Bob Creek State Wayside is another gem of the Oregon coast for rockhounding. It’s a tiny, but worth the effort to make your way there.
What You Need To Know About Rockhounding Bob Creek
What Is Bob Creek?
Bob Creek is also better known as Bob Creek State Wayside (aka Bob’s Creek).
Rockhounders know Bob’s Creek as a easy-to-access beachcombing spot, which is often hunted on the same trip as a stop at Strawberry Hill Wayside, which is only 2-3 miles away to the north.
The beach here is pretty small, just a small crescent of land and sand, like a cove.
The parking area is right next to the beach, so you won’t have to do a long hike to get down to the sand.
As you come in from the parking area, there’s usually a wide strip of gravel, not the small kind you’d expect to see on a gravel road. Instead, this gravel is large and round, and can be difficult to walk on. You may also notice a strip of what looks like crushed shells (midden).
If the tide is out, you’ll have a strip of sand to walk on before you reach the water (but no dunes). If the tide is in, you’ll be stuck walking on the rocks, unless the water is high. Then there won’t be any real safe space on the beach to play.
When the tide is out, there will be lots of rocks towards the south end, tide pools, and even a cave (at the very south end) to explore. Many of the rocks are COVERED in mussels. You’ll be able to see sea stars and anemones in the tide pools, along with crabs and other critters.
Bob’s Creek beach is hemmed in on either side by rocks, so if you are looking for a beach to take a nice long stroll, this is not the one.
What Rockhounders and Beachcombers Will Be Excited To Find At Bob Creek
Bob’s Creek is best known for agate hunting. Agates can be found in the large gravel, but also in the tide pools and other rocky areas where casual rock hunters might be less likely to climb around.
You can also find jasper, petrified wood, sea glass, cool rocks, driftwood, shells, and other beauties for your collection.
We’ve never found large pieces of petrified wood at Bob’s, but other people have reporting finding some really large pieces, so keep a look out.
Protected Area + Drama
This is not necessarily clearly signed at Bob’s Creek, but there is an area that IS is a protected area.
This does not mean that you cannot hike around and hunt for agates (as it can mean in other areas protected for the snowy plover).
It just means that in the Bob’s Creek area, you should avoid the shell midden areas (archaeological feature), where you are prohibited from collecting potsherds, anything that looks like an artifact, or even human remains.
Technically, you shouldn’t even be walking in, on, or around the shell midden areas.
Some rockhounders love to bring shovels, or even panning equipment to the beach.
Local rangers have recommended at Bob’s Creek, that you stock to surface hunting only, and obviously you should avoid hunting in the midden area.
The reason we bring this up is that there have been reports of individuals hanging out at Bob’s Creek telling visitors (harassing them) that it is illegal to take any rocks away from Bob’s Creek in any way.
To our knowledge, this is not the case, but it is definitely best to avoid the midden, even if you see other people hiking around or collecting in it.
But if you have concerns, or want to be armed and ready for any drama about being confronted on this beach, here’s the Facebook post we first heard of it. And do your own research.
Bob Creek Rockhounding Limits
You can remove up to one gallon of agates and non-living specimens such as rocks and shells per day, not more than three gallons per year.
It is not legal to collect native american artifacts.
For more information, here’s the link to the Oregon laws specific to collecting on Oregon’s beaches.
How To Get To Bob Creek State Wayside
Bob Creek Wayside is 26 minutes north of Florence.
Look for the sign for Bob Creek State Wayside, or Lowry Lane. Take the turn into Lowry Lane toward the ocean (not toward the small nearby neighborhood), and the parking lot will be immediately visible.
Bob Creek is 14 miles (20 minutes) south of Waldport.
Parking is free, but there are limited spaces (probably less than 10).
The lot won’t fit really large vehicles, and easily becomes full on weekends.
There are no services (such as bathrooms or garbage cans), so be prepared.
Best Time To Visit Bob’s Creek
Bob’s Creek can get busy, and sometimes it’ll be hard to find anything cool there because of the number of people hunting around the rocks.
The best time to go to Bob’s is obviously when no one is there, usually mid-week, early in the day, avoiding weekends.
And, as it is with most of the Oregon coast, the best times to rockhound on the beach are right after turbulent events which churn up the sand and gravel beds, exposing treasures.
This means that while the weather might not be the warmest or the driest, you might have your best luck on the beaches for agates in November to March.
If you can get to the beach at the first low tide of the day, especially after a big storm, you’ll have the best chance of finding something beautiful before someone else gets there.
Rockhounding Bob Creek Wrap Up
We’ve created an guide to gifts for geology nerds with helpful links directly to Amazon to make looking for and checking out potential gifts quick and review easy!
Still looking for other ideas for places to visit to hunt for rocks? Check out Patrick’s Point State Park, Glass Butte, Hampton Butte, and the Wheeler High School Fossil Hunting Beds. We’ve also created a general Rockhounding Oregon page with some other suggestions for you to check out.