Aerial Photos of Coastal Reef Systems during King Tides in California

By August 8, 2022August 15th, 2022Aerial Photography, La Jolla

One of my projects has been to photograph favorite spots on the coast at extreme low tide, to best depict the rocky reefs that are not normally visible.  The best time to do this, of course, is during a King Tide, when the high-highs and low-lows of the tidal swing are greatest.  King Tides occur when the alignment of the sun and moon relative to the Earth produce the greatest tidal effects of the year. I usually catch King Tides in December or January, but there can be other near-king tides at other times of the year.  With climate change has come an increase in the interest shown for high King Tides since, while they are considered extreme today, they also illustrate what the coast will look like in the near future as sea levels rise. On the other hand, I like to see what the shore looks like on the extreme low King Tide since this is really the only time we get to see the reefs exposed above water or visible in the shallowest possible water.  Here are some of my favorites.  Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Twin Points and Shaws Cove Reef visible in aerial photo, showing underwater terrain of the famous scuba diving location, Laguna Beach, California

Twin Points and Shaws Cove Reef visible in aerial photo, showing underwater terrain of the famous scuba diving location.
Image ID: 37960
Location: Laguna Beach, California

Childrens Pool and La Jolla coastline at sunset, aerial panorama, showing underwater reef exposed at King Low Tide

Childrens Pool and La Jolla coastline at sunset, aerial panorama, showing underwater reef exposed at King Low Tide.
Image ID: 37977
Location: La Jolla, California

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph, Children's Pool

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Image ID: 37982
Location: Children's Pool, La Jolla, California

La Jolla Underwater Park visible at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California

La Jolla Underwater Park visible at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California.
Image ID: 37985
Location: La Jolla, California

Swamis Reef viewed from above, Encinitas, California

Swamis Reef viewed from above, Encinitas, California.
Image ID: 37969
Location: Encinitas, California

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Image ID: 37986
Location: La Jolla, California

Sun Gold Point Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California

Sun Gold Point Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California.
Image ID: 37984
Location: La Jolla, California

Nicholson Point and Hospitals Beach, aerial photo, extreme low tide, La Jolla, California

Nicholson Point and Hospitals Beach, aerial photo, extreme low tide, La Jolla, California.
Image ID: 37987
Location: La Jolla, California

Shell Beach Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California

Shell Beach Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California.
Image ID: 37988
Location: La Jolla, California

Swamis Beach Reefs Exposed by King Tides, people explore ocean reefs normally underwater but exposed on the extreme low tides known as King Tides. Aerial photo, Encinitas, California

Swamis Beach Reefs Exposed by King Tides, people explore ocean reefs normally underwater but exposed on the extreme low tides known as King Tides. Aerial photo.
Image ID: 37989
Location: Swamis, Encinitas, California

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph, Children's Pool

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Image ID: 37990
Location: Children's Pool, La Jolla, California

Swamis Beach Reefs Exposed by King Tides, people explore ocean reefs normally underwater but exposed on the extreme low tides known as King Tides. Aerial photo, Encinitas, California

Swamis Beach Reefs Exposed by King Tides, people explore ocean reefs normally underwater but exposed on the extreme low tides known as King Tides. Aerial photo.
Image ID: 37992
Location: Swamis, Encinitas, California

Bird Rock Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California

Bird Rock Reef Exposed at Extreme Low Tide, La Jolla, California.
Image ID: 37993
Location: Bird Rock, La Jolla, California

La Jolla Bay submarine reef system on extreme low King Tide, south of La Jolla Shores, aerial panoramic photo

La Jolla Bay submarine reef system on extreme low King Tide, south of La Jolla Shores, aerial panoramic photo.
Image ID: 37999
Location: La Jolla, California

La Jolla Shores Beach and La Jolla Submarine Canyon, aerial photo

La Jolla Shores Beach and La Jolla Submarine Canyon, aerial photo.
Image ID: 38000
Location: La Jolla, California

South Casa Beach and Submarine Reef System, at extreme low King Tide, La Jolla, aerial panoramic photo

South Casa Beach and Submarine Reef System, at extreme low King Tide, La Jolla, aerial panoramic photo.
Image ID: 37998
Location: La Jolla, California

Tabletop Reef at extreme low tide, King Tide, Solana Beach, aerial panoramic photo

Tabletop Reef at extreme low tide, King Tide, Solana Beach, aerial panoramic photo.
Image ID: 38003
Location: California

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph, Children's Pool

Childrens Pool Reef Exposed at Extreme Low King Tide, La Jolla, California. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Image ID: 37997
Location: Children's Pool, La Jolla, California

Torrey Pines sea cliffs at sunset, Flat Rock at low tide, looking north, Blacks Beach, La Jolla, California

Torrey Pines sea cliffs at sunset, Flat Rock at low tide, looking north.
Image ID: 36556
Location: Blacks Beach, La Jolla, California

Torrey Pines State Beach on the extreme low King Tide, people walking on the beach, sunset light and La Jolla in the distance, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines State Beach on the extreme low King Tide, people walking on the beach, sunset light and La Jolla in the distance.
Image ID: 37601
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Sunset and King Tide on Del Mar Beach, Dog Beach, Solana Beach, looking north into North County San Diego

Sunset and King Tide on Del Mar Beach, Dog Beach, Solana Beach, looking north into North County San Diego.
Image ID: 37616
Location: Del Mar, California

Del Mar Beach on the extreme low King Tide, people and dogs walking on the beach, late afternoon

Del Mar Beach on the extreme low King Tide, people and dogs walking on the beach, late afternoon.
Image ID: 37599
Location: Del Mar, California