Beachcombing For Agates & Jaspers – Oregon Coast

Beachcombing Oregon Coast




The best time: November – April, after big storms and during outgoing high tide at low tide.
Rock Types: Variety of quality agates, jasper, petrified wood, and fossils.

The winter months are a good time to hunt for agates. Generally, between November and March, sometimes April. During the summer, agate deposits are covered by sand. The winter storms help to remove the top sandy layers revealing the treasure beneath. Be on the lookout for loose gravel atop sand. No real technique and no equipment, though a gem scoop and geology pick can be helpful. All you need is a fun spirit and some water resistant warm clothing.

Along the Oregon Coast, there are multiple excellent spots for agate, jasper, and marine fossils beachcombing.



Beachcombing on the North Oregon Coast

A wide variety of agates, jaspers, Oregon Jade, petrified wood, and fossilized agate are found on the North Oregon Coast. The best places for beachcombing are located north of Pacific City - Tierra Del Mar, Netarts, Oceanside, Rockaway Beach, and Manzanita; north of the Cape Falcon and the area extending between Arch Cape and Cannon Beach which also includes the Arcadia and the Hug Point. Good-quality multicolored jaspers and sagenitic agates are found on the Tillamook beaches.

Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita

Minerals: agates, jaspers, petrified wood, and fossilized agate.
Access to the beaches:

  • Tolovana Wayside State Park is located at Highway 101, milepost 22
  • Arcadia Beach Recreation Site is at Highway 101, milepost 32
  • Hug Point State Park lies at Highway 101, milepost 33
  • Cove Beach is situated at Highway 101, milepost 37, Falcon Cove Road
  • Oswald West State Park is at Highway 101, milepost 39.
Rockaway, Netarts, and Oceanside Beaches near Tillamook

Minerals: agates including sagenitic and iris, jaspers, bloodstones, Oregon Jade, petrified wood, zeolite, and fossilized agate.
Access to the beaches:

Beachcombing Short Beach
Short Beach
  • Manhattan State Park is at Highway 101, milepost 49
  • Netarts and Oceanside - from Highway 101, take Highway 131 west in Tillamook
  • Short Beach - from the south end of Oceanside, take Cape Meares Loop and drive about 1.3 miles north.
Pacific City and Vicinity

Minerals: agates and jaspers.
Access to the beaches:

  • Tierra Del Mar (from Pacific City) - Highway 101 at milepost 90.4, turn west to Brooten Road, cross the bridge and turn right onto Cape Kiwanda Drive, go north for about 3.5 miles.



Beachcombing on the Central Oregon Coast

The Central Oregon Coast provides great opportunities to find high-quality agates including carnelian, black-blue, enhydro, moss and sagenitic, jaspers, petrified wood, Oregon Jade, and fossilized agates. The beaches stretching from the Road's End to Siletz Bay in Lincoln City, the coastline near Newport, Yachats and Florence are considered to be the most productive areas for collecting gem quality minerals.

Over 7.5-mile beaches of Lincoln City produce agates, multicolored jaspers, and Oregon Jade. The 5-mile stretch of Moolack Beach from Otter Rock to Yaquina Head, roughly 3 miles north of Newport, is good for agate, carnelian, jasper, petrified wood, and fossils hunting. Marine fossils such as shells and the bones of sea lions and whales have been found near Beverly Beach, Newport. High-value bloodstones, carnelian, moss, and sagenitic agates containing needle-like inclusions have been found south of Yachats. Check the areas along the mouths of creeks entering to the ocean - Big, Bob's, China, Cummins, Tenmile, and Squaw.

Note: Agate Beach State Park is not considered to be a good productive area for mineral collection.

Lincoln City

Minerals: agate, jasper, petrified wood, Oregon Jade, and fossilized agate.
Access to the beaches: There are numbers of the beach public access in Lincoln City along Highway 101.

