Hopewell Rocks - Tide Times and 7 Tips for the Highest Tides in the World
Hopewell Rocks - Tide Times and 7 Tips for the Highest Tides in the World

Hopewell Rocks - Tide Times and 7 Tips for the Highest Tides in the World


When Is the Best Time

The Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick were once created and formed by erosion (the sea, wind, and weather) which is now a threat to these unique sea stacks nicknamed the Flowerpots. Do you wish to visit the Hopewell Rocks, with the highest tide of up to 53 ft/ 16m? 

Maybe you shouldn’t wait for too long. The iconic elephant rock collapsed in February 2016 during a heavy storm, and Hurricane Fiona destroyed another Flowerpot Rock in September 2022. After elephant rock collapsed, stones scattered on the ground, the beach was separated, and only a fraction of the 2 km long beach was accessible. However, some of the most impressive rocks are still left, over 20, and the scenery is simply spectacular.

Visitors in front of a huge flowerpot rock at low tide
To the left are cables that you do not access this area.

I will give you an overview of the best time, how much time you should spend, all you need to know about the tides, what to bring, where to download a map, and where to book your ticket online. Check out my Table of Content and jump to the headlines you are interested in.

Where Are the Hopewell Rocks?

The Hopewell Rocks and visitors close to the shore.
One of the staircases in the back and a warning sign to the left.

The Hopewell Rocks are located at the far end of the Bay of Fundy. These rocks are situated in the east of Canada, belonging to New Brunswick. The Bay of Fundy lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of Maine, which indicates that it is not far from the US border. The closest and biggest city is Moncton, with a population of roughly 85.000. It is about 38 km from Moncton to the closest parking at the café of Hopewell Rocks. Google Maps directions 

What is Special About the Hopewell Rocks?

A group of visitors at the cliffs at low tide
Signs warn that you do not access the caves and holes between the flowerpot rocks.

The Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy are an incredible natural wonder constantly changing by the tides, and these tides are a phenomenon because they are the highest in the world, with a record of 56ft/ 17 m. You can imagine that such a height difference is not without risks for visitors. Please, read my detailed guide and have an awesome time there.

Hopewell Rocks Low Tide and High Tide

A huge single flowerpot rock at low tide
Also, here are signs and cables for safety reasons.
  • If you wish to walk on the accessible ocean floor, come at low tide.
  • If you want to get close to these sea stacks in a kayak, you must visit Hopewell Rocks at high tide.

Definitely check out the tides before you visit this unique place. Tide Times can be predicted up to two years in advance, but there isn't a website which is able to do so. The best I could find is the one from the Provincial Park itself for six months in advance - more below.

What Are the Months With the Highest Tides in 2024?

Info graphic Spring Tides Hopewell Rocks 2024
These are the months with the highest tides in 2024

The highest tides vary a little each year but roughly occur in spring and fall, not in summer and winter. In 2024, the tides are the highest in February, March, August, mid-September and October. You can figure out the exact times in the tide times link above. 2024 is exceptional, with plenty of high tides during the day, but this means the rocks and beach are not accessible. Tide Times 6 months in advance; enter the day of your visit and check out the tide times. If you want to know how the tides affect your visit, continue reading.

Spring Tide – King Tide

The incoming tide
The incoming tide.

This phenomenon occurs each month at full and new moon when the tides are at their highest and lowest. The most extreme events occur roughly 6-8 times a year when the moon is closest to the earth. Only then can high tide reach records of 53 ft/16 m. In 2023 the highest tide occurs in 

Tidal Bore – Highest Tide in the World

High tide at Hopewell Rocks
The fascinating flowerpot rocks.

This rare-to-witness phenomenon occurs in a few places in the world only. A tidal bore is the wave of the incoming tide, which can be as high as 10 ft/3 m. The wave runs against the current of a river here at Hopewell Rocks, even two rivers. Because of its geographical location, the Bay of Fundy becomes narrower and shallower inland, and the flow of the sea is compromised, therefore rising so high. Another outstanding location to watch the tidal bore is Mount Saint Michel in France.

Where Do You Find the Highest Tides in the World?

Road Sign to Hopewell Rocks and Moncton
Bay of Fundy and Hopewell Rocks are clearly signed.

