Precipice Trail is a 1.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from August until March.

DISTANCE
1.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
931 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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 out and back (or 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.

hiking
5 days 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
5 days 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!

9 days ago

This trail is amazing. Be careful during rain tho.

14 days 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
17 days 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!

20 days ago

Fun hike, a must do if in the park

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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!

1 month ago

Best hike in the park. Best views.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike

1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

Unbelievable views at every turn!!

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Super unique and fun hike! I would not plan this as an "out and back" route though. A lot of the sections are narrow and steep. Coming down while others are coming up would not work in a lot of areas. Plan for a loop following the Champlain North Ridge Trail and Orange and Black Path (there's a separate hike listing that follows this route). We took the Orange and Black down to Ocean Drive and walked along the road. Going down that route is way easier. Also, we started the hike later in the afternoon to make sunset at the summit. The views of the bay and sunset were awesome from the top. The path was not crowded at this time, but it was nearly dark by the time we got back to the Precipice trailhead parking lot. Bring flashlights if you're getting a late start.

rock climbing
1 month ago

Well the app deleted my path but just to let you all know. This is a nontechnical climbing trail not hiking so for your safety please be prepared. I loved it. I took the path that made up 4.2 miles instead of just the basic trail. Precipice-lake Champlain- orange and black trail. It was amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

This happened to be my first hike in Acadia. Was fun and also the fact that there is no going back helps - you just climb and finish it! :)

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was amazing! Noted as the most dangerous trail in Acadia National Park, the Precipice Trail is not recommended for children, those who are afraid of heights or anyone out of shape. Trail is nearly all vertical, ascending more than 1,000 feet. It is almost a mile straight up, easy in the beginning and gets more and more difficult the higher you go. Mid-way you begin using ladders to ascend, then for the last third of the climb it is all iron rungs drilled into the side of the mountain, overlooking sharp cliffs! The scariest hike I have ever been on, but totally worth the time and energy!

2 months ago

Great hike, definitely recommend it for the able bodied. I’m hardly the most in shape but was able to do this hike with breaks. Get here early (before 10AM) so you can find parking and avoid the big crowds. I took the long way down through Champlain north ridge and then making a right on Orange and Black trail. I took it all the down to the road and caught the bus back to the parking lot. You can also walk along the road back to the parking lot. Total time for 3-3.5 hours at a leisurely pace, stopping to snack.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most incredible hikes I’ve ever done! It is certainly challenging and not good for those with a fear of heights... but an experience not to be missed! Once up, it seems safest and the best idea to go down north ridge and then black/orange trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great experience! I am excited to share it with my family (of adult children)!

hiking
2 months ago

The more difficult bigger brother of the Beehive Trail. This trail has so much upper arm work between the ladder rungs and the boulder climbing to get to the top. If you are afraid of heights there are a few skinny areas I wouldn't recommend looking down. This is a full body workout kind of trail but it is so much fun! For sure an experience you don't want to pass up.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, adventurous hike with incredible ocean views on top. The cliff walks are amazing. You have to go under the rocks too at one place. This has more iron rungs than bee hive trail. Really loved this one and want to show this to my friends when I visit next time. I came down via north ridge.

2 months ago

Come early as the trail got pretty crowded when we went in the late morning. This definitely isn’t the type of trail where you can pass people at will as parts of the trail are straight vertical. Great views towards the end as the cliffside exposes you to a great view of Bar Harbour as well as all the Porcupine islands

hiking
2 months ago

great trail. lots of climbing. awesome views

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