Oregon Coast Exploration: How To Visit Thor’s Well

When I first visited Oregon a couple years ago, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful landscapes, bucolic wine country, edgy and fun brewery scene, and amazing waterfall hiking.  And I began plotting my return, with a focus on getting out to explore Oregon’s coast.

Two years later I finally got around to doing so, and I’m so excited to share some of my favorite places with you guys—starting with Thor’s Well!

Thor's Well at high tide, on Oregon's coast

Tourists photographing Thor's Well

The only downside??  Thor himself wasn’t there.  I mean, I will always take some Hemsworth if I can get it, but I guess you win some, you lose some… 😛

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How to visit Thor’s Well

First, let’s talk about *how* to actually find it, because that’s harder than you’d expect.  Because there are NO signs.  Not one.  Even as I was standing right by the sinkhole, I was wondering if I was in the right place.

I’d read some detailed directions for finding Thor’s Well prior to coming, and we tried to follow them exactly, but they were incorrect.  So I’m here to give you all the deets to find it yourself.

  • If you’re coming from the north headed south on Highway 101, you’ll start seeing signs for Cape Perpetua.  As soon as you pass the turnoff for the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center on your left, the next major turnout on your right is what you’re looking for (maybe 1/4 of a mile past).
  • You’ll round a bend and there will be a large parking area on the side of the cliff (coordinates:  44.278038, -124.111903).  The sign at the end of the turnout will say Cooks Chasm.
  • Again, there are no signs for Thor’s Well specifically.  You’ll see some signs for Spouting Horn, Devil’s Churn, or Cook’s Chasm, but it won’t be clear what’s what.
  • Once you park, if you walk to the middle of the railing and look straight out, Thor’s Well will be roughly straight in front of you (down the stairs/cliff, obviously).

How to find Thor's Well - stop at Cooks Chasm turnoff

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A few other tips for your visit

  • Check the tide tables before visiting (here’s a good one for Cape Perpetua).  You want high tide or close-ish to that on either side for an optimum Thor’s Well experience.  Though if you go at low tide you can get right up close to the sinkhole to kind of see how it works.
  • The lighting was nice while we were there, but I’m guessing this would look AMAZING at sunset if you have the skill to capture it well (and tide times align).
  • It will be smaller than you expect, which isn’t a bad thing but I was really surprised at the size.  Pics I’d seen on Pinterest made it look massive and epic.
  • While you may be visiting for Thor’s Well specifically, set aside some time to just explore all around it.  There are little trails that meander up and down the coast here, lots of tide pool, and many awesome views.

Beautiful Oregon coast in Cape Perpetua area

Now it’s time for the good stuff—Thor’s Well in action! 

I took gobs of pictures, almost like a burst but manually doing like a half-second in between shots.  I’ve put a bunch of shots in a row here (many more than I normally do without adding text) because it gives you a really cool flipbook-like effect as you scroll.

You can see how the waves come in and fill up the sinkhole, then give the idea that they’re “draining the sea” as they recede.

Watching Thor's Well in action, near Spouting Horn

Visit Thor's Well at high tide for the most action

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I did have the presence of mind to take an actual video too.

It’s just unbelievably cool.  And it’s nuts because the sinkhole is only like 20 feet deep, but it gives the illusion of being almost bottomless.

One more time, shall we???

Watching the water sink into Thor's Well

The water in Thor's Well churns before spouting

Thor's Well vertical shot

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Just so very cool.  I could have stayed down there for a lot longer, but my parents were waiting for me up by the car.  Suffice to say, Thor’s Well is worth half an hour of your time if you’re doing an Oregon coast road trip!

What else to do nearby

  • If time allows, there are plenty more things to see at this particular turnout.  Go look at Spouting Horn, wander the trails around the cliff, and explore the tide pools.
  • Nearby Yachats Brewery comes highly recommended for a drink or bite to eat (I was sad to miss it)
  • And then you’re not far from the awesome sand dunes, the sea lion caves, and then charming Florence just down the coast a bit.

Other natural wonders you’ll love:

Pin for later!

How to visit Thor's Well in Oregon - Pinterest overlay

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