The highest tides occur here in the Bay of Fundy; therefore, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park in Canada is a unique place to watch the untamed ocean and the sheer power of mother nature. 

High Tide vs Low Tide

One of the thinner sea stacks on the ocean floor at low tide.
The extensive erosion at the foot of the rock makes them unstable over time

You can't really compare these tides because of this incredible difference. The fact is, if possible, you should see both events so that you really become aware of this enormous difference. If you are short on time, I would personally try to catch low tide and walk across the muddy seabed. 

How Much Time Shall I Spend at Hopewell Rocks?

Elephant Rock from the distance with visitors walking on the seabed.
It is a breathtaking scenery from the ocean floor.

From my own experience, I highly recommend spending an entire day here. Walk on the ocean floor, around the flowerpot rocks, and afterwards watch the incoming and fast-flowing tide. It is amazing to witness how fast the tide rises and where you just walked two hours before is now the muddy sea. You can see both events in one day from spring to fall, but winter is not guaranteed due to the short daylight hours, and the park is officially closed. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days, another reason why you should take your time and soak in the astonishingly changing landscape.

Hopewell Rocks Kayaking

Kayaks around the Hopewell Rocks
A kayak tour at high tide is a Must-Do - View from a platform.

Kayaking is an outstanding experience and shouldn’t be missed. The higher the tide, the closer you get to the overgrown green tops which are looking out of the sea. I really like that you can’t get closer to the upper part of the flowerpot rocks than in a kayak.

The Best Time for Hopewell Rocks

An emergency tower for visitors if they can't get back
The best time is sharp at low tide - there is a reason for the emergency tower; the tide is rolling in much faster than you may expect.

The best time for Hopewell Rocks depends on the tide times, which change daily. If you wish to walk on the ocean floor, you must arrive roughly 2 hours before low tide. If you want to experience Hopewell Rocks without the crowds, come early or late in the day and watch the sunset. Regarding safety, temperatures and experiencing both tides in one day, the official opening dates from mid-May to the beginning of October are the best times.

Honestly, it is more about when is high and low tide and how much time to spend at these unique rocks. Of course, it is much quieter in the morning and evening but first, check the tides so that you do not miss out on the low tide.

Avoiding Tourist Crowds

Hopewell Rocks at low tide without any crowds
Elephant Rock before it collapsed.

Of course, summer, July and August are the busiest time of the year but also the warmest, with the longest opening hours from 8 am until 8 pm. If you wish to visit Hopewell Rocks most important is to check out the tides and pick out what you prefer. IMO low tide is a Must-Visit time and shouldn’t be missed. The visitors are spread over the entire beach and viewing points, so you won’t bump into others all the time, and you are able to enjoy this unique place despite the crowds.

Opening Hours Hopewell Rocks

Visitors exploring Hopewell Rocks at Low Tide
Unbelievable; that these trees grow under such harsh conditions on the rocks.

    Please keep in mind that the park is officially open from about mid-May to mid-October for a good reason because of the harsh winter conditions and the higher risk of falling rocks. All safety measures and cables are removed. If you visit Hopewell Rocks outside of the official opening hours, it is at your own risk!

    Can You Go to Hopewell Rocks After Hours and Off-Season?

    Hopewell Rocks at high tide

    Yes, you can visit Hopewell Rocks after hours, also in the evening. Some visitors come to watch the sunset and the night sky. However, bring a torch or headlamp so that you are able to find the path. Keep in mind there is no ranger or park staff after hours. You can visit Hopewell Rocks off-season in the winter, but there aren't any safety measures. If you do so, it is at your own risk! The pro is that this is the quietest time of the year but also cold.

    Entrance Fee and Tickets

    A smaller sea stack in front of the caves and cliff.
    It is a question of time when the next flowerpot rock will collapse.

    The individual prices are displayed when booking the ticket online. There is an extra ticket for families with two children, which is fairly priced. Here, you can order your tickets online; the price plus a $3 transaction fee. However, this gives you more flexibility and is time-saving during peak season. The ticket is valid for two days, and you can definitely visit Hopewell Rocks at both tides.

