Author: Vera Leitner
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 sea water. At low tide, the area exhibits acres of tide pools full of anemones, starfishes, urchins, and saltwater algae.
For a closer look, hike downs the Cook’s Chasm Trail.
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 tidepools creatures at low tide, mountains of mussel shells left by generations of Alsea Indians who harvested them hundreds of years ago remains of a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp and the spectacular Spouting Horn.
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 ocean wave, sometimes creating exposures.
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 or "Gate to Hell" at Cook's Chasm is a deep hole in the basalt rocks around 20 feet deep. Moving upward water shoots to 20 feet high.
The best time to see these spectacular sites 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.
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 not any available statistics 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.
Region: Central Oregon Coast • USA
Access allowed: Year-round
Service: Visitor center, cafe, guided hikes, picnicking, restrooms.
Fees (Devils Churn Site): $5 per vehicle or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Passes
Fees (Cook's Chasm Site): Free
GPS coordinates: 44.2779,-124.1131