A Quest for Summits – Gorham Mountain and the Cadillac Cliffs, Acadia National Park, ME (in winter)

To continue our adventure through Acadia National Park in winter (see my previous blog post for our other activities), Mike and I hiked to the top of Gorham Mountain via the Cadillac Cliffs on Sunday morning before heading back home. We had a gorgeous, sunny day, with just a bit of wind at the summit that made it a tad chilly. This was our first winter hike (without a guide), so we opted for an easy, short route. The trailhead was easy to get to, right off of the Park Loop Road and the trail was well marked, even with all of the snow and ice.


The bottom part of the trail was very wet, with a lot of melting snow and ice. But this didn’t last very long. Once we got a little higher in elevation, it changed to not-melting snow and it was a little less slippery. We brought our new hiking poles with us, which turned out to be very helpful in keeping balance when the snow decided not to support your weight as you expected. We took our time and enjoyed the sunshine and gorgeous views (for minimal effort, I might add).

Trailhead sign
Lots of puddles from the melting snow and ice
Waterfalls of ice at the lower elevation
Version 2
Turn off to the Cadillac Cliffs


Luckily this part of the Cliffs wasn’t covered in snow!

Once we got up out of the trees, the views opened up and we were awarded with a beautiful ocean landscape. We stopped to enjoy the sights and take some pictures before moving on to the true summit, which was a short, relatively flat walk further along the trail.

View of Sand Beach
Looking towards the Gulf of Maine


Some lovely glacial striations formed during the last ice age
More snow covers the trail, not yet melting

Our time at the summit was short because the wind coupled with not moving made it pretty chilly. The views from the summit afforded more of a view of the surrounding forests of Acadia National Park.

Summit marker
Looking along the coastline of Mount Desert Island
Looking back into Acadia National Park

Overall this was a fantastic, first winter hike. We could not have asked for better weather and there was just enough snow to allow us to practice walking with different footing, but not so much that we required extra gear. We also had the mountain to ourselves, save for one family that we passed on our way down. I cannot wait for next winter where I can continue to explore mountains in the winter time and develop my winter hiking skills!

Happy Hiking!





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