Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail

HARD 61 reviews
#58 of 179 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: 1,309 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

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

Descended this trail from Cadillac Steep descent. Never again stay on South Ridge trail .. the extra 1 1/2 miles well worth it.

hiking
scramble
3 days ago

My boyfriend and I completed this trail and we agreed that parts of it are more difficult than either Precipice or Beehive (we are 23 and still found West Cadillac pretty dangerous and difficult). We completed the trail 2 days after it rained, but parts of the granite rock faces were still very wet and slippery. Definitely use extreme caution on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

On other difficult trails in the park like beehive or bubble substantial work has gone into moving rocks around, carving steps into the mountain, and adding rungs and ladders where necessary. That is not the case on this trail. There have been hardly any improvements to the trail. Instead, they have just put some markers showing you a path through the rocks. The trail is very steep, and you will be doing a lot of climbing and scrambling over boulders. Some of these boulders are quite large and would be difficult to get over for many people. I notice that some of the other reviewers criticized it for how primitive it is, but I thought it was a fun challenge. Just know what you're getting into, and don't go if it is wet.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

I wouldn’t recommend this on a wet day. Very steep, lots of rock faces. We descended via this trail and it was hellish on the knees.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

My father and I decided to descend down this path from Mt. Cadillac to get to Bubble Pond. Big mistake. This is probably one of the unsafest trails I've ever been on. The path is mostly barefaced granite and you'll have to spend a lot of strength to try and keep your balance as you descend. It's also poorly marked and would greatly benefit from iron rungs. I would not recommend this trail for the faint of heart

hiking
1 month ago

We went up this trail in October two days after a rain; it was unexpectedly wet and also covered in some places with slippery leaves. Whatever guide description I used to plan with didn't prepare us for the hazards and difficulties to be encountered. It's a beautiful and interesting trail, but I wouldn't attempt it again unless it was much drier.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked with my family who ranges from 10-60 yrs old! We had two dogs with us too who did great!

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

Forget Precipice and Beehive, this is the hardest trail in the park. Very steep, much of your time is spent hopping back and forth across bare granite slabs. While you're less exposed than on the ladder trails, you also don't have the aid of those more via ferrataesque trails: just your balance and strength will keep you upright. If you're looking for a fun, short, challenging stretch of trail in Acadia that isn't so highly frequented (and you're not overly concerned with views/features), check it out.

hiking
muddy
scramble
washed out
3 months ago

Unlike Spring up Penobscot/ Sargent this shortcut to Cadillac is poorly groomed and has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Do not attempt when wet or after a rain. Definitely do not descend via here. Initial rock scramble up large slides (which is typical) soon gives way at mid elevation to smooth downsloping rock faces. Cross 20 feet to get to the next marker with no clear holds or paths. Several such faces also include a 30 ft drop at the end. When wet (ie my experience) you really should just turn back. But I went up sh** creek anyways and it was intense. Biggest problem are poor markers. Be on the lookout for the next marker so you can plan a more intelligent path than shimmying across the faces with the real possibility of slipping and getting seriously injured. Would highly recommend ascending at times to treeline and following that to next marker instead of brute forcing the shortest path solution. Markers are atrocious and there should be rungs. Final scramble up is two sheer faces so good luck there. South ridge is infinitely more pleasant but if you’re decided ton doing this do descend via south ridge. Pond path has even worse gradient and probably not a smart way down. Good luck!

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this trail down from Cadillac after ascending via the South Ridge. A challenging trail that I took by mistake. It was very vertical and technical, and at several points I thought I'd fall and injure myself. Likely would not hike this again, especially with my dog in tow, but it was quite the rush!

hiking
Thursday, July 19, 2018

As one other said earlier... we took this thinking it would be a shortcut to the bus stop from the the North Ridge summit. Wow!! This was definitely challenging. Very vertical many times. I would of felt a lot safer with gear. Even though I felt accomplished after finishing it without sliding off the cliff... I would not recommend it for beginners, children or dogs. There really should be a warning sign with this trail.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Accidentally went down this trail as we did not want to go back down the north ridge trail. I had no idea how difficult this trail was going to be! Three of us were wearing tennis shoes, one of which was my 10 year old son. There were several areas that were wet and we were concerned someone might slide down the mountain and die. A rope and grappling hook would have been very helpful. Make sure you have a helicopter on standby. It was a fun hike....after we got to the bottom and were able to reflect on the fact we were still alive and uninjured.

hiking
Saturday, June 23, 2018

We used this trail to summit Cadillac and then used the South Ridge to descend. It was a difficult and technical climb, but that is what makes it fun. I would not recommend going down this way, and I definitely would not do this trail if it was wet. There are some points on the trail where if you fell you would be seriously injured, so wear good shoes. The crowds at the summit took away from the serenity of the experience compared to mountains like Pemetic that are less crowded. I would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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
Monday, June 11, 2018

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
Sunday, June 10, 2018

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
Sunday, May 06, 2018

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
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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
Friday, July 28, 2017

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
Thursday, July 27, 2017

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
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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.

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