Explore Thunder Hole in Acadia NP

Thunder Hole Parking

When the conditions are right, Thunder Hole can create a splash of water up to 40 feet high and produce thunderous claps inside the small cavern.

A natural phenomenon caused by waves crashing into a narrow inlet, Thunder Hole is a sight worth seeing in Acadia National Park.  As the waves rush in and out of the small cavern at the end of the inlet, the water collides with trapped air, creating a loud thunderous sound.  The splash of the water can reach up to 40 feet when the elements are just right.  The best conditions for experiencing the clapping waves are 2 hours before high tide, but rough waters and choppy seas can also create the necessary conditions.

This overlook is worth seeing even on a calm day.  The stairway down to the shore allows for views of the rocky shoreline to both the north and south.  It is also a great spot for taking in the sunrise and will likely be less crowded than the popular Cadillac Mountain.  The parking lot has ample room, but it will fill up fast in the summer months.  Consider taking the park shuttle, or turn the trip into an afternoon adventure by walking the Ocean Path trail from Sand Beach to Otter Point, stopping at Thunder Hole along the way.

Although we didn’t get to see the rare 40 foot splash on our visit, we did get a little bit of a show.  This video shows just a glimpse of the power of Thunder Hole.  

Pack List

  • National Park Pass (or pay the entrance fee)
  • Camera
  • An extra layer in case you get splashed
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Too crowded

I've never seen Thunder Hole at its best because I get sick of people swarming around me. But if you're there at the right time it is fun to get drenched by the break. It's definitely worth it to stop in, but not for too long. Acadia has so much more to offer.

Not necessarily worth it

I have been to Acadia four times now, and stopped at Thunder Hole almost every time. It is really hard to predict when the conditions are correct, and I have never seen thunder hole truly in action. I have seen it swarming with hundreds of tourists (mainly in the summer/fall). I didn't stop by here when I came in the spring, but I think next time I'm there in the off-season I will give it another try because the videos I've seen truly have been incredible.

Crowded

Neat spot and well worth the visit. However, too crowded for me to stick around to time it right.


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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike Gorham Mountain Trail

Gorham Mountain Trail is one of the relatively shorter and easy trails in Acadia National Park, and it's a perfect morning spot to catch a sunrise in Acadia (much less crowded than the highly-visited.

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Relax at Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Sand Beach is located off the Park Loop Road on the east side of Mt. Desert Island. Signs for the beach will make it difficult to miss.

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Explore Otter Cliff

Otter Cliff – not to be confused with Otter Point – is a popular stop along the Ocean Path trail in Acadia National Park.

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