King Tides in Oregon: Experience Nature's Majesty on the Coast

October 29, 2023

Categories: Oregon Coast

Photo Credit ~ Bonnie Moreland


What is a King Tide?

King tides are exceptionally high tides that occur when the gravitational forces of the moon and sun align. They can lead to coastal flooding and erosion, particularly when combined with storm surges. Oregon experiences king tides like many coastal regions, and they can offer a glimpse into the potential impacts of sea-level rise. To enjoy king tides in Oregon, here's some information on when, where, and safety precautions:


When Does a King Tide Occur?

King tides occur when the gravitational forces align during specific tidal cycles. They do not have a set date but generally happen a few times annually. It is crucial to verify the precise dates for king tides in Oregon each year. Entities such as the Oregon King Tides Project typically offer a timetable for upcoming occurrences.

Here are the predicted Oregon Coast king tides in the winter of 2023-24:  
•    November 25-27, 2023
•    December 13-15, 2023
•    January 11-13, 2024
•    February 8-10, 2024

You can also use NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s tool to check the forecasting of upcoming tides. 


Where is the Best Place to Watch Oregon King Tides?

You can witness king tides along the Oregon Coast, especially in these areas that are popular locations for ocean photography and wave watching:
•    The Seaside Promenade
•    Ecola State Park Viewpoint in Cannon Beach
•    Fathoms dining on the 10th floor of the Spanish Head in Lincoln City
•    The Spouting Horn in Depoe Bay 
•    Shore Acres State Park Viewpoint in Coos Bay


Safety Precautions:

Stay Informed: Before heading out to witness king tides, check local weather and tide forecasts carefully. Pay attention to any coastal advisories or warnings, and don’t venture outside if conditions are not safe.

Respect Barriers: Coastal areas may have barriers and signs warning you of hazardous conditions during king tides. Please respect these signs and stay a safe distance from closed-off or dangerous areas. 

Watch the Water: Be cautious of surges and fast-rising water levels. King tides are incredibly powerful and fun to watch but very dangerous to get close to! Stay away from the water's edge and watch the tide's movements closely.

Dress Appropriately: Dress warmly and in layers, as coastal areas can be chilly, especially during the winter months when king tides often occur. Don't forget waterproof clothing or footwear if you plan to get close to the water.

Bring Necessary Gear: Camera and Binoculars: Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beauty of the king tides and consider bringing your binoculars to get a closer look at wildlife and coastal features. 


Enjoying the King Tides

Share Responsibly: If you take photos or document the king tides, share them responsibly and consider contributing to citizen science projects like the Oregon King Tides Project. This helps with data collection on sea-level rise.

Plan Ahead: Plan your visit to ensure you have enough time to reach your chosen location and set up before high tide. King tides typically last for a few hours, so make sure you don’t miss them!

Lodging: Book accommodation in advance, especially if you plan to stay overnight. Coastal towns can get crowded during king tide events. You can use our website search function to find lodging that suits your every desire for a perfect vacation on the Oregon Coast.

Remember that king tides can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. If you're not familiar with coastal conditions and tides, it's a good idea to visit these areas with someone who has experience or join an event organized by local environmental groups. Safety should always be a top priority when observing king tides in Oregon or any other coastal area.

Stay safe and enjoy!


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