Cape Perpetua Shelter

• Cape Perpetua features rocky beaches, tide pools, spouting horns, and mysterious Thor's Well
• Excellent opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and outdoor photography

Author: Vera Leitner

The most distinctive destination near Yachats is the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Located in the Siuslaw National Forest, Cape Perpetua is 2,700 acres of old growth forests that extend along the Pacific Coast. On St. Perpetua's Day, 7th March 1778, the English explorer Captain Cook's sighted a high elevated promontory and named it Perpetua.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area provides excellent opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, picnicking, and outdoor photography.

Cape Perpetua Visitor Center

Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua Visitor Center - Deck

Start your journey from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.

The visitor center provides an introduction to the region, marine life, and forestry through exhibits and short movies.

Guided hikes are available in the summer. From inside of the building and from the deck you can enjoy a stunning vista of the ocean.

Visitor Center open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.

Cape Perpetua West Shelter

A unique landmark, Cape Perpetua West Shelter was built by the Forest Service in the early 1930s. The shelter towers 800 feet (240 m) above sea level offering a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean. This is the best spot to see 70 miles of coastline and 37 miles out to sea on a clear day.


Cape Perpetua Natural Wonders

The shelter is only a part of attractions available at Cape Perpetua. Miles of rocky beaches, tide pools, spouting horns, churns, and mysterious Thor's Well.

Spouting Horn and Thor's Well at Cook's Chasm are seawater fountains, driven by the ocean power, and acting like geysers.

Devil's Churn is a narrow shoreline channel. Tides and powerful waves created a deep fissure in a basalt shoreline.

The best time to see these spectacular sites is a period of time between one hour before and an hour after high tide during winter storms.

Thor's Well - Cape Perpetua
Thor's Well - Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua - Thors Well
Thors Well at Cape Perpetua during a winter storm

Cape Perpetua Trails

There are 26 miles of hiking trails through the pristine coastal forest, Native American shell middens, tidepools, and scenic views.

Cape PerpetuaSaint Perpetua Trail
The 2.2-mile trail of moderate difficulty, gaining 700 feet in elevation, from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center to the Cape Perpetua Shelter, offers thrilling ocean views.

Whispering Spruce Trail
The 0.3-mile loop, from the summit point. On a clear day, you can see up to 70 miles of Oregon's coast. The West Shelter is a great viewpoint to watch for whales.

Giant Spruce Trail
The 2.1-mile trail of easy difficulty, from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center and back, leads to the Oregon second largest Sitka spruce, known as the "Giant Spruce". The tree is nearly 600 years old and more than 185 feet tall, 40 feet in circumference.

Cook’s Chasm Trail
The 0.75-mile trail, easy hike to the Spouting Horn. While hiking, at low tide you can find fascinating sea creatures in tide pools, mountains of mussel shells left by generations of Alsea Indians who harvested them hundreds of years ago, remnants of a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and the spectacular Spouting Horn.

Cape PerpetuaCape Cove Trail
The 0.3-mile easy walk to the quiet sandy beach.

Trail of the Restless Waters
The 0.5-mile loop of moderate difficulty to Devils Churn. The trail runs along the coastline, tide pools at low tide and the spouting horns at high tide.

Oregon Coast Trail
The 2.5-mile round trip of moderate difficulty. There are volcanic fascinated natural wonders below Cape Perpetua along the coastline.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area | General Description

Region: Central Oregon Coast • USA
Open: Year-round from dawn to dusk
Service: Visitor center, cafe, guided hikes, picnicking, restrooms.
Day-use fees (Devils Churn Site, Shelter): $5 per vehicle or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Passes
Day-use fees (Cook's Chasm Site): Free

Highest Point: 800 feet (240 m)
Acreage: 2,700

Directions to Cape Perpetua Visitor Center

  • Follow 2.9 miles south of Yachats via Highway 101
  • Turn left toward Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.

Address: 2400 Highway 101 N, Yachats, OR 97498
Phone: 541-547-3289, 877-444-6777 (for reservation)
38 sites for tents, trailers from May to September.
GPS coordinates: 44.2779388,-124.1131421

Navigation Link***

Points of Interest Nearby


  1. Please send me information on when Cape Perpetua Trails will re-open

    1. Author

      You should ask US Forest Service or Cape Perpetua Visitor Center – 541-547-3289

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