Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail

HARD 40 reviews
#34 of 144 trails in

Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1309 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Acadia National Park P.O. Box 177 Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0177 Phone: 207-288-3338 Shipping Address Acadia National Park 20 McFarland Hill Drive Bar Harbor ME 04609-0177 More information: http://www.nps.gov/acad/contacts.htm

hiking
9 days ago

I started this trail not knowing how it was and I really loved the views. I did it on the way up and went down for a different trail.
I’m very afraid of heights and in some parts I was, but the view was very nice so I could do it.
I define sly recommend it for adults, never with children.

hiking
11 days ago

Skip this trail if it's wet or has been wet. There are many very steep parts and ok to go up, but getting down them when it's wet may be extremely dangerous. We walked the road down.

hiking
12 days ago

I was a bit nervous after reading other reviews but I actually didn’t find the hike very difficult. I wouldn’t suggest it on a wet day and it is probably best to go up instead of down but I quite enjoyed it. The views are incredible over bubble and it offers a different view than the north and south trails.

The first half of the trail is straight up but it’s less than a mile of that, and the remainder is a gentle incline to the top. It might be hard for small children as you sometimes need to pull yourself up. I didn’t run into anyone else on the trail, which might be because it’s off season, but it made the hike even better. It took me around 50 minutes including a break to stop for a snack and take in the view!

hiking
1 month ago

I don’t like driving to the summits of mountains for their view. I took this path up and found it to be a pretty technical/difficult hike. Lots of near vertical sheets of rocks you have to navigate up. I went at a slippery time and it seemed like if I slipped I could’ve been seriously injured. I think the challenge was worth it though and would say to just hike carefully. Don’t do this one on wet rainy days. Once you’re done you’ll feel very accomplished.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely a trail where you could take a tumble. I fell twice coming down this trail, and it hadn't rained for a couple days and I was taking my time. I've seen other people take a tumble on this trail. If it's wet, do not do this trail.

6 months ago

Would do this again *in the summer.* A steep and technical descent down the mountain. We encountered a lot of overt and black ice sheets on open rock faces. Definitely an intense experience and were grateful for our microspikes. Make sure to leave time for fast sinking sun. Views were great and it was the most direct trail down from Cadillac.

hiking
8 months ago

Picked West Face Trail down from Cadillac (3 hrs) after hiking up on north ridge trail (3 hrs.). This was thought to be a shorter trail, mod difficulty and w/ bus stop at trail end. Wife and I sixty somethings active walkers but not prepared for difficulty of West decent. Tremendous feeling of accomplishment and exhaustion after this decent haha. In addition to the usual precautions and those mentioned by the other contributors, start this hike with minimum 3 hrs daylight or good luck searching for blue markers in the dark. West light fades fast behind nearby mtn!

hiking
8 months ago

Everything they say about this trail is true. Accidentally hiked down this trail from the Cadillac Summit. Totally worth the trek. the views were amazing but not something you'd want to do without appropriate footwear and adequate water. Much easier going up than down.

hiking
8 months ago

We only took this trail down after taking South Ridge up. This is definitely a steep trail and not one for beginners. But, wear sturdy shoes and mind your steps. The views of Bubble Pong and Eagle Lake are amazing. I wouldn't want to go up this in a heavy wet fog, watch the weather.

hiking
10 months ago

Stunning views but definitely a bit more intense than we expected. We only hiked down this trail but we had our six month old puppy and 9 year old. We took our time and made it down but I'd do this one without pups and kids if I had known. Definitely not for beginners as there are some areas where the wrong step could be fatal.

hiking
10 months ago

We hiked down this trail after going up the North Ridge Trail. It is a very challenging descent, basically a 1 mile vertical rock scramble! Fun, but don't tackle it unless you are experienced and in good shape.

hiking
10 months ago

Intense. Definitely wasn't what we anticipated. I'm glad it was a dry day because I don't think we would have made it safely otherwise. Some of the rocks are very slick even when dry due to moss and lose pine needles. Not a trail I would recommend taking a dog on unless they are experienced. We had to carry our 6 month old puppy a few times. Beautiful views of the pond below.

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

This trail was very challenging. We started on the descent after reaching the top of Cadillac Mountain from the north ridge. It had been raining the day before, and much of the trail is comprised of steep rock faces that were wet and slippery. My husband's hiking boots are a bit older and the tread on them was not doing its job, so we turned back at about halfway. With the proper equipment and conditions, I'd love to go back and try this trail again!

