Cape Perpetua, in the Siuslaw National Forest was one of the most recommended spots, when I told people I was doing a coastal Oregon roadtrip.
Here viewers have the pleasure of literally seeing nature at its best. You’re able to see multiple natural wonders in short walking distance. Including Cook’s Chasm, Spouting Horn, Devil’s Churn, and Thor’s Well. With names like that you know $h!+ is gonna be cray!!!
You get a slight uneasy feeling in your gut when you’re close to these natural phenomenons. It truly reminds you how powerful and dangerous water can be.
When viewing all of these you’re reminded that one slip, one fall, one careless step and you’d be victim to the churning waters below. So on that note wear good hiking shoes or stay on trail!
Ok before I talk about each of these beauties. Let me make a couple suggestions.
1. Make sure to stop at the visitors center before hand to see when high tide is. That’s when these creatures are most active, but also note this is when they are most dangerous!.
2.There are a variety of trails and I’ll walk you through the ones I took. The visitors center area has maps of the trails. I took pictures of them so I knew how to view each majestic ocean creation.
3.This place is no joke. Don’t turn your back to the wave. Oregon has things called “Sneaker Waves”. Named for the pure fact that they are larger and more forceful than a normal wave and they are unexpected. Use caution!
4. Understand that, unless you’re a professional photographer, this is a “live in the moment” type of place. Your photos won’t don’t justice to the natural beauty that surrounds you. Just enjoy seeing it with your own eyes!
Hiking Trails to These Beauties…
Captian Cook Trail
The first trail we did was the Capitan Cook Trail. If you park at the scenic view point at Cook’s Chasm you can easy see this trail. It’s a .75 mile loop where you’ll get to view Spouting Horn, Cook’s Chasm, and Thor’s Well.
Spouting Horn is basically like a blow hole, that was created from a cave with a crack or hole in the roof of the cave. So when waves roll into Cook’s Chasm their force and power creates a geyser of water erupting up into the air from the crack in the cave.. It is very easy to view at high tide.
Here are some views of Cook’s Chasm and Spouting Horn.
Thor’s Well is a collapsed sea cave that sucks water into its 20+ ft hole. The water then bubbles over onto the surface only to be pulled back out to the ocean.(Note: Thor’s Well is not as easy to get to, as it’s farther away from shore, therefore I don’t have any photos of it because it was dangerous to go out since it was high tide.)
Cape Cove Trail
Off this trail you can head to the visitor center. This trail also provides some history lessons on the tribes that used to occupy this land. The trail is only .03 miles and leads you straight to the next majestic viewpoint.
Trail of Restless Waters
On this .05 mile loop trail you view the very powerful and intense Devil’s Churn. It’s name clearly states what you see below. These waves violently churn and churn getting caught in the rugged inlet. It’s absolutely amazing, exhilarating, and extremely frightening to watch. I’ve heard this place is extremely dangerous, having 100’s of deaths here each year. So as I viewed I noticed I continuously took steps back till I was safely up the stairs. Use caution!
We also found this, much less violent, spot to take some pics and enjoy the sunset on the Trail of Restless Waters.
Please do yourself a favor and Google all of these phenomenons so you can get a better understanding of what they are and so you can view professional photographs of each.
Unfortunately my photos don’t do them any justice! And I wasn’t about to risk my life to try and get an insane photo….And either should you! Ekkk, so scary.
Enjoy, wear sturdy shoes, don’t get to close to the water, don’t turn your back to it and oh yeah…adventure awaits!