Agates are plentiful the the creeks and rivers throughout the Cascade and Coastal Mountains of Western Oregon. You can find them hidden and scattered in the gravels. This is a fun place to search for agates, but the hunting can be even better on the coast!
Yes, there are agates that wash up on the beach in many locations along the Oregon Coast. Some areas are much better than others, so you’ll want to do your research and focus on the best locations.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the better places to explore.Tip: Buy this book
for a complete list of the top beaches for Oregon agate hunters.
This beach is really cool. It is located in Tillamook County, near the coastal town of Oceanside
. There’s good beachcombing all over in this area, but tunnel beach is particularly special because you have to walk through a man-made tunnel to get there. The tunnel was built decades ago to help the public access this once hidden beach. Once there, you will likely be greeted with extensive gravel beds that contain agates and jaspers.
This is one of the beaches located in Lincoln City that is well-known with rockhounds. In the summertime it is usually sandy and unproductive, but after storms and during winter months you can often find some really nice rocks at this beach. Other places to explore that are close to Lincoln City include the Road’s End access (just north of the Chinook Wind Casino) and Taft Beach (just north of Siletz Bay).
This is a great beach just north of Depoe Bay
. It is a popular access and certainly no secret with Oregon agate hunters, but its a great site that can be productive year-round. It’s also common to find fossils at this beach. That’s because there are cliffs in this area that erodes and sheds off chunks of ancient seabed. You can find small bits of fossilized clams and snails, usually embedded in rocks.
This is one of several excellent beaches for agate hunting in the Newport area. From here you can walk south for miles and miles. You’ll need to time it right, when there are rocks exposed on the beach. Tons of agates, jaspers and marine fossils can be found here.
If all you can find is sand then you’ll probably strike out, but if gravels are scattered on the sand then you’re in luck! Other beaches in Newport are certainly worth exploring too.
Yachats is “Oregon famous” for two things… huge waves that crash into the rock shores… and AGATES! The Yachats Agate Festival takes place here every winter. You really can’t go wrong here. Any beaches from Yachats down toward Florence are worth checking out.
Be extra careful though, the rocky shores and gnarly cliffs are especially dangerous here.
The rockhounding at Bullards beach can be fantastic! You won’t be alone… when the gravel beds are exposed there are usually lots of fellow rockhounds on the beach that will be looking for nice agates. You can also try the beach south of the Coquille River. There is an access at the county park just south of the river that is also very good hunting.
There are several “agate beaches” on the Oregon Coast. The one I’m talking about here is the beach in Port Orford. You can access it from Paradise Point or the Tsariadun Rec Site. Either way, there are miles of good beach here. The agates in the Port Orford area can be quite distinctive and have very beautiful banding.
The mighty Rogue River enters the Pacific Ocean at the small coastal town of Gold Beach. Either side of the river for many miles can be fantastic for beachcombers to explore. There’s also tons of good driftwood
to collect here if you’re into that sort of thing.
Of course, Gold Beach is famous for the gold that miners found in the sands during the Oregon gold rush. If you can locate the black sand deposits you can pan out tiny specks of gold dust.