Destinations >Acadia National Park, Maine

Rock Climbing in Acadia National Park, Maine

This is our home turf and we enjoy sharing it! Acadia Mountain Guides is Acadia's oldest climbing school. School owner, Jon Tierney, has been climbing, instructing and guiding in Acadia since 1983.

Rock climbing in Acadia National Park is an unforgettable experience. Dramatic sea cliffs of pink granite and breath taking inland escarpments offer routes for all abilities, ages, and fitness levels. We guide all over the world, from the Rockies to the Andes, from the Alps to the Himalaya, but we keep our home base here in Acadia. We think that after you have climbed here you'll understand why!

Only minutes from downtown Bar Harbor

One of the few true sea cliffs in the United States, Otter Cliff is known by climbers around the world. Easy access and a great variety of climbing routes make this a must do for climbers visiting Acadia. Otter Cliff offers a wide range of terrain for beginning through advanced climbers. The walk to Otter Cliff from the park loop road is very gentle and takes less than five minutes. Climbing at Otter Cliff is best done by rappelling down to the base and climbing back to the top.

The Tick Lists of Otter Cliff Must Do Climbs

5.5 - 5.7
In the Groove, Wonder Corner, The Great Chimney, Wonder Wall, Overhanging Corner, Guillemot Crack, Child's Play

5.8 - 5.9
Yellow Wall, Rock Lobster, The Flake

5.10 and up
Guillotine, Drunken Sailor, A Dare by the Sea, Outer Face, Gallery

These cliffs were featured in the the 2010 Paramount movie Shutter Island for which Acadia Mountain Guides provided site management, rigging and a stunt double climber for Leonardo de Caprio.

South Otter is an extension of Otter Cliffs that AMG pioneered as a great teaching site several years ago. It offers the same vista as Otter but boasts a large selection of easier and less intimidating terrain than the main part of Otter. Much of the terrain can be approached from the bottom making for more social and climber friendly belays. Less than five minutes from the car.

Superb The quality of the rock on the South Wall rivals climbing anywhere. Superb corners and cracks in fine grain pink granite overlooking Frenchmen's Bay! Who could ask for more? Routes here extend up to 300 feet off the ground.

The South Wall features a wide range of climbs - ideal for both beginners and seasoned climbers. We spend many days sharing the rope with experienced climbers who are seeking the benefit of local knowledge, who want to get a lot of climbing done in an day or are just plain without a partner.

South Wall Classic Tours

5.3 - 5.4 (relatively easy physically)
Precipice Ledges Left, Precipice Ledges Right, Story of O variation.

5.5 - 5.7
Wafer Step, Retlaw, Standard, Story Of O, Old Town, Gunklandia

5.8 - 5.9
Return to Forever, Green Mt. Breakdown, Recollections of Pacifica, Sea Gypsy

5.10 and above (relatively difficult)
Chitlin Corner, Fear of Flying, Michael's Pin, Connecticut Cracks

The South Bubble overlooks Jordan Pond and the Cranberry Isles. This bottom area features some lower angled climbs that turn from hiking to climbing without you hardly knowing. If you are looking to see how longer climbs get done or want to climb to a mountaintop, the Bubbles offers close to 400' of relatively easy multi-pitch climbing.

Combine this with a an easy hike to Jordan Pond for tea and you'll think you are in Europe. Ask about it.

A mini slot canyon with low granite walls. The Canyon is an ideal location for someone who believes they have a fear of heights, concerns about climbing in front of others or has physical limitations that preclude rocky approaches. AMG began using this site about a decade ago for families with very young children (4 - 7). The climbs are belayed from the bottom and a 60 second walks around gets you to the top to try rappelling. Two minutes from where you park.

Our newest find! Another location right on the water that is iIdeal for groups but we can't say too much about it because we are using it for climbing instructor examinations.

A History of
Leading the way...

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent leader in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. We specialize in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family or your group.

Directed by internationally recognized IFMGA guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

Climbing instructors are certified by either the AMGA or the PCIA - many are certified by both. All guides are trained or certified by the AMGA.

• Since 1994 •
AMGCS is one of 30 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to achieve accreditation.

AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously accredited by the AMGA for eighteen years - several years longer than any other local service. We have had one or more full time AMGA certified rock instructors or rock guides on staff each year since 1994 - sixteen years more than any other local school.

• Since 2007 •
AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

Experience the difference.
Reach your peak with Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School.




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