A wide array of creatures reside where Cannon Beach’s rocky shorelines touch the Pacific Ocean. As the tide ebbs, a novel and vibrant environment is exposed in intertidal and rocky areas. Look closely and you’ll find anemones that resemble flowers blooming at the bottom of pools, or colorful sea slugs called nudibranchs crawling on rocks. Among these captivating and interesting sights are also crabs, fish, snails, limpets, sponges, and a variety of different types of sea stars. Cannon Beach is rich with tide pools, making it a great destination for seeing the amazing creatures that call these unique habitats home. It’s a MUST for any Cannon Beach vacation!
What is a Tidepool? How Do You Find Tide Pools?
A tidepool is a shallow pool of seawater that forms on the rocky shoreline as the tide goes out. As the tide ebbs, pools of varying sizes and depths are left behind. Some tidepools are only a few inches deep while others can be several feet deep. To find tidepools, look for areas where there are rocks jutting out into the water. These areas are more likely to have tidepools as the waves will not be able to wash away all of the water.
When exploring tidepools, it is important to be respectful of the creatures that live there. Remember to never remove anything from the tidepool as it could damage the delicate ecosystem. Also, be careful not to step on any of the creatures, or damage the plants. Looking at a pool or gently sweeping away seaweed might reveal tiny ocean wildlife that would otherwise be missed. When looking for locations to find tidepools, be cautious of your surroundings at all times and never turn your back on the ocean.
During the day, the sun warms these tidepools and the water within them evaporates. This creates a unique environment for the creatures that live there as they must be able to withstand fluctuations in temperature and salinity. At night, when the tide comes back in, these creatures are once again submerged in cold ocean water.
When Is the Best Time To Explore?
The best time to explore the tidepools is during a low tide, when the water recedes and exposes a larger area of rocks and pools. Check the tide chart before you go so you know when to expect the low tide. It’s also a good idea to wear shoes with good traction, so you don’t slip on the wet rocks.
Where Can I Find Tidepools Near Cannon Beach?
Near Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock is located just north of Cannon Beach and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The tidepools found there are home to a wide variety of creatures, including anemones, crabs, sea stars, and urchins.
Ecola Point / Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park is another good option for exploring tidepools. It’s not as popular as Haystack Rock, but it’s just as interesting. This state park is located just north of Cannon Beach and features a number of different trails with stunning views of the coastline. The tidepools here are home to a variety of creatures, including crabs, anemones, and urchins.
Discover rarely visited tidepools at the southern end of this less-populated boulder-strewn area by taking a side road down to Indian Beach.
Plan A Visit with Meredith for Your Oregon Coast Getaway!
Meredith Lodging offers a wide variety of Oregon Coast vacation rentals in the Cannon Beach area. Our selection of rentals includes homes, suites, cottages, and more – with pet-friendly options in each category. Whether you’re looking for an oceanfront property or a cozy place to call home during your getaway, we have something for everyone. Call or book today!