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Acadia National Park

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Beehive, The 
Cadillac Mtn. 
Canada Cliff 
Gorham Mountain Bouldering 
Great Head 
Monument Cove 
Otter Cliffs 
Otter Cliffs Plot Bouldering 
Parking Lot Buttress 
Precipice aka The South Wall, The 
South Bubble 

Acadia National Park Rock Climbing 

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Location: 44.3396, -68.2581 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 64,591
Administrators: Ladd, Robert Hall, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ladd on Apr 20, 2007
This Afternoon

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Washington's Birthday

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Sand Beach and the Beehive


Acadia National Park is visited by more than 2 million tourists every year. However this location is not visited for its rock (such as Yosemite), but for its reputation as the first place the sun touches in the USA (Cadillac Mtn.), and for its beautiful ocean views, as well as for ocean kayaking.

There are many areas in Acadia that make the long drive to get there more than worth it. Try to limit yourself to coming in the warm season (May-late September). Climbing by the ocean when it is cold out is a unpleasant experience.

NPS Site

Attention: There is a new guidebook for this area!
With route descriptions for nearly 300 climbs, this guidebook covers all of the classic Acadia climbing areas, plus many of the island’s more obscure haunts. Detailed information will keep you climbing; beautiful photographs will keep you inspired. 124 pages; full color.
Also available is a digital version of the guide through the guidebook app company, rakkup.

Check out the site to purchase the new guidebook:

Rock Climbing Photo: The view.
The view.

Getting There 

Take I-95 in Maine, continue up to Bangor. From Bangor, Maine, take Rt. 1A to Ellsworth and then Rt. 3 to Mount Desert Island. Once on the island, head towards Town Hill on Rt. 198. Continue on Rt. 198 until you reach a junction with Rt. 233, at which you’ll need to take a left. From Rt. 233 take a left to enter Acadia National Park.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.1 miles from here

157 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',14],['3 Stars',63],['2 Stars',45],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Acadia National Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Acadia National Park:
Wafer Step   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Precipice aka The South...
The Great Chimney   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     TR, 60'   Otter Cliffs
Story of O   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   The Precipice aka The South...
Gunklandia   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   The Precipice aka The South...
Old Town   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Precipice aka The South...
Bartleby   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   The Precipice aka The South...
Morning Glory   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Great Head : Morning Glory Alcove
Recollections of Pacifica   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 50'   The Precipice aka The South...
Rock Lobster   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Otter Cliffs
Green Mt. Breakdown   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 125'   The Precipice aka The South...
Return to Forever   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 95'   The Precipice aka The South...
Chitlin's Corner   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 170'   The Precipice aka The South...
Guillotine   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Otter Cliffs
Wet Lithuanian   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   The Precipice aka The South...
Fear of Flying   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 20'   The Precipice aka The South...
A Dare by the Sea   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Otter Cliffs
Head Arete   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Great Head : Left wall
Connecticut Crack   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 70'   The Precipice aka The South...
Pipe Dreams   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   The Precipice aka The South...
The FishScale   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Great Head : The Cavern
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Acadia National Park

Featured Route For Acadia National Park
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling from the fixed anchor atop Return to Fo...

Return to Forever 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  ME : Acadia National Park : The Precipice aka The South...
More classic stemming & laybacking! A terrific linkup with Old Town.From the Old Town ledge, climb straight up through an awkward V-shaped slot to reach the clean, left-facing corner. Stem and layback your way to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in ME

Photos of Acadia National Park Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Otter Cliffs
Otter Cliffs
Rock Climbing Photo: Ocean front bouldering at Acadia.
Ocean front bouldering at Acadia.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering along the shore between Sand Beach and ...
Bouldering along the shore between Sand Beach and ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pillar near Thunder Hole
Pillar near Thunder Hole
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise
Rock Climbing Photo: Those ain't crash pads.
Those ain't crash pads.
Rock Climbing Photo: Otter Cliffs
Otter Cliffs
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun arete
Fun arete
Rock Climbing Photo: Small wall between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.
Small wall between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.
Rock Climbing Photo: Coastal Acadia
Coastal Acadia

