What to Do?
Travel slowly and carefully—for your safety, the safety of the inhabitants, and for the quality of the exploration.
Look at and in and around and under to discover hidden gems. (Be sure to return anything you move back to the way you found it to protect what you just exposed.) What individual species do you notice?
Seek patterns of life—areas where certain organisms are more numerous than they are elsewhere. What communities can you distinguish?
Ask questions to direct your exploration: questions like “Alive or dead?” “Animal or plant?” “One or many?” may seem too simple, but can lead to profound answers. (Start finding some of those surprising answers on the species pages of this website.) If you plan your trip right or maybe just get lucky, you may happen upon an interpretive ranger that can help you answer some of these questions.
Consider the challenges each organism faces—and is facing at this moment. Is the day sunny and warm? Is it raining? What would happen in freezing winter weather?
Recall that the tide will return. What will this spot look like several hours from now at high tide? What will these living things be doing then?
Respect the life here and the precious value it has for all Oregonians: follow proper tidepool etiquette.
When to start?
Since tides vary in height, shallow places are uncovered more often than deeper places. Different organisms live at different levels (called “zones”), depending on who landed where and on each organism’s ability to survive being exposed. More marine life—and more fragile marine life—can be seen during lower tides. (More information on tides, including tide charts.)
Click on each location (marked with a pin) for more information or to get driving directions from a starting location you choose. The blue "wave" icons provide links to NOAA tidal predictions. To reduce clutter, zoom in to your area of interest along the coast (with the plus button on the top left).
View Oregon Tidepools in Google maps.
Note: This site is mobile enabled. Go mobile by taking the trip tips and species guide with you on your smart phone or other mobile device. Simply access the site from your device's web browser.
Oregon has many wonderful tidepools to explore. Depending on where you are on the coast, many of Oregon’s state parks provide access to rocky shore areas. There are also places along the coast that have specialized interpretive programs.
Explore a map of some popular tidepooling locations along the Oregon coast.
Note: You can click on this table to get a larger, PDF version.
Watch and Listen
Explore Videos and Photos of Oregon's Rocky Shores
To view a gallery of videos, visit the video gallery.
To view a selection of, and links to more photos, visit the photo gallery.
Featured video: Tidepools, Rocky Reefs, Marine Reserves: It's All Connected!
The wonders of the sea find protection in Oregon's new marine reserves. This short video provides a brief look at tidepool creatures, inhabitants of rocky reefs, and underwater species large and small reveals how they are all connected. Tidepool etiquette tips help everyone protect these special places.
Ranger-led tidepool tours happen throughout late spring and summer.
Learn more about where and when to go.
Go on a tour of the bottom of the ocean!
This tour is also available in "chapters', please visit the video gallery.