The tide pools at Morro Bay are located at the base of a small bluff at the North Point Nature Area. The tide pool area is made up of several rock formations that extent out into the water. This area is completely covered at high tide so plan to visit these tide pools at very low tides. There are gooseneck barnacles, some rather large acorn barnacles, a few sand castle worm colonies, a few aggregating anemones colonies and limpets. There upper part of the tide pool area is covered by green algae. The best place to see these animals is on the wave exposed areas closest to the ocean.
Location, Parking and AmenitiesThe tide pool area is located at the end of Toro Ln. There is a small parking area but is usually full so be prepared to park further down the road and walk in during the weekends. There are no amenities at this location.
Tidepool AccessPark in the small parking area and walk over the bluff down to the beach. There are several well marked dirt pathways to follow down to the beach and tide pool area.
Points of InterestThe tide pools in this area are composed of several large flat rocky areas that extend out to the ocean. They are only a few feet high from the sand to the top of the rocky areas. The upper part of the tide pool is covered by mats of green algae. The middle area is also covered by smaller brown and micro algae on the top part of the rocks. There are several small pools that have lots of sea creatures worth exploring. The algae on these rocks make them very slippery and I have seen more than one person take a dive.
One of the more interesting features at these tide pools are the occasional huge acorn barnacles growing in the cracks. Some are an inch wide and an inch or so tall. Also be sure to look a the sides of the rocks closer to the ocean as they are covered by gooseneck barnacles and a few mussels. There are also a few protected pockets that have colonies of sand castle worms.
The beach areas just on either side of the tide pool area are a great place to sea various other sea animals and their shells. Take a moment and look at the all the shells that litter the sand around this area.