Comments on Acadia National Park Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 4, 2015
By Pete eye
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 6, 2008
"Acadia- A climbers Guide" by Jeff Butterfield very handy.
By steve damboise
From: boulder colorado
Nov 21, 2008
I'm wondering if you guys or gals have started bolting routes here anywhere! on the island there's potential everywhere .( LETS PROGRESS THE SPORT !!!!! )
By Ian Dorko
Apr 22, 2009
steve, this: might explain why there isn't a lot of bolting on the island.
By Jonathan Steitzer
From: midcoast, maine
Feb 22, 2010
Seconding that Acadia - A Climber's Guide by Jeff Butterfield is a must have resource.
By Couloirman
From: Providence, RI
Feb 8, 2011
Now that the Butterfield book is hard to find, whats the best guidebook to get for the area?
By Justin Sanford
From: Broadalbin, New York
Jul 19, 2011
Anyone have any detailed information on the bouldering in the park and the surrounding areas? I am trying to plan a week long trip up there and want to maximize our time/trip to see the best the area has to offer. Thanks in advance!
By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Aug 7, 2011
Don't bolt! Go to Rumney if you want to clip bolts...once you've climbed all the routes there then start thinking about bolting here. Or...Top Rope it's no less hard core than sport climbing.
By Dom
From: New Brunswick Canada
Jun 14, 2012
As an Acadian it is my duty to inform you guys on the history of the name. =)

Now how many of you knew that Cajun comes from 'Cadien' that comes from 'Acadien'?

Jeff Butterfield failed to mention anything about the Acadians in the 'Area History' which I think is unfortunate. In his defense, Acadians never lived on the Island. Nevertheless, if you use Acadia, you should talk about Acadians in the history of your book.
By Russ Elias
Aug 7, 2012
I am heading out to Acadia state park in a couple weeks with some newer climbers. What are some good areas to go to for beginners? I have been doing research and it looks like otter cliffs has a lot of route that are 5.5-5.8. Also is there anywhere out there to rent any gear. A couple people need shoes possibly.
By jim.dangle
Apr 4, 2013
Bouldering website with some extra info:

By Grant Simmons
Jan 30, 2014
Hi All - I am working on a new guidebook to Acadia and am currently in the process of researching FA information. If anyone has any information on the subject, I'd love to hear about it. Additionally, I'm open to any other comments you may have regarding a new guidebook to the area.

By Alan Moore
Feb 14, 2014
Hi Grant, hope the new guide is moving on......thought you might be interested in a Limey's viewpoint based on a few Acadia visits. The Butterfield guide was pretty good for getting you to the routes themselves. In spite of a few upgradings, Acadia grades seemed a bit tougher than elsewhere in the NE, although I always visit in mid summer when it's humid and greasy ! Rock quality at the Precipice is as good as anywhere, while at Otter Cliff it seemed a bit fissile; particularly after the departure of Razor Crack. As to specific routes:
Wafer Step ** 5.6
Recollections of Pacifica ** 5.9
Standard route ** 5.6
Story of O ** 5.7 for pitches 2 and 3
Old town *** 5.8 move to get started but easy above.
Return to Forever ** felt very hard at 5.9
Gunklandia ** 5.8 bouldery start and quite tough in the slippery sentry box on pitch 3
Green Mountain Breakdown *** brilliant route! although you have to ignore the gigantic vibrating detached flake on which the route is based from leaving Chitlins all the way to the crux roof! 10a for the roof?
Moraviana * 5.7 for pitch 2
Morning Glory * found this a big let down; not a particularly good route or line. Although, I have to admit to not being fan of contrived, semi bolted routes. Tough 5.9 as well.
Otter Cliff routes always seem to be hogged by guided parties, which is a shame because it seemed to have an undeserved reputation as a top rope venue. Stuff like Child's Play and Overhanging Corner were both ** , well protected routes.
Hope this is of interest.
Good luck with the book.
By Joe M.
Apr 21, 2014
Old bouldering video from

By M Bageant
From: Cambridge, MA
May 12, 2014
I'm going to be here (for my second time) in a few weeks; does anyone know if any of the Precipice routes are not closed for falcons? Seems like the climber's left-side routes might be open---but left of which route? The NPS closure area just says stuff north of the boundary "75 feet south of the parking lot" for the Precipice Trail.

Thanks guys :)
By Grant Simmons
May 14, 2014
All South Wall routes remain open during the Peregrine Closure; the closure starts just beyond the Central Slabs. While there are a few routes scattered around that area, they are all pretty darn obscure. The closure does include the Parking Lot Wall (accessed by the Precipice Trail) - not too many people climb there anyway, but it does have some cool routes on it. In short, the closure will not slow you down.
By Barrett Stetson
Jul 10, 2014
Does anyone happen to know if the nice looking crack about 10 ft to the right of "Story of O" pitch 3 is "Vacation Cracks"? Wasn't 100% clear to me from the guidebook.
By Grant Simmons
Jul 14, 2014
Barrett - that crack is indeed Vacation Cracks. Short and sweet.
By Ladd
Apr 4, 2015
New Guidebook will be available shortly!

With route descriptions for nearly 300 climbs, this guidebook covers all of the classic Acadia climbing areas, plus many of the island’s more obscure haunts. Detailed information will keep you climbing; beautiful photographs will keep you inspired. 124 pages; full color.
Also available is a digital version of the guide through the guidebook app company, rakkup.

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