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Reservation System FAQs

Acadia National Park’s vehicle reservation system is slated to go into effect in 2021. A dry run of the system is planned for October 1-18 of 2020.  Cadillac Mountain and areas accessed through the Sand Beach Entrance Station  are slated to be part of the reservation system test.

Acadia to Conduct Reservation System Dry Run

As part of its formal transportation developed over the past two years, Acadia National Park is slated to begin a reservation system for access to the most congested parts of the park in 2021. That test will affect access at the Sand Beach Entrance Station and the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road only.

Vehicle reservations are not required for other areas of the park, or anywhere for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Reservations provide a entry during a specific 30-minute window of time. There is no required departure time. Those who arrive late or who leave the area will need another reservation to return.

Find out more at Acadia’s Vehicle Reservation Page.


I thought the park was waiting until 2021?

October 1-18 provides an opportunity to do a dry run of the vehicle reservation system at a time when visitation slows. This will be a chance to learn and adjust the system during the winter season before implementation in 2021.

Which locations will require a parking reservation during the test?

Vehicle reservations during the test will be needed for the Cadillac Summit Road (4:30 am to 6:30 pm) and the Sand Beach Entrance (7 am to 5 pm) sections of the Park Loop Road providing access to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Ocean Path, the Beehive, Great Head, and Gorham Mountain. You can make a vehicle reservation, which costs $2, at

You only need a  vehicle reservation if you plan to access those areas in a private vehicle during peak times. Visitors may enter reservation areas by foot, bike, taxi, or tour guide without a reservation.

What about the Jordan Pond House area?

The Jordan Pond House area is not currently slated to be part of the test. 

Will the Island Explorer buses be available?

Island Explorer service in Acadia has been suspended during the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

How and when can visitors make a parking reservation?

Reservations during the test cost $2. They are available online only at They cannot be purchased at the fee station. The online fee is not refundable. Reservations become available starting two months in advance. A block of reservations is held in reserve until 48 hours prior.

Visitors unable to use their reservations for any reason are encouraged to cancel them to allows slots to open up for others. 

What exactly is the reservation for?

A reservation permits access to the controlled area by private vehicle during a set time window. Those with reservations can stay as long as they want. Reservations are not for specific parking spots nor do they guarantee a parking space will be available.

Will buses be required to have a reservation during the dry run? 

Commercial buses and taxis are not required to have a reservation. Commercial buses, tours and other entities operating in the park must obtain a commercial use authorization. Those wishing to take photographs or video commercially or hold events are required to obtain a permit. Find out more at the Acadia’s permit page. 

Read more:

Mount Desert Islander News Article

Reservation test article in Outside Magazine