Spouting Horn - Cape Perpetua

• 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

PhotographingTidepool ExploringHiking OregonWildlife ViewingHistorical Landmarks OregonPicnicking

During millions of years, relentless waves sculpted rocks, carving and widening fractures to give rise to a cave. The eventual collapse of the cave's top birthed Cook's Chasm, setting the stage for the captivating spouting horns phenomenon.

At high tide, the ocean comes alive with dramatic displays—waves crashing, saltwater explosions, foaming cisterns, and the enchanting sinkhole known as Thor's Well, swallowing seawater in its mystical embrace. During low tide, the area transforms into 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 cavity. As incoming waves funnel seawater and air into the cave, pressure builds, culminating in an explosive geyser-like fountain. Resembling a whale exhaling or a majestic spout, Spouting Horn adds a playful touch to the coastal landscape.

While hiking along the 0.75-mile round-trip Cook’s Cook Trail, discover captivating tide pools, the spectacular Spouting Horn, remnants of mussel shell mounds left by the Alsea Native Americans centuries ago, and traces of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

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.


Camping, Lodging & Vacation Rentals at Cook's Chasm

Open from March to September, Cape Perpetua Campground offers 37 tent sites along the banks of Cape Creek. Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. There are flush toilets and drinking water. Reservation is available through recreation.gov or phone 877-444-6777.

The nearest lodging is available in Yachats or Florence.

Lodging in Yachats

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Yachats

Lodging in Florence

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Florence

Cook’s Chasm – Spouting Horn & Thor’s Well | Facts

Open: Year-round
Managed by: US Forest Service

Amenities & Service: Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, cafe, guided hikes, picnicking areas, and restrooms
Activities: Hiking & nature viewing

Day-use fees (Devils Churn Site, Shelter): Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Passes
Day-use fees (Cook's Chasm Site): Free

Cook's Chasm is located:

  • 3 miles south of Yachats
  • 80 miles west of Eugene
  • 100 miles southwest of Salem.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Cook's Chasm

From Highway 101,

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

Get Google Maps Directions

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Attention Fellow Beachgoers

Unfortunately, our beautiful Pacific North West beaches are stained with trash, especially plastic. We, at Oregon Discovery, as well as other unaffiliated groups of nature lovers made a commitment to do our part in keeping our beaches clean, but we need your help too!

Every time you go out to enjoy nature at your favorite spot, please bring a garbage bag or two and help us pick up garbage. Even picking up a little bit here and there will make a huge difference long term.

Please, help us save our beautiful nature for the generations to come!

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