The park is open from mid-May until mid-October but still accessible in off-season (see main text below) and an amazing experience. However, the place is usually swarmed with tourists.
Tip: Make sure to check our '17 Must-Know Tips for Hopewell Rocks' at the end of this article!
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Time of Day: Go very early at sunrise. It's even quieter before they open (9 am / 8 am) or visit after the park is closed. Check the tide table first: Hopewell Rocks Tide Tables Please be careful: Outside of operating hours there is no staff to advise you regarding safety and you visit at your own risk. However, all other safety measures like cables and signs are in place regardless of the time of day. The only exception is during off-season from mid-October until mid-May: The safety measures are not in place during these months.
Season/Months: Peak tourist season with heavy crowds is from mid-June/July till August. In September it thins out a little but still can be busy as it is the preferred travel month for seniors. SWEET SPOT months with mild weather and less crowds are END OF MAY, BEGINNING OF JUNE and END OF SEPTEMBER until OCTOBER. You might even visit in the winter and enjoy real solitude. But please keep in mind that a walk can be very slippery and icy. Plus, the safety measures are not in place and it can become dangerous.
Official Opening Hours 2019
- May 17 – June 21: From 9:00 – 17:00 (9 am – 5 pm)
- June 22 – August 16: 8:00 – 20:00 (8 am – 8 pm)
- August 17 – September 2: 9:00 – 19:00 (9 am – 7 pm)
- September 3 – October 14: 9:00 – 17:00 (9 am – 5 pm)
*You may also enter the park outside opening hours (read above and below)
The highest tides on our planet with 15 meters and more and some gorgeous rock formations. You should watch the tide go out and come in as well. That means visiting at low tide and at high tide is highly recommended. You may also stay throughout the day to watch to watch both events on the same day. However, your entrance pass is valid for 2 days. That means you can come back another day if you don’t want to stay long enough to see the tide coming back in one day.
At low tide: You can walk the ocean floor.
At high tide: You can do a kayaking tour exactly where you walked before.
17 Hopewell Rocks Must-Know Facts and Tips
- Tide Times: The tide times change daily! Always check the tide schedule ahead of your visit.
- From Parking to Ocean Floor: It takes about 10-15 minutes of walking from the main parking lot to the staircase leading to the ocean floor.
- Shuttle Service: There is also a shuttle service: It’s a 7 passenger limousine type golf cart which takes visitors from the Interpretive Centre (near the main parking area) to the top of the stairs, that give access to the ocean floor. Cost is $2 each way
- Beautiful Walk: If you can walk, do it, instead of using the shuttle. It’s much more enjoyable. There are even bathrooms along the way.
- Scenery While Walking: Take some time and stop at the viewpoints along the trail which offer different views of the rocks
- Back with Shuttle: Some visitors walk down and then ride back uphill with the shuttle
- Interpretive Centre: Most visitors like the Interpretive Centre at the large parking lot and recommend it.
- Time on Ocean Floor: You can walk around on 80% of the ocean floor area up until 7 hours. The complete ocean floor is accessible for about 5 hours.
- Shoes: Wear good walking shoes, not flip-flops or high heels. Also keep in mind that your shoes will get dirty/muddy.
- Be Careful: Try not to step on the seaweed covered rocks, as they are very slippery!
- Stay Long Enough: Experts say it’s disappointing only being there either at high tide or at low tide. Seeing the unique area at both low and high tide and especially watching the tide coming in and going out is amazing.
- Visit Late: You may also visit after the park closes at night, it’s allowed. However, no staff is there and you should always bring a flashlight and a cell phone. You can park outside when arriving late.
- New Moon: The highest tides are during new moon and full moon. Only then, they reach up to 14 metres (46 ft).
- Second Parking Lot: There are two parking lots: The big one (via Discovery Rd) and a smaller one in the north (via Rocks Rd): Hopewell Rocks Area - Google Maps. You can try the smaller one first, since it’s a lot closer to the stairs. However, the walk from the big one to the stairs is really worth it.
- Helpful Staff: Talk to interpretive staff which are located at different spots regarding the history and background of the Hopewell Rocks. Most of them are really great!
- Stay 2 Days: The entrance fee is valid for two consecutive days. Staying 2 days is highly recommended for this once in a lifetime tide experience.
- Official FAQ: Check this huge official FAQ for more questions and answers: The Hopewell Rocks FAQ
Safety Measures: All safety measures are up during the season (mid-May to mid-October): Cables to block off dangerous areas, markings for dangerous caves and cliffs, as well as staff to advise you on safety issues on the beaches. During off-season, none of these safety measures are in place. However, the beach is accessible during that time. Especially caves and cliffs can be extremely dangerous and fatal because of rock falls. Please check out the official guide for visits during off-season: The Hopewell Rocks - Winter Visit
Parking tip: In case you are staying outside operating hours you either have to park outside the gates or move your vehicle from the parking lot to the outside. Helpful leaflet of the Bay of Fundy, maps included, on the right.