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Beginner’s Guide to the Precipice Trail

What you need to know before hiking the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park!

The Precipice Trail up Champlain Mountain is one of our favorite trails in Acadia National Park. It provides a nice thrill in a short hike up Champlain Mountain. It’s definitely one of the best hikes in Acadia National Park, but you shouldn’t make it your first hike in Acadia National Park! It’s rated “Strenuous” according to the Maine Mountain Guide (MMG) In fact, it’s also referred to as a “non technical climbing route, not a hiking trail” according toe the MMG and the National Park Service.

Be Prepared for Hiking in Acadia National Park

Always make sure you’re dressed appropriately and have appropriate footwear, water, food, and first aid! Want to know more? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Hiking post here!

Trail Stats for the Precipice Trail

It’s one of the best hikes in Acadia National Park!

According to our calculations and the Maine Mountain Guide

Trails: Up the Orange and Black path to the Champlain Mountain Summit, down the Champlain Mountain North Ridge Trail. 

Miles: 1.8 RT  

Elevation Gain: 988 feet

Peak Elevation: 1,058 feet – Champlain Mountain

Level : Experienced

Pets: Not recommended

Kids: No way jose, unless they are brave and also you are brave enough to watch them.

Parking: At Trailhead. Acadia Park Passes are required have one? You can get one here! 

Trailhead for the Precipice Trail

It starts ascending almost immediately, and you encounter rungs and ladders.

The view was totally worth it. We got a little confused when we hit a cave – it almost appears as thought you might climb over it, but then you can’t really see where to go. So we went through!

It’s a bit sketchy, as you are on some cliffs while hiking the Precipice Trail, using your hands a lot, and hoisting yourself up. There are definite moments of “WHAT IN THE HECK AM I DOING” and “IF I SLIP I MIGHT DIE”. Notice Lindsey’s wearing some gloves – this is a good pro tip if you have sweaty hands. I’ve done this hike a few times, so I knew what to expect, but if it’s your first time and you aren’t too sure of your grips, having gloves can’t hurt.

You hit a bridge, which has recently been replaced. How’d you like to be the one to replace that bridge??


The best views on the Precipice Trail

The views are totally stunning if you can get over the terrain. But then again, if the terrain and the views weren’t why you were there, then you would have taken a different trail! It’s totally worth the elevated heart rate and the fear of falling to achieve the summit.

We met a friend on this trail, who was rather willing to be a part of our ridiculousness. Thanks Kevin! side note: we love meeting people on the trail. Say hey if you ever see us out! I can’t promise I won’t make you take a selfie with me though…

The Summit of Champlain Mountain via Precipice Trail

We made it to the summit in about an hour, and it was pretty crowded there, because Precipice is not the only trail to the top Champlain Mountain. See Champlain Mountain- Beechcroft Trail

view from Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park, Hikes in Acadia National Park,

We took our summit shots and then booked it down, like we always do. We get down the mountain much faster than we go up it – it might be the downward slope, or it might be the motivation of Side St. Cafe at the end of the trail. We started to take the Orange and Black Path down, but then decided to just road walk it, because we were hungry 🙂 as you can see I was sad that my grapes were not wine.

Tools for planning your trip to Acadia National Park to hike the Precipice Trail

Waterproof Acadia National Park Map

Acadia National Park – The Complete Guide

We want to hear your stories! Have you hiked the Precipice trail? What did you think?? Share your photos with us by using #lovemaineadventures on social media!


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Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park


Florida born, Maine living. Outdoor life is for me. I love adventures - hiking -photography - running - camping - reading - creating - learning - traveling - deep eddy vodka - cats and living, basically. Follow me on social - @DanielleDorrie