Cape Perpetua
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9 Things to Do in Cape Perpetua, Oregon

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It’s hard to put into words how epic Cape Perpetua is, offering everything from crazy rock formations spouting water high into the sky, to views that stretch for miles.

There are two ways to explore the main attractions and points of interest in Cape Perpetua, and how you decide to do it will depend on how much time you have and how energetic you’re feeling.

If you’re feeling eager and ready to get that blood pumping, much of the area can be traversed on foot, with 26 miles of trails, or alternatively, you can pretty much drive right up to almost every pretty point. It’s a win-win!

Exploring Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Click the image to view the clickable map for Cape Perpetua.

1. Thors Well at Cape Perpetua

One of the biggest draws to Cape Perpetua is Thor’s Well, or as it’s rather aptly named, the ‘Gate to Hell’. This seemingly endless pit is actually 20 feet deep, but when the waves crash in, which they often do, you’ll be treated to a ferocious display of water. This often shoots around 20 feet into the air, so don’t get too close!

Close up shot of Thor's Well - a rocky cauldron in the ocean
Getting up close to Thor’s Well

You can pretty much see the well from the parking lot if you’re in a rush, but most people venture out of the car down to the well or take the half-mile Captain Cook Trail.

READ MORE: Visiting Thor’s Well in Cape Perpetua, Oregon

2. Cape Perpetua Lookout

Distance: 0.4 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy

What’s a visit to a scenic area without a lookout? Capture the magic of the area in a glance at Cape Perpetua Lookout by following the short Whispering Spruce Trail, which is only 0.4 miles long at the summit of the point.

You’ll be able to see for 70 miles around you up and down the coast, and of course the postcard-worthy shot of the curved road that hugs the coast. It’s pretty epic for such a short walk. The great thing is that it’s accessible by car, despite the fact it sits 800 feet above sea level.

3. Spouting Horn, Cook’s Chasm, Captain Cook Point

Distance: 0.6 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy

Take in a ton of awesome sights in this one hike. The Captain Cook Trail is located near Thor’s Well, and takes you through the most epic coastal stops in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, from thick forest to the incessant pounding of the sea.

Bridge over Cook's Chasm at Cape Perpetua
Cook’s Chasm proves that not all of the best views in Cape Perpetua are from up high.

You’ll head down to the tide pools, and past the Spouting Horn, where the ocean really does some showing off, spraying high into the sky.

4. Cape Cove

Distance: 1 mile
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy

The best way to describe Cape Cove is a little pocket beach, a perfect little sandy gem, where the trail takes you past wind twisted coastal trees. From Devil’s Churn, you can opt to take the Trail of the Restless Waters.

The trail switchbacks through the forest, offering stunning views along the way. There is alternatively a pullout at Milepost 167, so you won’t have far to carry your picnic.

5. Devil’s Churn

Distance: 0.4 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy

Woman watching waves crash at Devil's Churn in Cape Perpetua
Be prepared to get a little wet when you visit Devil’s Churn

The Devil’s Churn is another example of how the sea has carefully crafted the rocks over time, causing a high fissure in the shore, foaming and filling with every huge wave. It’s incredibly powerful, and a little bit scary, and can be found by taking the 0.4-mile Trail of the Restless Waters.

6. Saint Perpetua Trail

Distance: 2.7 miles
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

The Saint Perpetua Trail will take you to, what is without a doubt, the most incredible view in the park. It may be a leg burner, but at least you can say you have earned your views!

One man hiking through an old growth Douglas Fir forest on the Sant Perpetua Trail near Cape Perpetua
Lush old-growth forests line the path on the Saint Perpetua Trail

You’ll have to tackle several switchbacks through the lush, old-growth forest but it won’t be long before you’ll catch glimpses of the ocean again. You’ll get the famed views mentioned above at the Lookout along with several other gorgeous overlooks that you can’t drive up to.

7. St Perpetua and Giant Spruce Trail

Distance: 4.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

Up for stretching those legs? There a longer hike in the park that will combine lots of the spots in this list into one epic super hike.

The St Perpetua and Giant Spruce Trail combine incredible viewpoints with, as the name suggests, towering spruce trees. The trail takes you to THE Giant Spruce, an incredible 500-year-old tree that stands over 185 feet tall with a circumference of over 40 feet.

If this combination hike is a little too long for you, you could separate it into several smaller hikes like the Whispering Spruce, Saint Perpetua, and Giant Spruce trails.

8. Tide Pooling at Cape Perpetua

If there is one thing Cape Perpetua does well, it’s tide pooling. Rich and varied marine life is in abundance in these little pools, despite the fact they get battered and swirled every time the tide changes. Bring some sturdy shoes as the rocks can be slippery, and of course, check the tides before you venture out as it can be dangerous.

9. Camping at Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua offers some pretty sweet camping options, located on the banks of Cape Creek. It is perfectly located between ocean and forest, so you have the best of both worlds when you wake up in the morning!

Nearby Cape Perpetua

Heceta Head

All but impossible to miss, Heceta Head is one of the most prominent landmarks on the coast, so if you are only a short drive away, it would be almost rude not to visit!

Heceta Head
Don’t miss the stunning views at Heceta Head near Cape Perpetua

Plus, you can get to the head and its lighthouse just off of Highway 101. It’s an easy little adventure, complete with beautiful beaches, stunning vistas, and a lighthouse that is almost posing for a photo.

READ MORE: Exploring Heceta Head Lighthouse, Beach, and Trail!


Newport, the capital of the Oregon Coast is the perfect place to visit if you’re missing those cool city vibes. Hit the streets and explore this funky little town, or use it at a base to head out on wildlife watching trips, take a hike or, most commonly, take your board out and hit the surf.

Woman standing on path and looking over to bridge in Newport, Oregon
Not far from Cape Perpetua you’ll find the funk town of Newport, Oregon

READ MORE: 13 Adventurous Things to Do in Newport, Oregon


Chill out and relax in the small town of Yachats, just a short trip from Cape Perpetua. Take in the seascape while trying some tasty culinary delights, Yachats is a real Oregon Coast gem.

Stairs leading to the water in Yachats, Oregon
Visit Yachats near Cape Perpetua for chill seaside vibes.

Oregon Dunes

Want to see one of the coolest spots on the Oregon Coast? The Oregon dunes will not let you down. In fact, you’ll feel like you are in the middle of the desert as you take in one of the biggest expanses of temperate sand dunes in the world. There are plenty of ways to explore, so check it out.

When you're exploring at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, make sure you go to the South Jetty area.
Get ready for adventure on the Oregon Dunes.

READ MORE: Your Adventure Guide to The Oregon Dunes

We hope this post helped you better explore Cape Perpetua! Check out more posts on the Oregon Coast and even more adventures around the state.

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