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Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Thunder Hole is an Acadia National Park classic. The narrow crevice on the coast catches incoming waves and sends them rocketing as high as 40 feet into the air. Best of all, visitors can follow a well-maintained path right down to the ocean’s edge in a fenced off platform.

Thunder hole is located on the eastern shore of the park, with a large parking area just off the Park Loop Road. To reach the iconic inlet, simply walk across the Park Loop Road and down the paved steps. It can also be reached from the Ocean Path. As one of the park's most popular attractions, it can be quite crowded. Fortunately, the open coastline just to the north offers great views of the exploding waves with less confinement.

Thunder Hole gets its name from the ominous booming that sounds with incoming waves. A small cavern just below the surface catches pockets of air as incoming waves suck water out to see. When they crash against the shore, the air bubble in the cavern explodes and echoes, creating a sound like thunder. It takes specific conditions to make the usual gurgling sound into the iconic peal of thunder; swells between three to six feet two hours before high tide are most likely to demonstrate the true power of Thunder Hole. 

During heavy storms, massive waves can pound the relatively unprotected point of Thunder Hole. It's a great destination when the swells get big, but it becomes necessary to use extreme caution and stay far from shore. Rogue waves can reach much further than expected, sweeping those that get too close out to sea.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Unique coastal feature. Easy access. Great views.

Cons

Can be crowded. True spectacle is weather dependent.

Pets allowed

Yes, with restrictions

Address

Park Loop Rd
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
United States

Features

Big vistas
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

04.27.17
We visited early one morning in late April. The water level was high and the thunder was roaring as the waves occasionally splashed well up and over the viewing platform. If you venture out on to the rocks, just be very careful, as people have been swept off into the water by unsuspecting waves.
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