vehicle Reservations Required for Cadillac Summit Road
Acadia is among the top ten most popular national parks in the United States, with more than 4 million visits a year. Visitation has surged almost 60 percent in a decade, leading to severe crowding at many park destinations. In 2019, the National Park Service completed a five-year process to approve a comprehensive Transportation Plan that may take a decade or longer to implement fully. Actions are decided with an adaptive management strategy that continually monitors, evaluates, and refines solutions toward best possible outcomes.
Cadillac Summit Road
Cadillac Summit Road offers a three-mile drive to the top of the highest peak in the park. Along the way, there are several scenic pullouts to enjoy the view. Parking is available in two locations at the summit, where restrooms, a gift shop, and scenic overlooks connected by paved walks can be found. There is no Island Explorer bus service on the Cadillac Summit Road. Sunrise times range from 4:45 am in mid-June to 6:15 am in mid-October.
The narrow, two-lane road winds to the 1,530-foot summit of Cadillac Mountain. Drivers should use caution when traveling the road and yield to pedestrians. Recreational vehicles and trailers are prohibited.
Paved pullouts are located along the road for short-term parking to enjoy the views. Do not cross traffic to pull out on the opposite side of the road. Parking is available at two locations at the Cadillac Summit.
Vehicle Length Limit
Recreational vehicles, trailers, and vehicles over 21 feet long (including bike racks and hitch attachments) are prohibited on Cadillac Summit Road.
Vehicle Reservation Particulars* Please note: Some information in this section may still change before the 2022 visitor season.
Sunrise: One vehicle reservation per seven days
Daytime: One vehicle reservation per day
Acadia Goes Mobile: Buy Your Vehicle Reservation Online
Before you visit, make sure your phone or tablet is fully equipped with two official apps designed by and for Acadia. Swipe through location details, check real-time availability, and reserve a campsite right from your phone or tablet. Buy a Cadillac Summit Vehicle Reservation, then download or screen capture your confirmation code to display at the check station.
Last updated: January 19, 2023