Located a few miles north of Bandon, Oregon, the locals know that Bullard Beach is a beautiful venue where even the most novice of rockhounders can leave with full pockets.
What You Can Expect When Rockhounding Bullards Beach
Bullards Beach is a 4-5 mile stretch of mostly flat beach, with dramatic and picturesque rock formations jutting out from the waves.
For those on the hunt for rocks unique and beautiful, you’ll be on the lookout for exposed gravelbeds peeking out of the sand, exposed by the pounding of the waves.
In these gravel beds, you will be most likely to find agates of all sizes, jasper, rocks of all kinds and makeup, small chunks of petrified wood, sea glass beaches, glass floats, shells, and fossils.
Some folks like to just scour the surface, while others like to bring a shovel to the beds and dig down a bit to see what others might have missed.
You’ll also want to check the high tide line in the sand as well as the exposed sand at the waterline for recently uncovered or deposited treasures.
Note: The gravel beds do come and go in any given year (or even season).
Some years the gravel beds are really exposed, while in other years they are completely covered and non-existent.
Come prepared to potentially hit up a few of the local beach spots of finding exposed gravel is your main goal, as the sand tends to shift a lot even from season to season.
Bullards Beach 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.
Best Time To Hunt For Rocks At Bullards Beach
The best time to visit Bullards Beach is during low tide, before everyone at the nearby State Park Campground get out of bed and pick over everything.
The next best time to come is right after a pretty major storm, as serious surf and wind can uncover new gravel bed areas. Thus it should come as no surprise that the winter and early spring months can be a great time to hunt for rocks at Bullards Beach.
Since Bullards is close to town, and is well known to the locals, the beach can become busier than you’d expect for an Oregon beach.
That being said, busy for an Oregon beach is still a fraction of what you’d expect near major city centers. But if what you are after is total peace and quiet, get there early.
Warnings For Bullard Beach
Waves and Tides
As with just about all Oregon beaches, Bullards is not the place to forget about the surging waves and tides. People drown every year on Oregon’s beaches because they weren’t paying attention.
Don’t turn your back on the ocean. Pay attention to the waves as they roll in and out. Keep your children close. Stay away from any debris that is floating (logs, for example).
Sadly, ticks have recently become a significant problem at Bullards Beach.
When you arrive at Bullards Beach (from the Campground), you’ll have to walk about a mile along a easy paved and bark chip path. Along side there is a ton of beach grass and plants.
If you arrive at the beach from the point at Coquille Lighthouse on the south end (or at the wayside parking area on the north end), you will have to navigate through the sandy trails with grass on the edges to get down to the beach.
In these areas, the tick population has really exploded to a level that has not been seen in recent memory.
However, once you make it down to the sandy areas, you won’t have to worry about them. It is just something to be aware of, especially if you are traveling with children and dogs that tend to get off the path and hide in the grass/small trees/bushes (like ours do).
How To Get To Bullards Beach
Bullards Beach is convenient and easy to find. If you are coming from Bandon, all you have to do is travel north on 101 until you cross the Coquille River, and then look for the turn off to Bullards Beach Road.
It will be right across from the Coquille River RV Park. (Folks like to fish, canoe, and kayak will be big fans of that RV park since it is close to river access).
From the north of Bandon, just drive south until you are almost to the Coquille River crossing in Bandon. Look for the turn to Bullards Beach.
Once you are off of 101, you can stop into the campground or keep on driving to the first pull out parking lot that provides access to the beach, or keep driving until you reach the lighthouse to access the beach there.
Staying Near Bullards Beach
It is not hard to find a place to stay if you are interested in Bullards Beach. You can camp at the state park nearby, the RV park across 101, or get a a hotel/motel/Air BnB in Bandon that is just minutes away.
Other Considerations When Planning A Trip For Rockhounding Bullards Beach
Local rock collectors tend to hit up both sides of the beach at the mouth of the Coquille River. On the north side, you have Bullards Beach. On the south side, you have the Bandon South Jetty Park.
The South Jetty Park is an easy to access and beautiful stretch of beach to visit (with a set of iconic stairs) that is worth visiting even though sometimes there isn’t as much to find there.
You could also drive a little further south and hit up the Kronenberg County Park, as well as Bandon Beach and all of the rest of the beach spots going south along the city of Bandon.
Birders will also enjoy the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
We’ve created an ultimate guide to gifts for rockhounds 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.
Oregon Rockhounding Resources
If you are interested in having a physical book in hand while exploring Oregon (when wi-fi/cell signal is not reliable), consider:
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