Waikiki Beach within Cape Disappointment State Park, Pacific County, WA


Spectators gather near Waikiki Beach to watch big waves generated by a King Tide crash into the rocks below Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

What is a King Tide?

In the simplest terms, King Tide is colloquially used to describe an extremely high tide. Ordinary tides are caused by the gravitational pull between the Earth and the moon; king tides happen when astronomical events amplify that pull. Storms out in the ocean and other factors often add one or more feet to the height of the surf.


King Tides also happen when the sun is closest to the Earth in its orbit – a position called perihelion. The sun reaches this position in early January each year. Similarly, in early July, the sun is furthest away from Earth – a position called aphelion – and the gravitational pull is weakened, resulting in smaller tides.

It’s a great photo op for everyone. Photographers often gather to watch the waves crash into the cliffs.

King Tide Schedules:

Jan. 9 8:55 AM

Jan. 10 9:48 AM

Jan. 11 10:40 AM

Jan. 12 11:30 AM

Think King Tides and Don’t Forget Your Camera for the amazing View!

Lynne Tucker

A Passion 4 Photography


Contributing Writer and Photographer for:

CV Weekly (Coachella Valley)

The Tolucan Times (San Fernando Valley)

Conservation Ambassador for The Living Desert

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