  • Roads End State Park in Lincoln - Highway 101, between 112 and 113 mileposts, turn onto Logan Road
  • D River Wayside State Park in Lincoln City lies at Highway 101, milepost 115
  • Siletz Bay Park in Lincoln City is located at Highway 101, milepost 118
  • Fogarty State Park lies at Highway 101, milepost 125.
Newport and Vicinity

Minerals: agate, jasper, carnelian, petrified wood, and marine fossils.
Access to the beaches:

Lost Creek
Lost Creek
  • Otter Rock & Devils Punch Bowl State Park lies at Highway 101 between mileposts 132 and 133
  • Beverly Beach State Park lies 6 miles north of Newport at Highway 101, milepost 134
  • Lost Creek - Highway 101, milepost 147
  • Ona State Park is located south of Newport at Highway 101, mileposts 149
  • Seal Rock State Recreation Site - Highway 101, milepost 151
Between Yachats and Florence

Minerals: agates and jaspers including prized moss and sagenitic agates, bloodstones, carnelian.
Access to the beaches:

  • Smelt Sands State Park and Yachats Ocean Road State Park are located in Yachats at Highway 101, milepost 164 and 166
  • Cummins Creek is at Highway 101, milepost 168
  • Neptune State Park (Gwynn Creek) lies at Highway  101, milepost 168.5
  • Strawberry Hills lies at Highway 101, milepost 169
  • Bob Creek State Wayside (Bob's Creek) - Highway 101, milepost 170
  • Stonefield Beach State Park (Tenmile Creek) is at highway 101, milepost 171.5
  • Muriel O.Ponsler Memorial State Park and Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park (Big and China Creeks) - Highway 101 between mileposts 175 and 176.



Oregon Rockhounding Map

Oregon Rockhounding Map




Beachcombing on the South Oregon Coast

Generally, the South Oregon Coast has some area producing a wide variety of fine agates and jaspers, Oregon Jade, petrified wood, fossils, and serpentine. There are wonderful sites including parks near Coos Bay and Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach, and Brookings.

Minerals: blue, white banded, iris, moss, and carnelian agates, flower jasper, petrified wood, and fossils.
Access to the beaches:

  • Merchants Beach at Seven Devils State Recreation Site on Seven Devils Road - from Highway 101, take the road west at milepost 257
  • Whiskey Run Lane - continue Seven Devils Road south to Whiskey Run Lane west
  • Cape Blanco State Park to Agate Beach in Port Orford is located at Highway 101 between milepost 296 and 300
  • Otter Point State Recreation Site and Gold Beach are at Highway 101 between milepost 324 and 329
  • Gravel Bars of the Pistol River - Highway 101, milepost 339
  • South Jetty of Chetco River - Highway 101, milepost 357
  • McVay Rock State Recreation Site - Highway 101, mileposts 363




How to Spot Agate on the Beach

Due to agate and jasper can be found almost everywhere along the 300-mile Oregon’s Coast shoreline, beachcombing for these colorful gemstones is very popular in Oregon. Mineral and fossils are lying on the surfaces of beaches and in gravels of the riverbanks or creeks that enter into the Pacific Ocean, so no hard work is needed to get them.

Pick a rocky beach. Most of the time the gemstones are covered by sand but after strong storms especially winter storms the rock beds are exposed. Often you can find beautiful agates or jaspers on gravel beds, near ledges, and stream gravels. The main characteristics of agate - transparency, color, and banding patterns will be helpful for finding and identification. When the waters have freshly preceded, the sunlight will cause agates to sparkle making them easier to spot. Also, it is it is easier to see a brightly colored agate or jasper when it is wet.

Restriction: No more than 1 gallon per day and 3 gallons per year for collecting agates on the beaches.



Safety Tips

  • Before you go for beachcombing, check tides
  • Never turn your back to the ocean, the ocean conditions can change quickly
  • Watch for sneaker waves
  • Have your beach access available
  • Avoid logs and debris
  • Avoid slick rocks and stay away from cliff edges.




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