It’s King Tide Season. Even though “king tide” isn’t a scientific designation for these extreme high tides, it is SO appropriate. King tides happen when the moon’s orbit comes closest to the earth; the earth’s orbit is closest to the sun; and the sun, moon and earth are directly aligned. All that careful timing and alignment increases their combined gravitational force on the tides—with amazing results.

This is one of the things we live for here on the Oregon Coast! So much natural drama! So much visual excitement! We can’t wait to share it with you.

The projected dates for Oregon Coast king tides in the winter of 2024 are January 11-13, 2024; and February 8-10, 2024. For more tide information, consult the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s tide-predictions tool.

Prepare for King Tide

king tide

Naturally, there are dangers for those who do not heed basic common sense: never turn your back to the ocean, stay off jetties, tidepool areas, and beaches without a direct escape to higher ground.

But the photo opportunities are phenomenal!

Regular waves are dangerous enough, but sneaker waves are prevalent during king tides. Sneaker waves are highly unpredictable. You can’t know how far up a beach they’ll run—or how much dangerous debris they can carry. Stay away from logs in the water an on the beach. It only takes a few inches of a wave to move a log weighing several tons. Instead, get up on a high headland to take in the show. And no, there is no “formula” like “every seventh wave” to predict their timing.

Bring your binoculars and camera. Ask our front desk staff for suggestions of great places to watch the beauty and drama of king tides! They’ll probably recommend Heceta Lighthouse beach, the Ocean Beach turnout, Bob Creek, Rock Creek, Neptune, Strawberry Hill, or Cape Perpetua—all within about 15 miles of our front door.

Pro tip: Drop into any of Florence’s nearly three dozen restaurants or coffee places to get a hot meal or beverage to take along and watch the action from your car at a high viewpoint.