Cadillac Summit Road Vehicle Reservation System Aims to Improve Visitor Experience
Beginning May 26, 2021, vehicle reservations will be required for Cadillac Summit Road from sunrise to sunset through October 19, 2021. The reservation system was designed as a tool to improve the visitor experience, ensure visitor safety, and protect park resources.
- Reservations are available for purchase online at Recreation.gov. starting April 1 at 10 am ET.
- Visitors can buy both a park entrance pass and a Cadillac Summit Road vehicle reservation through the Recreation.gov website.
- A vehicle reservation costs $6 and the fee covers the park’s cost of administering and staffing the reservation system and completing necessary infrastructure improvements.
- Vehicle reservations do not have time limits. The timed-entry reservation system allows visitors to stay on the mountain as long as they want after entry.
- For visitors who prefer to plan far in advance, 30 percent of available vehicle reservations are released 90 days ahead of each calendar date. The remaining 70 percent are released at 10 am ET two days ahead of each date to allow visitors a bit more trip spontaneity.
Why a Reservation System?
Acadia National Park is among the most popular and smallest parks in the U.S., with more than 3.5 million visits a year. Visitation grew nearly 60 percent in a decade, and, in 2020 during the COVID pandemic, Acadia was the eighth most visited national park.
Park studies show that about 75% of park visitors go to the summit of Cadillac at some point during their stay. The summit’s popularity has resulted in trampling of fragile alpine soils and plants, illegal parking and traffic gridlock, crowding at interpretive platforms, unsafe conditions, and degradation of the overall visitor experience. During peak visitation, the summit road can become so crowded that emergency vehicles cannot access the top of the mountain.
With a vehicle reservation, visitors are assured that a parking space will be available when they arrive and they won’t have to spend time hunting for a space–or worse, not find one at all!
Enjoying the Park Without Reservations
The vast majority of Acadia National Park does not require additional reservations, so visitors have many options for enjoying mountain summits, trails and historic roads while paying only the park entrance fee.
Also, reservations are not required for visitors to Cadillac Mountain who enter by foot or bike, or who wish to drive to the Cadillac summit outside of the dates of the reservation system.