Precipice, Orange and Black and Champlain North Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 403 reviews
#7 of 172 trails in

Precipice, Orange and Black and Champlain North Ridge Trail Loop is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 2.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,049 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

The trail is closed between March 15 and August 15 due to falcon nesting. The Precipice Trail is a difficult and very steep loop trail using iron rungs and ladders on exposed cliffs providing spectacular views of Acadia National Park. The trail opens after nesting Peregrine Falcons leave the nest. The hike is not recommended during wet conditions, or if you experience vertigo; also not recommended for small children.The trail starts up steps and through some boulder scrambles. While officially a non-technical hike due to strategically placed iron rungs, ladders and rock ledges, this is really a climb that requires you to be able to navigate some tricky spots by pulling yourself up (e.g. the very first example of this might even be the hardest). If you are careful and pay attention, this will be a great and thrilling experience. Leave hiking poles behind, as you won't need them and they'll just get in the way. One of the very best short hikes in Acadia, similar to what you get on Katahdin's Knife Edge.

10 hours ago

Currently closed due to falcon nesting

hiking
15 days ago

started from Schoonerhead across ocean an up orange and black.

hiking
1 month ago

hardest trail I've ever done but so fun climbing up the steep side! the views at the top are definitely worth it plus the fact that you can say "I climbed that"

hiking
1 month ago

YOU CAN DO THIS HIKE. As long as you don't have an issues with vertigo or balance, anyone can do this if they take their time. This hike scares alot of people who come to Acadia, but you CAN do this, but don't bring super small kids. I'd say bring them up if 10 or over, just keep a close eye. It is worth every minute. Lots of rock scrambling, but lots of great traction bc of the granite and lots of foot/hand holds.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Loved every part of this trail. You definitely should not descend from Champlain via this trail.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the greats!

hiking
7 months ago

Best and most exciting hike I’ve ever done! Loved the challenge - we had our baby strapped to us (she loved it) - hiking up the iron rungs was a lot of fun.. if you’re scared of heights I wouldn’t recommend!

Awesome and scary hike. 100% worth it but not for the faint at heart. We went at around 2pm and the trail was empty which was nice.

hiking
7 months ago

I did the precipice trail in August 2018. It definitely is not an out and back trail, since there are many spots where it is dangerous to pass other people. This was the first trail I did in Acadia this time I went. It would be difficult for someone who is afraid of heights and I would not recommend it for that. I honestly thought it would be more challenging than it was.

hiking
8 months ago

As AllTrails lists this route as an 'out-and-back' and we summited Chaplains, we thought we could be able to descend via Precipice. After attempting to descend for about 0.2mi, it seemed unwise to continue because of the grade and ice forming over the steep face...let alone going down the iron rungs. While signs warn that this isn't recommend to descend from Chaplains via Precipice, the app's distinction of an 'out-and-back' gives a contrary and potentially dangerous impression.

hiking
8 months ago

Exhilarating trail. Tough in some sections but not impossible. First rung&ladder challenge is the toughest... if you can do this one, you can do the rest. In the colder months, leave plenty of time because there’s ice in many areas. For a short hike with a relatively small increase in elevation, this trail packs a punch. Definitely can’t do this just once!

8 months ago

This trail is amazing. Be careful during rain tho.

8 months ago

This is the best trail I have ever done! The most beautiful trail for the entire time of the hike and even more gorgeous at the top! I would do this trail again in a heartbeat!

hiking
8 months ago

Precipice made Beehive seem like child's play. The beginning of the trail starts off with some pretty cool boulder hopping. You have nice views within 10 minutes. The rest of the trail is a series of switchbacks, ladders, steps, and bridges. You're on cliff faces the majority of the way up. I felt safe, but wet rocks/rain could make for a pretty dangerous ascent. We hiked up and over, down the Orange/Black trail to the road, and followed the road back to the Precipice lot. We did this after sunrise on Cadillac and saw only 2 couples. Awesome hike during peak foliage!

8 months ago

Fun hike, a must do if in the park

hiking
8 months ago

I've done this hike twice now and it was a fantastic experience each time. Not for people who are afraid of heights or not very sure-footed, but quite easy and safe for anyone in a reasonably good shape and with enough common sense. An absolute must-do if you're in Acadia and able to this.

8 months ago

S’ok. Fairly easy all the way up if you have any climbing background. Just a simple scramble at best.

9 months ago

The whole hike is one amazing view, just at different altitudes! So much fun.

9 months ago

Excellent trail! Lots of fun with many rails to help you along and keep you from falling or slipping. I would suggest only climbing this one in good weather/visibility and only if you are physically capable of it. There isn’t any good way to back track during the tricky turns and ledges. I am so glad I made it onto this trail while in Acadia. It’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve had hiking!

hiking
9 months ago

Favourite trail of all time! I was a little worried at first given all the warnings about the steep drops. We ended up doing the hike while it was drizzling so definitely added to the adventure. Overall it’s a solid challenging hike but if you focus and are careful there’s no reason why you can’t finish. Takes about 2 hours round trip (going down the Orange/Black trail). The first 20 minutes are a rock scramble with some introduction to the iron rungs, the next 30 minutes you’ll be moving vertically and laterally holding onto iron rungs, the last 10 minutes to the top are a mix of rock scramble and rungs. Took us about an hour to get down since it was wet and we were being careful. If you have a phobia of heights, this hike is not for you. But if you’re just uncomfortable like I am then this is a great way to get comfortable and feel accomplished. The views are unbelievable.

9 months ago

The most challenging and rewarding scrambling trail I’ve done. It pushes you to your limit in the best way with fantastic views the whole way. Do it!

9 months ago

Best hike in the park. Best views.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome hike

9 months ago

This hike was super fun yet slightly terrifying at points as I do not do exceedingly well with heights but the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and beautiful views make it all worth it

rock climbing
9 months ago

Wow what a great experience. Not for kids or dogs. Lots of steep climbing. Be careful.

9 months ago

Awesome iron rung route. A Must do hike in Acadia National Park

hiking
9 months ago

I was nervous about doing this trail but ended up loving it and having a great time. The views are amazing and you really get a sense of accomplishment when you get to the top. My husband and I started around 730 to avoid crowds and only saw a couple other people on the trail.

9 months ago

Unbelievable views at every turn!!

hiking
9 months ago

First time hiking a trail like this, exhilarating and a great feeling of accomplishment when completed.

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