Champlain Mountain rises more than a thousand feet above the Atlantic Ocean, much of it attained when climbing the mountain as the two most popular trailheads are located around 100 feet above sea level. The sunrises and fall colors from Champlain Mountain can be quite impressive. The mountain is a very popular climb as it is located in Acadia National Park
. Nearby Sand Beach
, the only natural sand beach on Mount Desert Island, and the Beehive are nearby destinations that can be combined with Champlain Mountain to fill out a great day!
Champlain Mountain is located within Acadia National Park
on the eastern edge of Mount Desert Island. Drive south on Highway 3 from the quaint little seaside town of Bar Harbor
. After passing Schooner Head Road on the left begin to look for the intersection with the one way Park Loop Road as it is easy to miss.
The two main trailheads for Champlain Mountain are located on Park Loop Road:
The first is located less than one mile from Highway 3 and is the trailhead for the Bear Brook trail. The Bear Brook trail ascends the north ridge of Champlain Mountain and provides great views of the Bar Harbor area and the Porcupine Islands for much of the route.
The second is located a little over a mile further south on the Park Loop Road and is the Precipice Trailhead. This trailhead provides access to two routes up the mountain; the Champlain East Face trail via Bear Brook trail and the famous Precipice trail which climbs directly up the east cliffs via multiple narrow ledges connected by iron ladders which have been drilled directly into the cliff face. The Precipice Trail is the preferred ascent route with one of the other two trails being used for the descent.
All of the routes are located within Acadia National Park
. An entrance fee is collected.
When To Climb
Check with Acadia National Park to determine the status of the Precipice Trail as it is occasionally closed since it is a breeding ground for Peregrine Falcons
Mount Desert Island has a few campgrounds in Acadia National Park. Two that come to mind are the Blackwoods campground on the southeast corner of the island and the Seawall campground near the southern tip of the island.
Check local weather