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Wow. This was an incredibly hard trail. I really thought I was going to have a hard fall on the more treacherous parts, perhaps even fatal. Beware because the very steep granite was very damp when we went, like mid-late April, due to the snow melt. It is HARD. There are a lot of parts where you have to keep moving due to the steepness of the area- you will start slipping if not. It may only be 3.3 miles but it seriously feels like so much more due to the steepness. There was also plenty of scrambling, which I was certainly not prepared for. we encountered a snake and a fox on this trail in the middle of the day, so beware of possible critters! I also highly recommend not descending this trail as I couldn't even imagine how much more difficult it would be- perhaps have someone waiting for you at the summit in a car. One last thing- be careful to really watch out to stay on trail as the trail markers are easy to miss. Be very careful on this trail!

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

We started at top of Cadillac Mountain and descended almost all the way to Bubble Pond, but turned around before we reached the very bottom because my dog was with us and that last stretch is not dog friendly. Challenging on the knees on the descent. The ascent is much easier. Beautiful views and a technically interesting trail. Really a fun one.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hiked the descent only down from Cadillac to Bubble Pond. Took just under two hours. Was not expecting this level of difficulty, partly because of wet granite at times. Definitely a challenging hike but one of the best I have ever done. Absolutely beautiful views!

hiking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Pretty difficult trail. We drove all the way to the summit of Cadillac mountain and descended down this trail to bubble pond. Very steep and difficult terrain. The descent was much more difficult than the ascent. Rough on the knees and lots of climbing down rocks. I would recommend this for only experienced hikers. Very steep rocks that require you to slide down them. Definitely not recommended for when it's foggy or even the slightest bit rainy.

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Did this trail on a warm and dry summer day (80 degrees). Only went up the mountain. It is quiet steep and challenging in the beginning and in places our dog needed a boost. Some scrambling required. Needed to take several water and rest breaks on the way. Would not do this trail unless its absolutely dry, one slip and you slide or fall 30+ feet onto jagged rocks.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

We went down first and then up to Cadillac Mountain. Tougher on the descent than the ascent. Took us 2 hours to descend and 1 hour to ascend. We ended up at Bubble Pond. We tried to park at Bubble Pond, but only a bus stop (no parking access). Restrooms were available there. Wear some hiking shoes with good tread. Sneakers seemed to act like skis at times on certain inclines. :-)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Great

Monday, July 04, 2016

Great challenge.

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Our party was not prepared for this hike. We biked to the trailhead from Bar Harbor and four of us, plus a dog, hit the trail. We frequently hit areas of difficulty for the less experienced in our party, and heavy rains the night before made for a slippery climb. All that said, it was fun and challenging - secluded as well.

hiking
Friday, June 12, 2015

Great steep workout going up, but we couldn't go back down on it because a) it had just rained and b) we had our dog with us...she's a hiker, but the wet granite was just too difficult to keep your footing on. I LOVED the challenge and the views, but don't approach without some experience, good shoes, and some energy (and no dogs unless they're very agile). Took us about 2.25 hours including stopping to eat lunch.

hiking
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Started this ascent on a day when it had rained the day before. We turned around and headed back roughly .1 miles in. The rocks were very, very slick and steep. Just in the short time we were on this trail, we encountered some strenuous climbing that required pulling yourself up over 4 ft high rock ledges with steep drops. I'd like to try it again, but only on a day when I know it's dry. I think this trail would be even more difficult descending.

hiking
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This is craziest than Precipice Trail and we were not prepared for it, looking only for a trail to go back to the road after having climbed the Cadillac Mountain. We even had our little dog with us, and had to hold him half of the time which means the holder was very insecure on the rocks. Blue signs are hard to find and we took the wrong way a couple of time. There was no signs (or we didnt see it) at the beginning of the trail (up on Cadillac Mountain) advising us of the difficulties of the trail and, with a thunderstorm approaching, we were very stressed about the rocks getting wet and very happy no one get hurt at the end.
But, that said, I wont hesitate to do it again, without a dog, on a sunny day, and knowing what is waiting me!

hiking
Monday, August 12, 2013

My son and I came down this trail today. We are not avid hikers, but I run and lift at home and he is a 23 year old that doesn't do the body maintenance, but is weight proportional. We went up the North Ridge in an hour with a few pic stops, but this descent took nearly 2 hours. It's hard to believe this is rated "Moderate". You really need to look for the blue paint markings on this trail. I pulled a shoulder muscle trying to catch myself when I slipped on a steep wet spot. My son has a sore hamstring.

hiking
Monday, October 08, 2012

One if my favorite Cadillac hikes. Short steep and strenuous

hiking
Saturday, August 07, 2010

Great climb, can ride down or walk down from park at top. Summit busy but west face is secluded. Sometimes had to look around for trail markers. Good challenge for a Sunday morning.

hiking
21 hours ago

hiking
1 month ago

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