We feel lucky to have hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and the Beehive at Acadia National Park in the same year! I personally don’t know anyone who can make that claim because they are on opposite sides of the United States. That said, I’m sure there are others who have also achieved this status but it’s definitely not common.
Although Angel’s Landing is a longer and more difficult hike, there are many similarities. Comparing the two hikes made for enjoyable conversation as Gail and I traversed our way to the Beehive mountain summit.
Climbing the Bee Hive
It was Day 2 for Gail and me at Acadia National Park and we were looking for adventure. Deciding to hike the 1.6-mile Beehive trail was a good option for us. Knowing it is also one of the most popular hikes in the park, we arrived early. We were among the first visitors through the entry road and we were excited.
It was a beautifully clear day. The bright sun was just beginning to peep over the horizon and the sky was vivid blue.
We located the trail head quickly, found a parking spot nearby and headed up. The Beehive trail was a relatively short, strenuous, steep hike and a fun climb for us. Much of the path to the top was climbing over rocks and boulders. Along the way, we encountered several steep drop-off areas that required iron rungs to help climbers navigate to the top safely.
The Allure of a High Perspective
As we made our way to the top of the beehive shaped mountain, the valley below opened up to us. The view of the ocean water and the Great Head Peninsula was unbeatable.
Arriving at the top, we knew we were someplace special. We stopped to soak in the morning sun on our faces and breathed in the fresh air on the rocky overlook. In quiet reverence we peaked over the edge at the vast blue water and the sandy beach below.
The reward for our effort was a fifteen-minute rest where we sat on the huge granite slab at the top. We enjoyed the brief time to observe our pleasant surroundings and also welcomed new hikers as they joined us.
The Hike Down
The Beehive trail is a loop rather than an out and back hike which we prefer. On the way down, the footpath splits and hikers are given a choice. Turn left to return to the parking lot (fast way down) or add a mile and visit “The Bowl” which is a small fishing lake.
Of course, we opted to check out the lake. Once we arrived at the water, we snapped a few pictures of each other and continued down the trail.
One of the things we like about hiking in Acadia National Park is there are many connecting trails which lead to primary trails. Knowing this, we kept taking the connector paths and adding miles to our hike. As a result of doing this, we ultimately visited Halfway Mountain and Gorman Mountain. Then continued on to the water’s edge to see Monument Cove and the Thunder Hole. Ultimately, we walked 8 miles and completed our hike at the Sand Beach.
It was the same beach we saw looking down from the Beehive hike overlook.
After our long adventure to the top and back, we were ready for a break and the beach was the perfect end to our enjoyable morning. We were still wearing our big clumpy hiking boots and backpacks when we entered the beach area. Compared to the other people playing in the sand and splashing in the water our appearance was out of place.
The Final View
Gail and I were just happy to sit down and rest for a while. As we sat on a rock together, I looked up to view Beehive Mountain. It was fun see where we had been hours earlier.
I decided to pull out the binoculars from our bag and look up at the mountain with greater detail.
Amazing! I was shocked how many people were climbing the big rock!
Climbing the Beehive at Acadia National Park was one of the highlights of our time there. In many ways, this hike will rank high for adventure, novelty and fun for us.
If you like to climb and heights don’t intimidate you, we recommend this hike when visiting Acadia.
We loved traveling through the state of Maine! Check out this story to learn more about our time there: