back to articles | July 06, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

9 Places to Watch Sunrise and Sunset at Acadia National Park


Acadia National Park is widely famous as the best place to see the most incredible sunrise and sunset in the United States. One of the best things about the national park is that there are several magnificent spots where you can catch a birds-eye view of the sunrise and sunset.

This sunrise and sunset viewing provides the best way to connect with the natural world. So what is the best place to go, sunrise and sunset watching at the park? Here is a compilation of the most popular spots to watch the sunrise and sunset at Acadia National Park.

1. Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

The Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse marks the entrance to Blue Hill Bay and Bass Harbor. It is one of the three lighthouses that the Acadia National Park manages. At this spot, you can have an incredible sunrise view.

Furthermore, the best thing about this site is that it has less congestion and traffic. It is the perfect place to see the ocean-view sunrise. In addition to the sunrise site, the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is also a perfect spot for sunset viewing.

One vital thing to note is that this spot has limited public parking. Therefore, make sure to arrive early to get a parking spot. Also, for the optimal sunrise view, walk down to the shore and hike on the available rocks. Make sure to hike with care and have a flashlight with you, as the rocks there may be unpredictable.

2. Cadillac Mountain

Sunset and sunrise are more of an experience than an event, and Cadillac Mountain promises the best experience. Cadillac Mountain offers one of the highest points in Acadia National Park. It stands at 1,530 feet and provides the most popular spot for sunset viewing.

During the summer months, the sun magnificently hits the seaboard. It presents the best scenic view you could hope for. Note that the popularity of Cadillac Mountain as one of the best sites for sunrise viewing often makes it congested. Therefore, you should be prepared for crowds. Also, note that parking can be a nightmare because of the crowds. Make sure to reach Cadillac Mountain early.

3. Dorr Mountain

Dorr Mountain is an excellent sunrise spot alternative to Cadillac Mountain. One of the best ways to experience the sunrise at Dorr Mountain is while hiking. When hiking, you will see the awe-inspiring and beautiful natural phenomena of the sunrise with incredible landscape views at 1260 feet.

The Dorr Mountain Loop starts at the Ladder Trail. It is from this point that you can begin your hike. For the sunrise hike, ensure you have 45 to 60 minutes to complete the first leg of the Dorr Mountain trail.

Note that your dog is not allowed along this trail. Also, you must wear the right shoes for the best sunrise hike experience.

4. Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is a spectacular place to see the last arrays of the sun. At this spot, there is an abundance of parking. Furthermore, there is a boat ramp that provides the best opportunity to see the sunset over peaceful waters without dealing with currents, tides, and waves.

It is indeed a picturesque atmosphere. Though busy during the day, Eagle Lake is often quieter during sundown, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sunset with plenty of privacy. It is an incredibly romantic spot where you can propose or celebrate your anniversary with the majestic golden sunset view.

5. Otter Point

The sunrise glow at Otter Point is a photographer's dream. Otter Point is a section of the spectacular Ocean Path. It is one of the best spots for sunrise hiking in Acadia National Park. The early morning sun rays touch the stunning sky with pink lights, which light up the rocky shore in a warm orange color.

Sunrise at Otter Point is incredibly unforgettable. One of the best things about this spot is that there are ample spaces for vehicle parking. Note that you will need a park pass to access the Otter Point.

6. Thompson Island

Thompson Island is located on the northern side of Mount Desert Island. This site has ample parking spot that allows easy sunrise viewing. It has a picnic area with picnic tables, fireplaces, and an open, large grassy area that leads to the shore. Thus, it is the best place for those who do not like hiking to see the sunrise.

Simply parking on the roadside can ensure you get great shots of the sunrise. Furthermore, the spectacular sunrise view plus breakfast can take your experience to the next level.

7. Seal Cove

Seal Cove is another incredible place for sunset photography. It is located on the southwest of Mount Desert Island. The Seal Cove provides the perfect place for sunset photos with a spectacular background landscape.

The view from this place is simply breathtaking. You will have an opportunity to capture the sunset over the harbor with fishing boats or water. Make sure to have your camera with you to capture this glorious last light.

8. Thunder Hole

Visiting the Thunder Hole for sunrise and sunset viewing is often on most visitors' bucket lists. Thunder Hole is only a few minutes away from Otter Point. It is a good place in the Acadia National Park to see the sunrise and sunset.

One of the best things about this spot is that you can relish the beautiful sights of the sunrise while listening to the unique sounds of the wind and the tide. When tides rise at a suitable level, waves crashing into rocks generate a thunderous, deep noise that adds extra fun to the magnificent sunrise experience.

When the first sun rays hit the granite near Thunder Hole, you will see a striking reddish color. Note that the sunrise at Thunder Hole occurs around 4:00 am, and the sunset is around 8:20 am.

9. Schooner Head Overlook

Schooner Head Overlook provides an incredibly secluded area to watch the sunrise. You can reach this overlook by taking the Schooner Head Road. This site is the perfect place to see the pre-dawn light for anyone with mobility problems, as you can see the stunning view from the parking area.

You can also see the Egg Rock Light House and Egg Rock at the Schooner Head overlook. If you wish, you can get close to the waters by following the short paved trail which leads to the rocky shore. This area is the best place to get memorable photos of the first sunrays on the surf and rocks.

Bottom Line

Acadia National Park has incredible spots where you can see the first and last sun rays. Note that you should get to your location early to experience this stunning sunrise and sunset. Also, make sure your selected location has ample parking space.

While touring Acadia National Park by car can be quicker, more comfortable, and safer than riding on a two-wheeler, a motorcycle can save you a lot of money during your ride. Motorcycles are generally more affordable to buy, maintain, and repair than cars. Getting a motorcycle loan is also quite easy, and the repayment tenure of the loan is less than that of a car loan.