View of Dillon beach looking south from headland

Dillon Beach Tide Pools

This is a popular location for locals from the surrounding area. There is a huge beach that stretches for miles that is a great place to spend the day. The tide pools are located on the northern end of the beach. This location has a very diverse geography including huge boulders, large rocky areas with smaller sandy coves between. This also makes a great tide pool habitat. Most all kinds of marine live can be found here including sea anemone, lots of barnacles, limpets, crabs, chitons and a good diversity of algae. The tide pools are however located in rocky areas so some scrambling over rocks and trails is required.

Location, Parking and Amenities

Dillon beach is located at the end of Cliff drive in the town Dillon beach. There is a fee for parking and is enforced on most days. There are restrooms and plenty of parking spaces. The tide pools are located several hundred yards to the north of the parking area so be prepared for a walk.

Tidepool Access

My favorite tide pool location is the small bay located between the first and second rocky headland. Walk north along the beach and over the first rocky area until you reach the sandy bay between the headlands. Note that visitors will need to scramble over some good sized rocks and boulders.

Points of Interest

The first thing visitors will notice is the large statue of George Dillon who settled in this location in 1858. The statue is at the entrance of beach that is very wide and miles long. The sand slopes gently into the ocean creating a wide tidal area. The tide pools are located to the north of the parking lot. Start walking to the north and pay attention to the sand as there are lots of shells and other interesting objects that wash up on the beach. There is part of a large dock that washed ashore years ago just before the rocky areas.

There are a few large boulders just before the large rocky headland that are worth exploring at low tide. Most of the rocks in the higher tidal zones are covered with mats of algae and seem to be the only things growing there. For the more adventurous visitors, take a moment and lift the algae away from the rock and explore the area just beneath. This is a great place to find lots of small limpets, snails and the occasional crabs.

Continue walking over the rocks to the small bay. This area has several large rocks at the water’s edge. They are covered by clumps of gooseneck barnacles, smaller barnacles, mussels and sometimes large colonies of aggregating anemones. The upper surfaces of the rocks have lots of limpets, some rather large acorn barnacles, solitaire anemones and some larger grabs. Also be sure to look in the calmer pools as there are lots of tide pool fish including blennies and sculpins in this area.
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