Thing to Do

Stargazing on Cadillac Mountain (Vehicle Access Limited)

Milky way over a mountain summit and trees

Vehicle access to the summit of Cadillac Mountain at night is limited to a few months each fall and spring. The Park Loop Road is closed for winter, typically Dec 1-Apr 14. From May into October, daytime access is managed by a Vehicle Reservation System and the road closes each night at 10 pm. Overnight parking is prohibited.

Vehicle reservations are not required to hike or bike to the summit, however. Always bring flashlights or bike lights for night excursions.

Once at the summit, enjoy spectacular views of the stars as you carefully walk along the Cadillac Summit Loop. Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, and the Cranberry Islands can also be seen from the trail.

Cadillac Mountain serves as a good location for night sky photography with paved parking areas to provide stable surfaces for tripods. Lights from surrounding towns and vehicles may effect photos.

Explore other popular locations for Stargazing at Acadia 

Details
Viewing and photographing the night skies from the top of Cadillac Mountain
Pets must be on a leash, no longer than six feet, at all times
Although the activity is free, a park entrance pass is required for all areas of the park. During the daytime, advance reservations are required to drive up Cadillac Mountain and there is no overnight parking. Vehicular access to Cadillac Summit is subject to night closures so check out our Current Conditions page for up to date information. You do not need reservations to hike or bike to the summit; always bring flashlights or bike lights for night excursions.

Where to Begin

  • Cadillac Mountain Summit

Getting There:

  • By car: Enter the Park Loop Road via the Cadillac Mountain Entrance, located off Maine Route 233. Continue onto the two-way section of the Park Loop Road towards Cadillac Mountain. Turn left onto Cadillac Summit Road and continue for 3.5 miles. It is a windy, paved road. Be aware of road cyclists and visitors on and alongside the road, especially at dusk and after dark. No RVs or trailers are allowed up Cadillac Summit Road. During the daytime, advance reservations are required to drive up Cadillac Mountain and there is no overnight parking. Vehicular access to Cadillac Summit is subject to night closures so check out our Current Conditions page for up to date information. You do not need reservations to hike or bike to the summit; always bring flashlights or bike lights for night excursions.

  • By bus: There is no public transportation to this location.

During the daytime, advance reservations are required to drive up Cadillac Mountain and there is no overnight parking. Vehicular access to Cadillac Summit is subject to night closures so check out our Current Conditions page for up to date information. You do not need reservations to hike or bike to the summit; always bring flashlights or bike lights for night excursions.
Any attempts to hike Cadillac Summit should include significant weather-related preparations. Mountain temperatures and winds are colder and stronger than at at sea level. Cadillac Summit Road is subject to night time road closures and the road closes fully no later than December 1 (with weather-related closures possible throughout the year).  
Accessibility Information
The parking lots and portions of Cadillac Summit Loop are accessible. Extra caution is required after dark.

There is an accessible restroom at the summit.

Acadia National Park

Night sky view with Milky Way on a mountain summit
Milky Way from Cadillac Mountain

NPS Photo/Sardius S. Stalker

Last updated: June 10, 2022