Bob Creek Agates

Beachcombing is a popular activity for those who enjoy spending time at the seashore while searching for treasures that the ocean coastline reveals. A variety of items can be found on Oregon’s beaches - sea glass, pieces of driftwoods, Japanese glass floats, shells including popular sand dollars, and other fossilized marine creatures.

However, the ocean beaches of Oregon are famous and extremely popular for beach-tumbled agate, jasper, and petrified wood.

Due to beaches being accessible to the public at all times, beachcombers can keep their treasures with some exceptions. Always check the Rules and Regulations before you go to the beach.

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.

The best time: November – April, after big storms and during outgoing high tide at low tide.

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 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.

Beachcombing on the North Oregon Coast

A wide variety of agates, jaspers, petrified wood, and fossilized agate are found on the North Oregon Coast. The best places for beachcombing are located north of Pacific City - 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.

Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita

Minerals: agate, jasper, 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

Good-quality multicolored jaspers and sagenitic agates are found on the Tillamook beaches.

Minerals: agate including sagenitic and iris, jasper, bloodstones, petrified wood, zeolite, and fossilized agate.
Access to the beaches:

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

Short Beach Agate
Short Beach Finds

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, 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 and multicolored jaspers. 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.

Lincoln City

Minerals: agate, jasper, petrified wood, 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
  • Nelscott Beach between D River Wayside State Park and Siletz Bay Park in Lincoln City - Highway 101, mileposts 115-118
  • Gleneden Beach - Highway 101, between mileposts 122 and 123
  • 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:

Between Yachats and Florence

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

Strawberry Hill Agates - Oregon Coast
Strawberry Hill Agates

Beachcombing on the South Oregon Coast

Generally, the South Oregon Coast has some area producing a wide variety of fine agates and jaspers, petrified wood, fossils, serpentine, and jade. 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, jade, 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 mileposts 296 and 300
  • Otter Point State Recreation Site and Gold Beach are at Highway 101 between mileposts 324 and 329
  • Hunter Creek and Gold Beach are at Highway 101 at milepost 331.1
  • Gravel Bars of the Pistol River - Highway 101, milepost 339
  • Lone Ranch Creek - Highway 101, at milepost 352.5
  • Chetco River - Highway 101, milepost 357
  • McVay Rock State Recreation Site - Highway 101, mileposts 361

Pistol River - Oregon Coast Rockhounding
Pistol River Rocks

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.

Attention Fellow Beachgoers

Unfortunately, our beautiful Pacific Northwest beaches are stained with trash, especially plastic. We, at Oregon Discovery, as well as other unaffiliated groups of nature lovers made a commitment to do our part in keeping our beaches clean, but we need your help too!

Every time you go out to enjoy nature at your favorite spot, please bring a garbage bag or two and help us pick up garbage. Even picking up a little bit here and there will make a huge difference long term.

Please, help us save our beautiful nature for generations to come!

Oregon Rockhounding Map


The Oregon Rockhounding Map provides information about some of the many rockhounding sites of the state of Oregon. Information is subject to change at any time, and the Oregon Discovery team cannot guarantee that is either current or correct. Be aware that there are some mine claims and private lands near the public collecting areas. Determining the land status and minerals' collection rules at the site is your responsibility.

Currently, this map is incomplete but new rockhounding sites and related details will be added in the future.

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  1. Awesome! Thanks for the great outline! Taking my kids on a hunt after the next storm!

  2. Yes, we do have coastal jade. I’m on the southern oregon coast. I found a piece of jade last week, on the beach. I have a picture that’s backlit and it’s magnificent.

  3. We absolutely *DO* have nephrite pieces on the southern Oregon beaches. Especially around the mouth of the Rogue. What’s really surprising is that there aren’t apparently economic-sized deposits in the Klamath mountains of Oregon — surprising, because the geology is quite favorable.

    Also, after collecting every single little agate-type stone you can find — even the tiny ones, *especially* the tiny ones — make sure to have a real close look at all of them before you toss any back on the beach. Save any with evident crystal faces for further examination, because they just, might, *possibly* be diamonds (yes, there are diamond deposits in the Klamath mountains — somewhere, possibly lamprophyre intrusions, or just weathering out of the upper-mantle section of ophiolites. These are subduction zone diamonds, which aren’t super well understood).

    The southern Oregon beaches also have very fine gold and platinum group deposits in the black sands.

  4. So I recently visited Oregon’s beaches between Bandon and Florence . Among the petrified wood , agates , fossils and shells was a plain white flat rock . Upon closer inspection at home I noticed it had glassy orange veins . I cut back the edges and WOW ! A beautiful piece of amber hidden inside . There’s a few identical pictures of rough amber online to reference. My dilemma is that I can’t find anything about Amber found in Oregon , and are the photos I’m comparing to actually another stone ?

    1. So its either Quartz, Agate or Chalcedony, and the “amber” inside is Carnelian. They can range in color from yellow, orange, to red. They can dominate the whole mineral, so its glowing or have swirls inside or a combination of both.

      Very hard to tell without seeing a picture, but in my experience that sounds like what you have there. Good find!

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