The Alaska Bore Tide: How and When to See It

This natural phenomenon only occurs in a few dozen places around the world. We were lucky enough to see a bore tide in Alaska along the Turnagain Arm.

So let’s look closer at the bore tide in Alaska — what it is, what causes it, and where and when to see it. It’s fascinating!

The moon’s phases affect the tides. Under certain circumstances, a full or new moon will create a bore tide. This is a rush of seawater that comes in after extreme minus-low tides.

What Is a Bore Tide?

One reason it occurs here is its geographical location, as it is far north and the only one bordered by mountains. Thus, the “show” is spectacular, dramatic, and easily accessible.

What’s So Special About the Bore Tide in Alaska?

Highway 1, also known as the Seward Highway, travels from Anchorage, along the northern shoreline of the Turnagain Arm, and around the Kenai Peninsula.

Where Is the Turnagain Arm?

The bore tide in Alaska can occur twice a day when an extremely low tide crashes into an extremely high tide. A minus low tide and a 27-foot high tide are required.

What Causes the Bore Tide in Alaska?

You can watch the entire phenomenon from start to finish. Just park your car off the side of the road at one of the turnouts along Highway 1.

Where Can I See the Bore Tide in Alaska?

Your best chance of witnessing the bore tide in Alaska is during the five-day window of a new or full moon.

When Can I See the Bore Tide in Alaska?

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