Travel by Any Means Necessary

Tag: Bass Harbor

Mainely Acadia: On the Quietside

Bass Harbor Head Light in the Fog

After spending a week in Southwest Harbor, we headed out to see some of the highlights of the Quietside. As I explained last week, we had about 6 hours with nowhere to call home base, so after visiting the Gilley Museum, we continued around the Quietside, first with a stop at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (top).

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is probably the most popular photography spot in Acadia National Park. If you want to shoot it at sunset, better get there early because as I wrote about last year, photographers get there early and they will not budge to let you get one quick shot. Luckily, we had some interesting fog on the day of our visit that made for interesting shots even in the middle of the day. What these iconic photos don’t show you, is that to get this shot, you have to stand on jagged rocks. If getting this shot is on your Acadia bucket list, bring sturdy shoes and make sure you are surefooted. You wouldn’t want to damage your camera gear and yourself just trying to get a picture. After the fuss of getting a shot last year, I think this lighthouse is overrated. You want a unique Acadia shot? Getaway from the crowds and do some hiking! You can catch sunrise or sunset from the top of a mountain and unlike Cadillac Mountain, you will have the mountain all to yourself. Hopefully soon, Chris will share some of his early morning hikes in Acadia.

Waves crashing on the seawall.

After leaving the Lighthouse, we headed over to the Seawall (left). In Michigan we have seawalls, but they are mostly concrete barriers that keep the water from eroding your lawn. Acadia’s seawall is natural and made of jagged rocks and gravel. Being on the Quietside really makes a difference for the crowds and the seawall is a great spot to capture the crashing waves without the people you will see at Thunder Hole. You may remember, this was a favorite spot of yours on our first trip to Acadia because we stayed at the Seawall Campground and drove past every day.

If you are planning to visit Acadia, make sure to get away from the crowds and spend some time on the Quietside of the island. To read more about this trip, check out the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

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Bass Harbor Head Light

You’ve seen the iconic photos of this lighthouse, right? Gorgeous sunset over the water and the lighthouse atop the rocks? They’re really something. I desperately wanted to get one of those pictures this trip!

As you can see from the above picture, I didn’t get the beautiful sunset I was dreaming of. First, I wasn’t prepared for how early the sun sets in eastern Maine. In Michigan, we’re lucky in that the sun stays up until 9:00 in the summer. In Maine, the sun sets more than an hour earlier. We were getting ready to make dinner and the sun was going down. It was like the opposite of camping at McLain State Park in the Keewenaw, where the sun didn’t set until almost 10. The other thing that made it difficult was the fog. Every evening we spent at Acadia was foggy or rainy. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. I was actually OK with it because it took the pressure off getting the perfect sunset photo.

Set the weather aside for a second. Because of the iconic nature of this lighthouse, everyone wants a photo of it. Photographers were lined up all over the rocks near the lighthouse. Here’s the kicker, they weren’t just taking a photo and heading on their merry way. Nope, they had their tripods set up and they were not budging until the sun was past the horizon. Chris is more daring than I and he weaved in between them to get this shot. It was not worth it to me. Honestly, I was disgusted with my fellow photographers over this. I could not believe the photographers looking out at the sea of other photographers, shrugging their shoulders and saying “well, I got here first”. Craziness. Especially because it wasn’t even that great of a sky that day.

So, you are going to be at Acadia and you want to try to get this shot. Here’s my advice for you.  Avoid summer. If you want to visit Acadia at all, avoid the busy season. The crowds are ridiculous. Late spring and early fall are supposed to be much better. And in fall you get the colors. I will have to make it to Acadia sometime in the fall. If you want the place to yourself, go in the winter. It never hurts to be the person staking out a spot. Try to get to the lighthouse early, just don’t be rude about it.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

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