Spouting Horn - Cape Perpetua

PhotographingTidepool ExploringHiking OregonWildlife ViewingHistorical Landmarks OregonPicnicking

• Cook's Chasm is the stage for the Pacific Ocean's performance
• At high tide, you can see ocean geysers, foaming cisterns, and the magic sinkhole Thor's Well

During millions of years, pounding waves steadily crashed on rocks, forming and then widening fractures, and, finally, creating a cave. When the top of the cave collapsed, Cook's Chasm was formed, setting the stage for the spouting horns.

At high tide, you can see the ocean in the action with crashing waves, saltwater explosions, foaming cisterns, and the magic sinkhole Thor's Well that swallows seawater. At low tide, the area exhibits acres of tide pools full of anemones, starfishes, urchins, and saltwater algae.

For a closer look, hike down the Cook’s Chasm Trail.

Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn is a playful coastal anomaly, an “ocean geyser”, driven by the ocean power through a deep hole. Incoming waves funnel seawater and air into the cave, building pressure until the water explodes in a geyser-like fountain. Spouting Horn is similar to a whale exhaling or ”spout”.

While hiking along the 0.75-mile round-trip Cook’s Cook Trail, you can find fascinating tide pools, mountains of mussel shells left by generations of Alsea Native Americans who harvested them hundreds of years ago, remains of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and the spectacular Spouting Horn.

Cape Perpetua - Thors Well
Thor's Well

Devil's Churn

A narrow shoreline channel in the ancient volcanic rocks, Devil's Churn is located south of Yachats. Tides and power waves created a deep fissure in the basalt shoreline. The channel is filled with each coming ocean wave, sometimes creating water explosions.

Thor's Well attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Trail of the Restless Waters, the 0.5-mile loop of a moderate hike to Devils Churn.

Thor's Well

Thor's Well or "Gate to Hell" at Cook's Chasm is a 20-foot deep hole in basalt rocks. Moving upward water shoots up to 20 feet high.

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

Good Fortune Cove and Cape Cove are located between Cook's Chasm channel and Devil's Churn.

Thor's Well - Cape Perpetua
Thor's Well at low tide - Cape Perpetua

Spectacular and fantastic features of Cook's Chasm attract hundreds of tourists and photographers each year. However, this popular site can be really dangerous, especially during high tides and storms when large and powerful waves can be expected. However, sneaker waves can come at any time. There is no statistic regarding death cases, but sometimes you'll find news reports about victims that were swept into the ocean at Thor's Well.

Cautions: Use caution when exploring the rocky coast, churn, and spouting horns of water. Beware of sneaker waves and slippery rocks. Never turn your back on the ocean. Stay behind railings and back from undercut chasm edges.


Cook’s Chasm – Spouting Horn & Thor’s Well | General Description

Region: Central Oregon Coast • USA
Open: Year-round
Service: Visitor center, cafe, guided hikes, picnicking, and restrooms.
Day-use fees (Devils Churn Site): Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Passes
Day-use fees (Cook's Chasm Site): Free

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Directions to Cook's Chasm

From Highway 101,

  • Follow 3 miles south of Yachats to the destination on the right.

Phone: 541-547-3289, 877-444-6777 (for reservation)
Camping: 38 sites for tents, trailers from May to September.

GPS: N 44°16.666' W 124°6.727' | 44.277762, -124.112117

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