The tide pools are located at a very nice beach in Corona Del Mar in Orange County. There are two distinct areas of tide pools. The area to the north of the beach has lots of larger rocks with scattered marine life. The preferred area to the south has a broad area of boulders and uneven rock surfaces that make ideal conditions for tide pools. This area has numerous small and large pools that provide lots of upper, middle and lower tidepool habitats. These tide pools provide lots of diversity any many types of animals can be seen including mussels, barnacles, sea hares, limpets, snails, crabs and several kinds of algae.
Location and ParkingThe tide pools are located a Little Corona Beach. This beach is just south of Corona Del Mar state beach. Entrance to the beach is by a wide path that starts at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Poppy Ave. Free parking is available on both streets. Note that parking can be a challenge in summer months so visitors should be prepared to park farther away during this time. Restroom facilities are available at this beach.
Tide Pool AccessAccess to the tide pools is from a wide maintenance path from the street corner. Follow this path to the beach and the tidepool area is to the south. The northern section also provides good habitat but the southern area provides more diversity.
Points of InterestThe tide pools at this location are formed by rock layers that have been exposed and weathered. These rocks formations create an uneven walking surface but also create numerous small pools that trap seawater as the ocean recedes. Some of these smaller pools are packed with marine life including purple sea urchins, snails, hermit crabs, algae, anemones and lots more. Sea Hares can also be seen in these smaller pools along with a few nudibranchs.
There are also a few larger pools that provide habitat for small fish and other sea life. Many of these pools are covered with Sargasso weed and other types of algae. The upper parts of the tidepool area have large clusters of hermit crabs and snail populations. Some of the softer rocks have thousands of small depressions carved out over time by Chitons. Many of these depressions have a Chiton living at the bottom.
Large colonies of mussels and barnacles can be found near the lower tidal areas. The mussels and barnacles will occupy the upper portions of the rocks as these areas are more exposed to wave action. Sea stars are also present but a bit more difficult to find as the area provides numerous cracks and channels for the animals to hide.