Agates at the Oregon Coast
Agates at
the
Oregon Coast

There are many good spots along Oregon beaches to find jasper, petrified wood, and fossils. Areas marked in blue on the map are good rockhounding beaches. Beige on the map indicates sand beaches.
Agates are more likely to be found from December to March, especially after storms. Agates come from erosion of cliffs along beaches and rivers where they wash out to the ocean and get polished in the surf over time. In the summer, agates on sandy beaches are deep beneath the sand. Winter storms remove sand and expose the agates underneath.

Cannon Beach to Cape Falcon: Access this area by way of Arcadia Beach, Tolovana Beach, Hug Point, Cove Beach, and Short Sand Beach.

Tillamook Bay: Along Bay Ocean Road you can find marine fossils, agate, and jasper.

Netarts and Oceanside: The beach between Netarts and Oceanside has gravel deposits where you can find agate, jasper, sagenite, zeolite, and "Oregon jade" (garnet).

Lincoln City: Here you can find agate, jasper, "Oregon jade," and fossilized coral.

Otter Rock to Newport - Beverly Beach, Moolack Beach: Agate, jasper, petrified wood, and fossilized clam and mollusk shells can be found here. Agate beach is no longer a good place to find agates, they are under many feet of sand.

Beverly Beach is the place to go if fossils are what you dig. During the winter, rocks wash up onto the beach that are loaded with fossil clams and snail shells. Even if the beach is bare, check the creeks along the beach - you can find fossil clam shells the size of your hand embedded in the rocks! (see photo below)

Newport north jetty: Interesting agates can be found here under the bridge.

Waldport Bay: Along the north side of Waldport Bay small but nice agates can be found.

Yachats to Florence These are some of the best rockhunting beaches in the state because there are 4 creeks that empty here - Cummins, Tenmile, Big, and China Creeks. There are several parks that access the beach in this area: Agate Point, Neptune Beach, Stonefield Beach, Roosevelt Beach, and Washburne Beach. Here you can find colorful agates, agates with inclusions, petrified wood, chalcedony, bloodstone, and jasper.

Cape Arago, especially north and south facing inlets trap agates. You can find multicolored flower jasper, banded agate and petrified wood here.

Coos Bay beaches are known for excellent specimens of petrified wood.

Seven Devils Wayside has agatized myrtle wood, banded agate, and flower jasper.

Cape Blanco from Sixes River to Port Orford This area has the largest agates I have ever seen and in enormous quantites.

Books:

Oregon under foot: agate, jasper, opal and related gems / by Dean McMullen. Portland, Or. : OMSI, 1994.
This pocket guide has many color photos illustrating the different kinds of agates, jaspers, opals, and gems to be found in Oregon.

Agates of the Oregon coast : An illustrated guide of information on agates, jasper, fossils & petrified wood commonly found on the Oregon coast/ by K.T. Myers and Richard L. Petrovic. Newport, Or. : FACETS, 2008. This is a full-color pocket guide of the what, where, when, and how of collecting agates, jasper, fossils, and petrified wood found on the Oregon coastline. (1 map, 18 color photos & 1 b/w illustration) Learn more

Agates of the Oregon coast: a field guide of the what - where - when - how / by Rufus Cate. R.H. Cate, 1977.
This 16 page guide includes color photos and basic information about agates and where to find them at the Oregon coast.

Oregon fossils, 2nd ed. / Elizabeth L. Orr and William N. Orr, 2009.

Oregon fossil locations / by Dan & Carole Nielson, 2001.

Fossils you can find on Oregon beaches / Guy DiTorrice, 2004.

Fossil shells from western Oregon : a guide to identification / Ellen J. Moore, 2000.

Handy web links:

FACETS gem and mineral gallery in Newport

Agates of the Oregon Coast Blog

Oregon Council of Rock and Mineral Clubs

Willamette Agate and Mineral Society, Inc.

Learn more about Oregon Geology - Agates and Jasper

Learn more about Oregon Geology - Fossils

Oregon Geology and Ore Bin issues (pdfs)

Flotsam, jetsam, and wrack : what is all that weird stuff you find on the beach? by Vicki Osis

Rockhounding 101 - Oregon coast agates and fossil mollusks

Fossil News, Journal of Avocational Paleontology

Tide Tables for Newport, Oregon


A large fossil scallop at Beverly Beach


Fossils at the Oregon Coast

(photographed at HMSC visitor center)












Slipper limpets








Desmostylus was a hippopotamus like mammal with hooves and tusks that fed on aquatic plants in coastal areas






Of course these are polished! They don't look this shiny and smooth in the rough.














Webpage last updated Nov. 2012