We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tide Pools

Milwaukeee...
Level Contributor
142 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Tide Pools

We are from Wisconsin and looking forward to our Oregon Coast visit in July-August. My question is about tide pools and the best time to see them, the best places to see them. I know that it is dependent on the tide schedule - how does that work exactly. We will be staying one night in Manzanita, two nights in Yachats and then one night around Crescent City before driving back up to Portland and home.

Thank you.

Mentioned in this post
Manzanita
Manzanita
Oregon Coast, OR
Crescent City
Crescent City
California
Beaverton, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Cannon Beach
Level Contributor
6,238 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Tide Pools

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide_pool

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
Level Contributor
6,077 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Tide Pools

As lougee's link will tell you, tides are controlled by the moon's gravitational pull. A Full Moon will have a greater pull and thus the tides will be both lower and higher (~6 hrs later) than on a New Moon, for example. There is roughly 12hrs between low or high tides.

This link is one of the easiest I have found for newbys to read. There are other's that are a little more location specific but can be confusing if you are not familiar with how to read them:

http://or.usharbors.com/oregon-tide-charts

Pick either "north coast" or "south coast", then pick a town from those listed close to where you will be. When looking at the tide chart you'll want to keep a couple things in mind. One, these are ESTIMATES. Predicting tides is not an exact science, though they are usually very close. Two, the lower a "low" tide is, the more the tide pools will be exposed and thus the better the viewing will be. For example, a .12 low tide will NOT be as low as a minus (-) .12 (hope that makes sense!!!).

Obviously, with ~ 6hrs from the time the tide is at it's highest to it's lowest point, it's a gradual process (I've actually had visitors ask me what time to be on the beach to watch the tide change!!). It is generally recommended, for optimal viewing, that a person be at the tide pools at least 2 hrs before actual low tide. Looking at the chart, you will notice that the lowest tides are generally in the morning hours, so that can be challenging! Just remember to give yourself as much time as you possibly can, never lose focus or turn your back on the ocean, and be off of the tide pools at or before the listed low tide, becuase when the tide turns, it turns QUICKLY!!.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
9,261 posts
199 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Tide Pools

saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/oregonsites.h…

another one of the links dengay referred to

Gresham, Oregon
Level Contributor
410 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Tide Pools

Try Yaquina Head just north of Newport.

Mentioned in this post
Newport
Newport
Oregon Coast, OR
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
2,637 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Tide Pools

there are excellent tide pools near Yachats- in the summer, the lowest tides tend to be in the morning- so hope you are early birds! Try Strawberry Hill or Cape Perpetua area.

Milwaukeee...
Level Contributor
142 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Tide Pools

Thank you so much for your advice - as we are from Wisconsin, we tend to be up earlier than you folks on the West Coast - hopefully that will work toward our advantage when we look for tide pools. I look forward to reading the links. We are looking forward to our trip!

Oregon
Level Contributor
424 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Tide Pools

Yaquina Head near Newport has great tidepools if you want to see sea life. There is a beautiful lighthouse there, too. [If you can see my photos, I think there is one there.] If you look at the tides for July in the link below, look at the tides highlighted in blue. They are called "minus tides" where the tide is much lower than normal. The bigger the negative number, the further out the tide will be. So, in essence you can be walking on the ocean floor when it's out. It's very fun.

…oregonstate.edu/weather/…sbjul2013.html

I hope you will be at the coast July 20-25 when the tide is quite low.

Ona Beach is a fun one at minus tide -- very little sea life, but, there are interesting rock and sand formations that are very fun to see [particularly if you like to take photos].

Be careful -- keep one eye on the ocean, particularly when the tide starts coming in. Often motels, gift shops, etc will have free tide table booklets -- keep your eye open for one of those.

Have fun!

Mentioned in this post
Newport
Newport
Oregon Coast, OR
Ona Restaurant and Lounge
Ona Restaurant and Lounge
1,137 Reviews
Yachats, OR
Level Contributor
37,774 posts
959 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Tide Pools

Check out the tide pools around Haystack Rock in nearby Cannon Beach. Have fun! :)

Mentioned in this post
Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock
2,592 Reviews
Cannon Beach, OR
Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach
Oregon Coast, OR
Milwaukeee...
Level Contributor
142 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Tide Pools

Unfortunately, we will be beginning our vacation July 26-August 3 so we will miss the low tides - rats! It seems we are always watching the tides...when we visited Alaska a couple of years ago, we were watching to see a tidal bore - now will be watching the tides again :) Our trips are always interesting - thank you for your help and advice...

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
9,261 posts
199 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Tide Pools

Checking the tide tables (using Waldport as a test case), I saw a minus tide on July 26 around 9:55 am and another on Aug 4 at 6am. There were also a fair amount of low tides in the 0.0 to 2.0 range (0.1 at 10:30 am on the 27th), which are still fine for checking out many of the reefs and tide pools. I suggest you take another look at the tide tables and not give up so easy.

Mentioned in this post
Waldport
Waldport
Oregon Coast, OR