Example Summit Sunrise Vista Site Atop Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Sunrise vistas are among the most popular activity sites at national forests and parks; the reward-to-effort ratio is typically very high. On the way to a comfortable perch, visitors can cause crowding and conflict by competing for desirable sites. One usual effect is that the trampled extent of the vista viewing area expands radially out from a maximally-impacted (or artificially hardened/paved/bedrock) core location as the margins get trampled and then expanded. Mountain summits, by their convex shape and eventually-steep sideslopes, help to topographically constrain this expansion, but summit ecosystems are usually among the most fragile of all given their exposure to the elements.

Site: Cadillac Mountain Summit Loop Trail, Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS 44° 21′ 11.16″ N 68° 13′ 25.32″ W

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