Oregon Coast Tide Pools at Hug Point and Cannon Beach

We were so lucky to have some extra low tides while we were in Oregon! I was excited when I looked at the tide charts because they were going to be so low. I do so like tide pools. I don't know if everyone else likes them as much as I do—the others didn't seem quite as keen on getting up at 6 a.m. to arrive at the lowest tide—but by golly I was going to make sure everyone got there and enjoyed it whether they liked it or not! And they did like it. Once we got going, anyway. Isn't that what mothers are for? :)
The drive up the coast is always so great. I LOVE this sort of scenery. Trees above cliffs and rocky beaches.
And daisies! Wild daisies everywhere.

The first morning, we went to a place called "Hug Point." (How can that not be a great place?) It was named that because it used to be a stagecoach road that "hugged" the cliff. (I learned that here.) It was really cool to see the sections of that old road, now being completely overtaken by barnacles and anemones. And! This beach has a waterfall on it, which is something I've never seen on a beach before. We loved it. All of this area is underwater at high tide, and along with the waterfall there are a bunch of cool sea caves and little nooks and crannies to crawl into. You wouldn't want to be caught here when the tide comes in, obviously. But it was wonderful for exploring.
I love Oregon beaches. I love how empty they (often) are, and how subtle the color variations of sand and water are under the grey-blue skies.
Junie was finding little shrimpy things in the sand. Cute.
So Oregon-y!
These rocks were so cool. They were totally covered with barnacles and anemones.  But the anemones farther above the water were so small and shrunken and dry-looking—you could hardly even tell what they were. They looked like hard little rocks! What I like about this picture is that you can see how the anemones expand and soften and extend their tentacles as they get close to the standing water. They look greener and greener and softer and softer as your eye goes down the rock. Beautiful!
Another example of that same thing. A few hard, bony-looking anemones just above, and soft frond-y ones reaching down toward the water.

The kids were finding so many sand dollars! Even some lovely, whole, unbroken ones, which we've never found before! I don't know what was so good about this particular day or spot.
Teddy called them "sand cookies," which is understandable when you think about it.
Teddy loved feeling the drips in these damp, mossy caves
He loved stomping around in sandy puddles, too.
Here you can see where the old road goes up against the cliff. You can even see ruts from the stagecoach wheels. This was my favorite part of the whole beach because the tide pools along this road were SO full of life!
Girls walking along the road. Covered with moss and barnacles and mussels!
I do love these bright green anemones. They look so happy and expansive here in the pools of water.
Below the road.
 And a closer look at that rock the boys were examining. It looks FURRY, it's so covered with barnacles! I love that texture. Amazing.
Sebastian liked showing everything to Teddy.
I loved this. A long groove full of anemones. "Anemone Row," I called it. "Enemy Row," Goldie then called it. :)
You can see how tightly they are packed in! I like the way they squish into squarish shapes when they get so close together. They should take a lesson from bees and be hexagons if they don't want that to happen!
I love that bright green color in the…moss? Seaweed?
As we walked back to the parking lot, we saw these two little black bunnies happily munching on flowers in the grassy picnic area. They were so cute! They stood there for a long time and let Daisy get really close to them before hopping over the log into the bushes. And then they came out again after a little while so the rest of us got to see them too. It was the perfect end to that lovely morning on the beach.
We had been seeing huge fields of wild daisies all along the roads even before we got to the coast, but being the model of courtesy and photographic restraint that I am, I didn't make Sam pull over so I could take pictures. Until…there happened to be a spot where there was a little parking area by the road AND a lovely enormous daisy field. Then, of course, Daisy and I HAD to hop out for a few pictures.
Such gorgeous daisies for my gorgeous girl.
They seemed to go on forever!

Now…after that daisy interlude…back to Tide Pools! The next day after Hug Point, I wanted to go to a different spot and see what the low tide would reveal. I took pity on the children this time and allowed those who wanted to, to stay home in bed. But…those who went with us did get ice cream later, so they had their reward.
This time we went to Cannon Beach. We went here on our previous trip to Oregon and loved the tide pools by Haystack Rock!
It's a great place to see birds, too. Tufted puffins nest here, though we didn't see many this time. But at one point the whole rock seemed to erupt with squawking, flapping, screeching birds. We couldn't figure out what was going on!
Then we noticed one BIG bird among all the small ones.
It was a bald eagle! They are such beautiful birds. You could tell even from far away that that's what it was.
The other birds screeched and flapped and made a fuss until they chased the eagle away! It was fun to watch.
Meanwhile, down by the water, we were seeing lots of other cool things.
This mussel-covered rock was cool because there were tons of crabs crawling around between the shells. You couldn't see them at all until you held very still and adjusted your eyes to see movement, and then suddenly you realized they were everywhere! Some were small and black and spidery, and others were reddish or purplish. All very cool, though. Teddy LOVED them.
Look at this! Shells on top of shells on top of shells. It is mind-boggling to think of the sheer AMOUNT of sea life in each square foot here.
Daisy found this cute hermit crab, and we were all laughing at him because his shell was SO very small on him! Look at it! It's like a tiny hat sitting on his bottom. Poor little guy. He kept walking right out of his shell and then scrambling back into it. We tried to look for another empty shell for him, but no luck.
My favorite part of these Cannon Beach tide pools are the starfish. There was a sign talking about how the starfish have been affected by some disease and there are fewer of them this year. But there were still quite a few, and I love their orange and purple colors!
Anemone-covered rock, with starfish beneath. I wish I could see all this stuff underwater when it's high tide. Imagine how beautiful this rock would be with all the anemones open and waving their green tentacles!
This is another look at the sea stacks, from farther up the coast. I love the way they loom up out of the water even from far away.


  1. Oh these pictures are so gorgeous!! That stinker bald eagle. Trying to steal everyone's babies just because they used to be endangered. Now they think they can get away with anything. ;) I love the whole different look and even atmosphere of Oregon beaches from CA beaches, etc.

    1. Haha. I was thinking the same thing about that eagle. "Who do you think you are, the national bird or something?" And I love the variation in beaches too. I wish I could see some of the ones you've been to on the east coast--those seem like a whole different thing from either CA or Oregon!


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