Short Sands/ King Tides

“King Tide”- the unofficial word for when a New Moon or Full Moon causes the tides to be so high they swallow the beach. Also a word for “watch your sh*t!!”. King Tides are absolutely no joke, as you can see in these photos of Short Sands on the North Oregon Coast. Winter is especially tumultuous at The Coast but these waves are a force, giant trees are tossed around like toothpicks and rivers rise rapidly when the King comes in.

The trail to Short Sands is an easy 1.2 mile out and back that leads to a lovely little stretch of ocean beach. Short Sands is part of Oswald West State Park, an almost 2,500 acre park that covers a 14 mile stretch of the coast. Park at any one of the 4 parking areas along 101 to access miles of hiking trails, ocean beach, and explore some of the largest and oldest Sitka Spruce in Oregon.

A popular surf and paddle spot, Short Sands is super busy in the Summer Months. Winter is my favorite time to go- it’s wet, wild, and half secluded. Although, when The King Tides come to town it’s not safe to go ON the beach. It’s also wickedly windy. Maybe that’s why we were alone this early January morn? The solitude was worth the weather and to see a usually calm surf spot eaten by gigantic waves (safely, from an overlook)? Epic.

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