Acadia National Park allows climbers to have an unforgettable rock climbing experience. However, it is important to take all the necessary precautions and safety measures beforehand. Climbers are responsible for their personal safety. Evaluate all rappel stations on the routes before climbing.

There are fixed anchors that have been maintained by the park authorities on the top of the Otter Cliffs. Trees must not be used to belay the climbs. All anchors must be evaluated and if there are any safety concerns, notify the park authorities.

When planning to climb the Otter Cliffs or the Great Heads, it is advised to know the weather forecasts and tides before doing so. It can be difficult and more dangerous during heavy seas and high tides.

Guides and Instructions

All instruction manuals, guidebooks and equipment are available at different park locations. Check with the nearest Chambers of Commerce for more information. Visit the local libraries and the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to get a copy of the Climbers Guide to Mount Desert Island by Geoffrey Childs.

Climbing Areas

The areas designated by park authorities for climbing are as follows:

  • South Wall (Champlain): Good corners and thin cracks, 3-pitch routes to 5.12
  • Otter Cliff: Routes up to 5.12, Sea Cliffs, face and crack climbing with rappel access.
  • South Bubble: Good for beginners, 1 to 3-pitch routes and some friction climbing.
  • Central Slabs: Some routes good for beginners. Routes to 5.10 with 1-pitch routes.
  • Great Head: Know the tides and weather before climbing. High-grade sea cliff climbing with rappel access.

These areas mentioned above are most frequently used by climbers. However, there are other infrequently used spots along the ocean between Otter Cliff and Sand beach, and near the Campgrounds of Blackwoods.


Please note that for Otter Cliffs, anyone wanting to climb will require a climbing permit for any noncommercial or commercial organized group climbing. You will be required to fill out an application form to get your permit.

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