Three Oregon Coast Sea Life Colonies You Probably Don't Know
Tide pools at the secret spot at Depoe Bay
(Oregon Coast) – They dazzle and astonish at well known places like Cannon Beach, Yachats, Lincoln City, Cape Lookout and Pacific City. Tide pools and their subsequent colonies of sea life make for striking memories in a variety of places around the Oregon coast, with their wild colors, strange ways and almost alien forms of life.
Then there are the spots not so well known for these homes to semi-aquatic critters. Here’s three places for finding those tiny, trippy beasties that are off the beaten path.
Depoe Bay is known for its wild and wooly wave action, its bridge and lots of whales marauding around the area. But there is a spot where fascinating – and enormous – tide pools rule.
There’s a secret section of the rocky shelves here at a street called South Point, on the southern tip of Depoe Bay. It’s a neighborhood street, so there’s almost no parking here. Plus, you don’t want to annoy the local residents, anyway.
For some fishermen, these rocky shelves are a standard spot, but they also host some startling tide pools. If conditions are pretty calm – and that’s not often – you can get close to some of these. However, stay clear of the ones directly above the raging tide or close to the edge of the rocks, as waves can and will come crashing over and will be aiming for you.
The rest of the area is quite the climbable labyrinth of basalt slabs, offering some dramatic views of crazed wave action and interesting things to amble up and down.
At Oceanside, on the north Oregon coast, there’s a lot of secret fun lying beyond the tunnel going through Maxwell Point. Then at low tides, this hidden beach becomes especially mind-blowing. The rather surreal sea stacks at the northern tip of this riotous cove (which have helped give this place the nickname of “Star Trek” beach) can become briefly accessible during some minus tides. There, at their sandy and rugged, black base, huge colonies of monstrous starfish lay, as these weird creatures cling to these spots with seemingly no effort.
They come in dazzling colors and types, so bright they seem to explode into view when you first spot them, especially against the black backdrop of their basalt home.
There’s a cave at the tip of Maxwell Point that’s briefly accessible during low, low tides – right next to the tunnel that allows you access to this secret beach. This cave too can host a nice array of sea life colonies.
Down near Yachats, between there and the exact center point of the Oregon coast, Florence, sits Bob Creek State Park. There’s a lot to enjoy here, including intertidal areas just to the north of the entrance to this intriguing beach. That’s the more obvious part.
The less obvious is a small patch of wowing tide pool colonies at the extreme southern end, where a massive boulder leans against a cliff that also houses a small cave. Here, huge starfish also lounge around in multi-colored glory, and the tide pools here feature all sorts of stuff that squirts, moves or just sits there looking funky and alien.
Another interesting point about Bob Creek is the beach access point seems to be comprised of a nearly endless number of tiny pieces of shells, quite possibly the remnant of an Indian shell midden. (seen below)
Below: more of the South Point access at Depoe Bay
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