The coastline and steep cliffs surrounding Cape Bonavista are spectacular examples of the North Atlantic Ocean’s wave action and erosive power. Unique shoreline features are due to the ancient sedimentary rocks’ composition and thousands of years of continuous coastal erosion.
The Dungeon had its origin as a cavern with two separate openings to the sea. Continuing erosion led to the widening of the cavern until eventually, the roof collapsed inwards. Wave action has slowly removed rock material from the collapse, leaving the incredible feature you now see. These collapsed sea caves are known as gloups. Due to the erosion from waves, storms, winds, and tides, the coastline is in a constant state of change, and one day the two arches will likely collapse. Can you predict which feature will be left behind? Observe the surrounding coastline towards Discovery’s geosite in Spillars Cove for a hint? The Dungeon will one day be a pillar of rock known as a sea stack.
- Take Route 230 or 235 and drive towards 166 Bonavista. From 235 follow the Discovery Trail (Route 235) signs through town to Cape Bonavista; turn right at the Dungeon Road sign.
- From Route 230, take the right turn for Spillars Cove and Elliston (Route 238), and then take the turn into the community of Spillars Cove, turn left at the Dungeon Provincial Park signage.
- From Elliston take Route 238 and follow the signage to Cape Bonavista or Spillars Cove. From Spillars Cove, return towards Bonavista. Dungeon Provincial Park is signposted to the right about 2 km from here. This is a narrow dirt road with some rough sections. The Dungeon itself is easily located by the wooden platform and interpretation signboards.
UTM: 0346534E, 5392515N
The Cape Shore Trail is maintained by our partner, Hike Discovery Inc.
|Distance||3.5 km one-way|
|Hiking Level||Easy – Moderate|
|Discovery! Geological Tour App||Yes|
|Hike Discovery App||Yes|
The drive towards the Dungeon from Bonavista is mainly through community pasture land.
The Dungeon is the featured attraction of The Dungeon Provincial Park, a day-use park offering boardwalks and viewing platforms around the collapsed sea cave, hiking trails, picnic areas, and parking.
Nearby Cape Bonavista Provincial Historic Site is one of the most visited landmarks in Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a distinctive lighthouse, walking trails, and an interpretation centre focusing on the history and culture of the cape and its lighthouse.
Cape Bonavista’s Landfall Municipal Park is the home of the statue of John Cabot commemorating his North Atlantic landfall.