Jordan Cliffs Loop

A challenging and incredibly scenic day hike with "iron rungs and ladders" along Jordan Cliffs and Penobscot Mountain.

Hiking Severe

Distance
5.8 km
Ascent
366 m
Descent
366 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
82 m
High Point
359 m
Gradient
11˚
Jordan Cliffs Loop Map

This loop links the cliffside views and narrow trail along Jordan Cliffs with the exposed granite summit of Penobscot Mountain. The result, an excellent day loaded with spectacular views, rocky trails, and even some of Acadia's acclaimed "iron rungs." With an average finish time of 4 hours, this is a challenging hike that rewards with views of the nearby Bubbles Nubble Loop, Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and even as far as Bar Harbor and Cranberry Isles.

Description

The Jordan Pond Boat Launch doubles as the trailhead for this loop. There are multiple parking areas, restrooms, potable water, and the iconic Jordan Pond House, "a restaurant and shop with a long tradition within Acadia National Park." They are open from late April through the end of October.

While there are fully-accessible restrooms at the trailhead, this hike includes "sections of uneven footing, climbing, iron rungs and ladders, and steep, exposed granite throughout," according to the park. As such, pets are not allowed, and younger children are not recommended on this hike.

Note: "This trail and associated trails are closed seasonally to public entry to protect peregrine falcons from inadvertent disturbance or harassment during the nesting period. Park staff has observed adults at these sites engaging in courtship and pre-nesting behavior signaling the birds’ intentions to nest and raise chicks during the spring and early summer."

Source

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area