Guide to Thors Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast

Guide to Thors Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast

Oregon has been a beautiful state to explore. We’ve loved calling it home this past year. One of the Seven Wonders in Oregon is the Oregon Coast and it’s easy to see why. During our road trip down the coast, we were most excited to finally photograph Thor’s Well.

Thor's Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast - When You Need to Know for Your Visit // localadventurer.com

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THOR’S WELL CAPE PERPETUA SCENIC AREA

WHAT IS THOR’S WELL

Thor’s Well is a hole carved out of the basalt shoreline in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. One theory is that it was initially a sea cave until the roof collapsed, leaving a hole on the surface level. Because of it’s location right against the Pacific Ocean, you get a constant flow of waves rolling in from underneath and filling the bowl from the bottom. Depending on the tide level, sometimes it just bubbles to the top, while other times, it’s bursting out in a violent spray.

HOW DO YOU GET THERE

Thor’s Well is a bit tricky to find because there are no markings for it from the road. The easiest way to find it is to first look for Spouting Horn.

If you’re driving south on 101, park at the Cape Cove Trailhead pull-out 0.3 miles south of the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. You’ll see signs at the trail for Spouting Horn. If you look out towards the ocean as you descend, you’ll see Thor’s Well near the edge. After you walk down the stairs, you can walk out onto the rocky coast to get a closer look.

If you can’t seem to see it from the trail, ask the people around you. It’s also marked on Google Maps so that can help orient you.

Cape Cove Trailhead Coordinates: 44.2788922,-124.1124375
Thor’s Well Coordinates: 44.278415,-124.1157192

Thor's Well Oregon Coast + Essential Tips for Your Visit // localadventurer.com
Cape Perpetua Hike on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.com
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.com
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.com
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.comThor's Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.com
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit // localadventurer.com
Thor's Well + Essential Tips for Your Visit to Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast // localadventurer.com

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Low tide is the safest time to go to get up close to it and see how it works. The water won’t fill over the top as often during this time.

If you’re a photographer, you most likely want to get the dramatic look of the water coming in and out so you will want to visit during high tide. During our visit, we arrived an hour before high tide and the water would burst out sporadically. Jacob stood near the edge of the well to shoot and the water would come to his calfs before draining back into the well.

The shots that we wanted actually happened at high tide when the water was consistently overflowing. We didn’t dare get close to the well at this point and stayed nearby on a high ridge. Even then, water was coming up to our feet from time to time.

If you want to shoot, I suggest arriving an hour to and hour and half before high tide. This will give you time to orient yourself and find the best place to be. Each day the tide level will be slightly different as well so you can judge when the best time to shoot will be.

For those of you who want to just watch the drama, come close to high tide and you can see it from the viewpoints!

Check tide levels here.

Thor's Well Oregon Coast + How to Get There and When to Visit Cape Perpetua Scenic Area // localadventurer.com

HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF THOR’S WELL

What To Bring:

If you forget an ND filter like I did, you might be able to pull it off with some cloud cover if you’re lucky. Once the clouds rolled in, I brought my ISO as low as possible and aperture as high as possible (meaning the opening is as narrow as possible).

Your settings will vary depending on the circumstances, but to give you a good starting point my settings for the below photo: – 2.5 sec, f/22, ISO 50

Everything You Need to Know About Thor's Well Oregon // localadventurer.com

IS IT DANGEROUS?

Thor’s Well has a reputation for being extremely dangerous, but it’s not any more dangerous than the surrounding jagged coast. The Pacific Ocean is fierce and unforgiving here.

Most incidents in the area happen by sneaker waves surprising visitors who are busy looking at the well. It is very close to the edge and waves come crashing over to coastline too. Just be sure you are aware of your surroundings the entire time you are there. Jacob was really close to the well and never felt like he was in danger of being sucked in, but if you’re clumsy and prone to tripping like me, I would steer clear.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Thor's Well on the Oregon Coast + When to Visit // localadventurer.comCape Perpetua Scenic Area Thor's Well on the Oregon Coast + When to Visit // localadventurer.com

PRO TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT

  • Plan your trip around the tides for the day! Check tide levels here. During our high tide, the water was already swelling around our feet. Careful to check if it’s a King Tide (extra high) so you can adjust accordingly.
  • Wear waterproof shoes if you plan on just walking around but not getting too close to Thor’s Well. Water shoes are even better better since you’ll most likely get wet up close.
  • It always helps to have waterproof clothes on as well. We weren’t sure what to expect, so our shoes, socks, and pants got completely soaked since we wanted those photos.

NEARBY

Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later!

Everything You Need to Know About Thor's Well Oregon // localadventurer.comCape Perpetua Thors Well - Tips for Your Visit // localadventurer.comYour Guide to Thor's Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast - Tips for Your Visit // localadventurer.com

Your Guide to Thor's Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast - Tips for Your Visit // localadventurer.comEssential Tips for Visiting Thors Well Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast // localadventurer.com
Thor's Well, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area + Your Ultimate Oregon Coast Guide // localadventurer.comThor's Well + Essential Tips for Your Visit to Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on the Oregon Coast // localadventurer.com

SEE MORE HELPFUL GUIDES

⟡⟡⟡⟡⟡

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE PAINTED HILLS

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CRATER LAKE

7 AMAZING THINGS TO DO AT SMITH ROCK

HOW TO GO CRABBING ON THE OREGON COAST

MOST POPULAR INSTAGRAM SPOTS IN PORTLAND

“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

“Meet

ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

Local Adventurer on Pinterest Local Adventurer on Youtube

Read Next // localadventurer.com

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Loving your Oregon posts, you guys! I’m a blogger/photographer from Seattle, so this is all super helpful to plan a last minute trip! Keep up the good work!
    PS: If you’re around early next week, I’d love to meet up!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! I think I’d definitely be concerned about falling in, being the klutz that I am.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu