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Oregon Coast – Tidepools of Wonder

Spending time on the Southern Oregon Coast has become one of our favorite family destinations. I gave the men the choice of where they wanted to go camping and they unanimously chose Brookings, Oregon. Harris Beach State Park to be exact…..same as last year. There is something nice about really knowing a place, returning to see favorite beaches and then having some new adventures as well.

Low Tide Harris Beach Oregon
This photo shows how low the tide was for us…you can clearly see the normal waterline.

We hit the low tides of the year again so there were plenty of opportunities to tidepool in the early mornings. Surprisingly, there was not one morning of fog the whole time we were camping there so it was easier to get up early to hike down to the beach and explore.

Following my own advice, I gathered our field guides which included our new field guide for seashore life. We had paged through this one quite thoroughly and became a little more familiar with what we might see in the tidepools and along the shore. Our efforts paid off and we spotted some new things as we tidepooled.

Sunflower Star Harris Beach
We saw several sunflower stars and they are amazing creatures. We even watched one crawling!Can you see the tracks in the sand where he has moved? Really awesome to see in real life.

Cramped Quarters Purple Sea stars and Anemones
Everyone tries to hold tight when the tide lowers so here you can see many sea creatures crammed into the crack in the rock. I love the purple Ochre sea star.

Harris Beach Purple Snails
Yes, these are living creatures too. They have little snails inside and you can see them moving when you stand still. There were hundreds of these all over the rocks.

Harris Beach Tidepools Limpets
These are some kind of limpet which is also a sea creature. It has a tongue or radula that it uses to each algae off the rocks.

Tar Spot Algae
This is one we would have missed if we hadn’t studied our field guide before going down to the beach. It is Tar Spot and is a kind of algae. Cool huh?

Green Anemones
Can you say anemone? Look at this colony on the shore rocks…..amazing.

Gumboot Chiton
Here is another new creature for us and it is really alive! It is a Gumboot chiton and it has a large muscular foot attached. Our field guide says it can live for 20 years!

Leather Chiton Harris Beach
Another chiton, this time a Leather chiton. These were new to use last year and we knew just where to look on the rocks to see them. They look like rocks but they too are a living creature.

I will save our Coast Trail hiking for another post and I also have Redwoods National Park hikes to share as well. Stay tuned!

Harris Beach Sunset

Just another perfect Oregon Coast sunset…..we watched the sunset every day on our trip. There is just something amazing about being still and quiet, waiting for the moment when the sun dips below the horizon. Peaceful.

Hope you have many a summer sunset to watch.

13 thoughts on “Oregon Coast – Tidepools of Wonder

  1. Beautiful pictures!! I love the Oregon Coast, I haven’t been down to the Southern Beaches for years, your tide pool pictures make me think I may need to head on down. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. That is one of my favorite places on the Oregon Coast!

  3. Beautiful! It’s interesting to see the “other side” of the states. We’re on the Atlantic coast and things do look different!

  4. Wow. Those pictures are amazing! I would love to see a tide pool in real life some day! Our closest beach is the gulf coast (FL panhandle and a good day’s drive), which has it’s own ecology of course, but not tide pools.

  5. Beautiful – unique finds! I can see why you would want to come back to the same spot each year! Love the sunset photo!

  6. Beautiful pictures!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great photos. I am hosting a Field trip hop for the month of July would love to see you link up and share where you have been:)

  8. Looking at that last photo I found myself in a long, relaxing sigh…I absolutely love the beach. Especially beach sunrises with a cup of coffee and sunsets with waves lapping. This was a pleasure to read. What wonderfully interesting discoveries. Each one! Our family is headed to the same gulf coast spot for the 13th year – later this summer after the rest of the world is in school. You are right! Always something new. We found buckets full of starfish in little channels last year.

    I look forward to your other posts.

  9. LOVE that sunflower star! Didn’t know that they existed. So cool!

  10. Last month we took a trip out west. One of the places we visited on the coast was at Newport, Yaquina Head. It was low tide while we were there which we didn’t expect but certainly enjoyed. We weren’t prepared with a book but did see and identify several different species of sea life with the help of a state park worker. It was a big hit with this family.

    Loved your pictures.

  11. Oh, that is incredible! It’s so neat you saw a gumboot chiton! And so many anemones in one place, that is so cool! My family will surely have to visit that park! I saw your other post, too (the one you posted today), and wow! What a wonderful place! Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. oops, I mean the one you posted on July 4th. I just saw it the first time today. 😀 Both of them are such wonderful posts.

  13. We are lucky to live so close to the Oregon coast, so it’s fun to see these pictures and your enjoyment there. We love to go often, although we’ve never been that far south on the coast. What a beautiful place!

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