When the Pacific recedes each day on Oregon's Coast, you’ll find tide pools where colorful miniature displays of ocean habitat dwell, waiting to be discovered.
Starfish the color of sunsets are neighbors to purple and green sea anemones and dark purple sea urchins in Lincoln City’s tide pools. A rush of colors envelops the rocky ocean shores, home to tiny darting fish and hermit crabs looking for a new home. These are a few of the amazing creatures you will discover in these small pockets of still saltwater.
The best time to visit the tide pools is during or just before low tide. Check the predicted tidal times before journeying forth.
Roads End – Some great tide pools can be found north of Roads End State Park, a corner of the coast that offers a gorgeous display of intertidal life. From the park, walk 1.25 miles north along the beach. This area of the beach is flat with stunning views of northern headlands—Cascade Head and The Thumb. These tide pools enjoyed are best at low tide.
NW 15th Street – The most accessible tide pools in Lincoln City are at the NW 15th Street beach access. These tidepools are located at the ocean edge, a straight shot from the beach access. There is ample street parking as well as a public parking lot nearby. Parking on the beach within a permitted area is allowed—just keep an eye on ocean conditions before driving down.
Inn at Spanish Head – Nestled in front of this resort’s gorgeous ocean view, these tide pools are easy to find. Park at the 35th Street beach access and walk south until you reach the rocky formations in front of the hotel.
Mussels and barnacles thrive in the intertidal zones and in Lincoln City’s tide pools—and mussels can be harvested for dinnertime. Mussels have a long, tapered dark blue to black shell. The vivid, orange flesh of the mussel is edible and a prized delicacy in many parts of the world. You’re allowed to harvest mussels but only with a license, which can be purchased from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and at the following locations in Lincoln City:
Eleanor’s Undertow – 869 SW 51st St, 541-996-3800
Bi-Mart – 1030 SE Oar Ave, 541-994-6284
ODFW requires all mussel harvesters 12 years of age and older to carry a valid shellfish license on them. Before going out, check the local tide tables and the Shellfish Hotline website for any recent closures or updates.
Please be mindful as you explore the tide pools—rocks surrounding them can be slippery and visiting during extreme windy and stormy weather is not advisable. Please practice caution and common sense when navigating the tide pools. Check local weather forecasts before planning your trip. Be considerate when handling the sea life—starfish and mussels dwell in a delicate, easily damaged environment.
Learn about the fascinating creatures living in our rocky intertidal pools from local experts at one of our free public Tide Pool Exploriences. Get hands-on and see what you can discover.