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Thunder Hole

Bar Harbor, Maine

based on 8 reviews



0.17 miles

Elevation Gain

29 ft

Route Type



Added by Sarah Giek

When the conditions are right, Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park 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.  

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Thunder Hole Reviews

This was probably my favorite part of Acadia, the sound and the views are something else. I caught it a few times, and for the best experience you should come around high tide when the waves crash at their highest. I visited in March, and was the only one here. But this is an extremely popular spot from April - September so do prepare for crowds.

Cool spot but always crowded, recommend going at high tide to see the waves against the cliffs. Continue to walk the rest of the cliff walk towards sand beach to see even better views



This place is amazing to feel the gust of the wind and the thrust of the waves. It is also very cool to see the tide pools at low tide.

A must see in Acadia because of its name, Thunder Hole, but I would save this view for when you have free time and not as a main attraction. It is cool but very crowded. If you can go at night when there are less people it might be more fun.

I've lived in Maine forever and have always had Acadia in my backyard, so to speak. Thunder hole is one of my favorite spots, but it can be very crowded, so be sure to save this one for non-peak times. However, it's best to experience it 2 hrs or so before high tide. So really, pick your poison, and fight the crowds for the best display, or avoid the crowds for what is still a pretty neat spot!

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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