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Gorham Mountain Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.7 ( 43 ) Favorite

Trail

3.6 mile 5.9 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 774' 236 m
Descent: -781' -238 m
High: 522' 159 m
Low: 37' 11 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 67% (34°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A short but challenging tour that passes a number of the must-see gems and views in the park.

Zander Göpfert

Features Views

Overview

This loop hike is the perfect way to see two of the park's gems while experiencing a handful of the best trails in the area. The route starts up the Beehive Trail, which is one of the park's iron rung routes that utilizes iron rungs and ladder steps to climb up a granite cliff and boulder field.

This trail should not be attempted if you have any discomfort with heights or physical incapacity.

Description

To access this featured hike, park in the large Beehive Trailhead Parking Area off Park Loop Road, behind Sand Beach. Locate the trailhead for the Bowl Trail northwest of the Beehive Trailhead Parking Area just off the Park Loop Road. During the summer months, this lot can get crowded, but while most people head down to Sand Beach below, you can hike up to The Bowl and cool your heels there. That’s not to say that the path will be traffic free, but it usually isn’t nearly as congested as the beach.

This path climbs gradually at the beginning. At 0.2 miles, you’ll come across the Beehive Trailhead. Turn right onto the Beehive Trail. As an alternative to the iron-rung route of the Beehive Trail, hikers can continue up the Bowl Trail as it joins with the Gorham Mountain Trail, which this hike uses to reach its southern terminus.

Continue up the Beehive Trail as it switchbacks up the granite walls using iron rungs, footholds, ladders, and staircases. This exhilarating climb stretches for around two-tenths of a mile, gaining over 300 feet of elevation. At the top, reap the reward of your physical feat by enjoying the surrounding views.

Follow the trail north along the rocks toward The Bowl. There is a bypass Beehive Alternate Trail that cuts across to just above the Gorham Mountain Trail. This cuts off around four-tenths of a mile and a gradual descent to the shores of The Bowl.

From the Beehive Alternate Trail, continue north towards The Bowl. This makes for a wonderful spot to have lunch and take a dip to cool off or at least soak your feet. Continue west until the junction with the Champlain South Ridge Trail and Gorham Mountain Trail. Turn left and head south on the Gorham Mountain Trail.

This trail heads across the saddle toward the summit of Gorham Mountain, another breathtaking point with views abound. Follow the trail along the thin trees and granite boulders toward the Cadillac Cliffs.

Just past the Cadillac Cliffs, the Cadillac Cliffs Path branches off to the left for an alternative, parallel path which stretches for three-tenths of a mile until it re-joins the Gorham Mountain Trail. Continue the descent for another few hundred yards until arriving at the Gorham Mountain Trailhead Parking Area. You can breathe easy now, as all the climbing and descending is complete.

From the parking area, carefully cross the Park Loop Road, joining with the Ocean Path. This path makes for a beautiful cool-down with numerous viewpoints and photo opportunities. After around three-tenths of a mile, look to the right for the staircase down to the Thunder Hole. Bring a camera, as this can be a beautiful vantage point of the granite cliffs and ocean beyond. If there is any swell, this rock feature can be quite the sensation with a deep, rumbling sound and spray erupting into the air.

Finish the last three-quarter-mile stretch of the Ocean Path toward Sand Beach and the Beehive Trailhead Parking Area where you parked your vehicle.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Oct 14, 2019
Sarah Dougherty Duffy
Oct 1, 2019
Katie Ribble
Amazing trail with the beehive trail to begin with. Spectacular view and the perfect level of trickiness for a moderately experienced hiker. 3.6mi — 4h 30m
Sep 24, 2019
Hannah Hood
14h 00m
Sep 11, 2019
Adam Brain
Amazing hike. We did clockwise. Liked it that way.
Sep 6, 2019
Yaara H
Sep 1, 2019
Maria Harmon
Aug 28, 2019
Xin Lu
Aug 28, 2019
James Ortmann

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 43 votes

#144

Overall
  4.7 from 43 votes
5 Star
70%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#3

in Maine

#144

Overall
166 Views Last Month
5,810 Since Jun 30, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
5%
21%
52%
21%
0%

Photos

Near Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park
Aug 25, 2015 near Bar Harbor, ME
While plenty steep, the Beehive Trail rewards you with phenomenal views looking down on Sand Beach.
Mar 30, 2017 near Bar Harbor, ME
View of the Beehive.
Jan 21, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
A view from the summit of the Beehive.
Jan 21, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
The trail passes under this giant rock slab.
Jan 23, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
Enjoying the gorgeous views from the summit of the Beehive Trail.
Jan 14, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME

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