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: 

Touristy

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.

Local Favorite

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!

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.


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