There are several great locations to see tide pools in this area. The best tide pool locations are at the northern end of Moonstone Beach Drive. There two great locations with good access. There are lots of animals the prefer exposed wave areas including mussels, gooseneck barnacles, limpets and lots of smaller barnacles and periwinkle snails higher up in the zone. This area has stunning scenery of the coast and ocean. This area is also great for beach combing and walking along the beach.
Location and ParkingThe best location is at the far north end of the road at the San Simeon State Park Leffingwell Landing Area. There is a turnout and paved parking area with steps leading to the tide pool area. Restrooms are available at this location. Another location is just south of this turnout and parking is available along the street. There are a few dirt paths that lead to the tide pool area.
Tide pool AccessPark in the parking area in the north lot and follow the steps to the rocky area. The steps lead directly to a good place to start exploring. In the second location to the south, follow the dirt path and choose one of the easier pathways to the beach and onto the tide pool area. Points of Interest
Points of InterestThis tide pool location is great in that it has a wide variety of tide pool types that support lots of different types of animals. At leffingwell Landing, there are larger rocks that face the ocean and large surge channels throughout this area. This type of area supports lots of mussels and barnacles. The less exposed areas have a few sea anemones, limpets and snails. Look at the sides of the rocks in the surge channels and there is a good chance to see five or six different kinds of limpets.
The higher portions in this area are flatter and have less wave action. There are several small pools that support small anemones, crabs and lots of periwinkle snails. The area between these two locations supports a variety of live including a few colonies of aggregating anemones, larger barnacles and algae. There are also lots of predatory snails in the small cracks. These snails can be identified by the spiral shaped shell that is generally left to right rather than up and won as in the herbivorous snails.
The beaches in this area are great for beach combing. There are not too many people so there is lots of opportunity to see interesting things washed up on the beach. Many of the points are also popular surfing locations.