Tidepools at Little Corona Beach

Little Corona Beach Tide Pools

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.
Tidepools at Little Corona Beach Another area of tidepools to the north Mussels cover the upper parts of the outer rocks Sargasso algae covers most of this pool Tube worms and clams A Hopkins Rose nudibranch in a small tidepool Can you see the Sea Hare? Small pool filled with purple urchins Softer rock with thousands of small depressions with a Chiton at the bottom Mussel covered rock with Seagulls standing guard Giant keyhole limpet A Lobster molt ( shell discarded during growth phase ) with snails feeding on remains

Location and Parking

The 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 Access

Access 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 Interest

The 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.
Posted in Locations.


  1. Pingback: Kid Friendly Tide Pools in Southern California | California Tidepools

  2. How does one access the beach? Because when I look on google maps (earth view) it show what looks like a huge white home on the corner of Poppy and Ocean. I don’t see a maintenance path. So perhaps it used to be accessible but no longer is?

    • Hi – the maintenance path and public walkway is between the big white house and the red roofed houses just to the top and right. The path is more of a walkway were visitors can get down to little corona beach. The tide pool marker on google maps makes it look like the tide pools are right below the big white house but the better tide pools are just south of the main beach. My recommendation is to take the path down to the beach and go a few hundred yards to the south. There is big pool area that is boarded by rocks. These rocks are usually loaded with marine live. Note that because of the massive sea star die off, there is much fewer types of animals and lower numbers. There is plenty to see but I have not seen any sea stars, sea urchins in that location for over a year.

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