Thor’s Well, Cape Perpetua

Thor’s Well, Cape Perpetua

by | Sep 11, 2018

Thor’s Well is a hole eroded in a wave-cut platform at Cape Perpetua, located about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Yachats, Oregon, along U.S. Route 101. The headland forms a steep bluff with an elevation of about 800 feet (240 m) above sea level.

The cape was named by Captain James Cook on Saint Perpetua’s Day, March 7, 1778. The area became part of the Siuslaw National Forest in 1908. In 1914, the U.S. Forest Service cut a narrow road into the cliff around Cape Perpetua to open travel between the small coastal communities of Yachats and Florence. During World War II, an observation post and a large coastal defense gun were temporarily installed.

Along the Cape Perpetua coastline, there are extensive wave-cut platforms, tide pools, and several unique features such as the Devils Churn, Thor’s Well, and Cook’s Chasm. The Devil’s Churn is a long crack in the coastal rock that fills with each ocean wave, occasionally exploding with fountains of spray as incoming and outgoing waves collide. Cook’s Chasm and Thor’s Well are saltwater fountains eroded into wave-cut tidal platforms. The spouts are hydraulically driven by incoming waves at high tide. The highway bridge crossing Cook’s Chasm was constructed in 2003. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cape Perpetua here:

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