Explore Thunder Hole in Acadia NP
Maine › Thunder Hole Parking
Added by Sarah Giek
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.
- National Park Pass (or pay the entrance fee)
- An extra layer in case you get splashed
Spring, Summer, Autumn
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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.
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