    Hopewell Rocks 7 Must-Know and Map

    Cleaning the shoes from the mud at Hopewell Rocks
    I cleaned my muddy shoes at the cleaning station.
    1. Shoes: Wear Teva (in summer), Rubber Boots or Water Shoes and warm Merino socks to walk safely and warmly on the seabed. Because of the many sharp-edged stones and rocks, you should not wear flip-flops on the ocean floor and definitely do not walk barefoot!
    2. Map Download the map of Hopewell Rocks for your visit to know where to find the three access points, parking, restrooms, visitor centre, where you can see all the flowerpot rocks and their given names.
    3. Two staircases with a hundred steps lead down to the ocean floor, and there is also a ramp to the north to get down and closer by wheelchair, but I think you can't get further. You are rather stuck on the muddy sea floor.
    4. Dogs are allowed at Hopewell Rocks as long as they are leashed, and you clean up after them. Don’t leave their poo at the beach, and others walk in.
    5. Shuttle Bus: If you can't walk far, a small shuttle bus for $2 from the Interpretive Centre to the stairs is available.
    6. Restrooms are available at the parking lot, stairs, along the walking path, and Interpretive Centre.
    7. Parking: There is a huge parking lot at the Interpretive Centre and a smaller one at North Beach. A third additional parking for campers and caravans is available. Shoulder parking outside of the park is prohibited. 

    Hopewell Rocks – New Brunswick – Weather

    A partly cloudy day and the brown muddy sea at Hopewell Rocks
    The water is always chocolate-coloured from sediments and red sandstone.

    Spring (April-mid-June)

    Visitors on the seabed look small in comparison to the flowerpot rocks.

    April is still cold, with day temps below 10°C/50°F. May tends to warm up, but it is still cold, and a warm jacket is needed. Also, June temperatures are still below 20°C/68°F.

    Summer (mid-June-August)

    Visitors are walking in t-shirts and jackets on the ocean floor.
    Although summer, it is only warm on sunny days.

    Summer is a pleasant time, and these are the driest months; nevertheless, a wind jacket may be needed, and it cools down at night to around 12°C/54°F. 

    Fall (September-October)

    You can see lose rocks still stuck to the sea stack.
    You can see what erosion caused at the sea stacks. Also, this will collapse one day.

    September is a wonderful month for the Hopewell Rocks. It is still nice, and it is less busy after the summer school holidays. The fall foliage in October is fantastic, but day temps drop on average to 13°C/55°F.

    Winter (November-March) - Off Season

    The incoming tide viewed from the ocean floor.

    In winter, you can’t always witness low and high tides in one day because of the shorter daylight hours. Hopewell Rocks are quiet during the winter but remember that there are neither rangers nor safety measures. Don’t get too close to the rocks, caves and shore when walking through the seabed at low tide. There is always a risk for rockslides.

    Most precipitation occurs in the winter. Days are chilly and expect sub-zero temperatures at night. 


    Best Months to Visit


    Related Topics

    Location and Tips

    New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy

    Hopewell Rocks are a dramatic coastline in New Brunswick. Are you wondering about the brown, muddy colour of the sea? There are two reasons for this; first, it comes from the rivers, which flow through the soft red sandstone that easily erodes and second, from the incoming tide, sediments are transported inland. The flowerpot rocks are made of the same reddish-brown clay as the ocean floor you are walking on at low tide.

    The brown muddy water in the Bay of Fundy
    The sea colour from sediments and red sandstone.

    All pictures were taken by my friend Chris. If you want to obtain the usage right for some images, contact me, but we will take action against picture theft.

    Nearby Places
    3 Tips for Visiting Peggy's Point Lighthouse and Cove in Nova Scotia
    156 km
    3 Tips for Visiting Peggy's Point Lighthouse and Cove in Nova Scotia
    Peggys Point is one of over 160 historic lighthouses in Nova Scotia, but…
    Boston Whale Watching Monthly Guide and 8 Tips
    622 km
    Boston Whale Watching Monthly Guide and 8 Tips
    The entire whale-watching cruise from Boston is an experience. It starts with…
    Best Time and Tips for the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park
    1,053 km
    Best Time and Tips for the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park
    Pictures do not do it justice. I am pretty sure you will leave the park with…
    Lower Falls Park and Cave in Rochester
    1,074 km
    Lower Falls Park and Cave in Rochester
    You pass by these truly beautiful falls and park when travelling to Niagara…
    Created by