It's Time for Tidepooling!

Take time to discover and explore the miniature world of tide pools on the Olympic Peninsula's Pacific coastal and Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches. As breezes blow away the morning mist, you'll discover dozens of fascinating tide pools with sea stars and urchins and other critters scurring about in the tide pools.

Constantly shaped and re-shaped by the actions of sun, wind, water and rock, tidepools are distinctive and somewhat harsh habitat where the ocean water meets the land. Life is tough for plants and animals that live in tide pools. The sun bears down. Wind and water continually pound at the rocks. Nevertheless, the rugged Olympic Peninsula coastline teems with life! Sea stars, barnacles, urchins, anemones, tubeworms, piddock clams and sea snalis thrive in these little pools - and one square foot may support thousands of these tenacious little sea creatures.

For best places for tidepooling in Olympic National Park, visit  http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/tidepool-activities.htm

For a review on tidepool etiquette, visit  http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/living/habitats/intertidal/ettiquette.html

 

BEFORE YOU GO.  Did you know that tiny tide pools are actually divided into four zones? Children seem to find these mini-worlds captivating, so if you want to learn more before you go about these little sea critters, EnchantedLearning.com is a link that describes a variety of species, explains splash zones, high-, mid-, and low-tide zones, and explains how the denizens of the ankle-deep world survive in their hostile habitat. Another great site for children is Secrets of the Tide Pools. And when you visit our tidal areas, be sure to respect the critter's home and practice tide pool etiquette. Remember the Makah Tribal saying, Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

How to get to where the sea critters live. From Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches to Washington's Pacific coastline are hundreds of miles of beaches that offer endless tide pooling possibilites. Here are a few highlights:

Salt Creek Recreation area. Take US Hwy 101 west to the turn off onto SR 112 (designated a National Scenic Byway in 2000.) After 5.2 miles, turn right onto Camp Hayden Road and drive for 3.4 miles to end at the 196-acre Salt Creek County Park and Campground. In addition to a County Park, there are 90 campsites, sandy beaches, a playground and play fields and hiking trails to Striped Peak. Striped Peak seasonal waterfall is on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. You can wander around original bunkers that were once part of Fort Hayden during Word War II. Nearby Crescent Bay (watch for the signs) offers more beach fun. The park is adjacent to Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary. Tongue Point is noted as being the eastern-most located habitat example of open rock coast intertidal habitat in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Clallam Bay Park and Slip Point. Take Hwy 101 west to the turn off onto SR 112. Continue on SR 112 to Clallam Bay. Slkip Point is an outdoor aquarium where you can examine tide pool animals and sealife under the watchful eye of the historic highthouse residence.

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary  This unique sanctuary forms the western edge of the Olympic Peninsula. The sanctuary shares 65 miles of coastline with Olympic National Park, and has a total area of over 3,300 square miles.

To thoroughly enjoy tidepooling in such a vast area, a great place to begin is to visit the Olympic Coast Discovery Center, located on Port Angeles waterfront.

Getting connected

Salt Creek Recreation Area, 3506 Camp Hayden Road, Port Angeles, 360-928-3441

Clallam County Parks Fair and Facilities, Port Angeles, 360-417-2291

Clallam Bay-Sekiu Chamber of Commerce, 360-963-2339

Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary Clallam Bay, 360-417-2291

Olympic Coast Discovery Center, 115 Railroad Avenue, Port Angeles, 360-457-6622

Location

Ocean BeachesWA
United States
47° 45' 3.8664" N, 120° 44' 24.5004" W
See map: Google Maps
Ocean BeachesWA
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