Cummins Creek is another spot on the Oregon coast for beach combing and rockhounding, though it is not quite as well known.
This is a great alternative to visit when other more popular rockhounding spots nearby are packed.
Rockhounding Cummins Creek: What Do You Need To Know
Depending on the season, Cummins Creek can be one of the top spots to hunt for agates, jaspers, and petrified wood.
Other years there isn’t much to find.
But with with its ease of access, picturesque view of the historic Cummins Creek bridge, and bubbling creek, we are happy to visit and play here regardless of whether it has tons of agates to find or not.
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Where Is Cummins Creek, Oregon?
Cummins Creek is actually in the southern end of Neptune State Park, just north of the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve area on the Oregon coast, between Waldport and Florence.
Cummins Creek (and Little Cummins Creek) enter the ocean about 4 miles south of Yachats.
On the map, you’ll see that Cummins Creek is located right next called “Neptune Beach South.”
There is another Neptune Beach that is slightly north of Cummins Creek.
If you happen to park at the north lot (Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint), you can actually walk along the beach south to get to the creek, assuming the tide is not too high.
What Can You Find Or Collect At Cummins Creek?
At this confluence of streams and the ocean, this can be a great place for treasure hunters to explore.
Like much of the Oregon coast, especially in the exposed gravel bars, the primary treasures will be agates of all sizes, jaspers, carnelians, shells, fossils, petrified wood, and some sea glass.
Where Should You Look For Specimens At Cummins Creek?
There are a few places we recommend that you hunt.
First, we usually check for any exposed gravel. This is especially the case if the gravel is closer to the ocean, rather than up high near the vegetation line.
Exposed gravel that gets hit by waves a lot is more likely to offer up something pretty to pick up.
These exposed gravel beds come and go in any given year, or even change with the seasons.
If there’s no gravel closer to the water, we check the larger gravel that borders the sand and the green vegetation both north and south of the parking log, as high tides can push those rocks around, or deposit agates and other pretty stones up there.
There’s a lot of gravel to the north and south of the parking lot, though you will eventually run out of beach in both directions.
The next place we check is the high tide line, if it is different (depending on the time of year) from the gravel areas.
We’d also check the tips of any rocks or look into any tide pools, as you can occasionally find agates sitting on top of these rocks or even down in the little pools.
The next place we check is out towards the water if the tide is out, again just sweeping and looking for any exposed gravel that could be worth digging down into.
Then, if you still need something place to look, we take a walk (usually wearing boots) up and down the banks of the creek, as well as walk through the shallow areas of the creek that vary depending on rainfall and the time of year.
Often you can find agates and other cool looking stones there in the creek.
How Do You Get To Cummins Creek?
Traveling to Cummins Creek is not difficult.
The parking lot is located right off of 101 near milepost 168. If you are in Waldport, head south on 101. If you are in Florence, head north.
Look for the sign either for Cummins Creek trailhead or Neptune beach South.
While the parking lot at Cummins Beach is bigger than the ones at Strawberry Hill or at Bob’s Creek, it is still not too big.
On a busy day, this parking lot could easily get full.
Hikers also use the parking lot as a place to leave their cars, as they head up the Cummins Creek trail.
After you park, all you have to do is walk towards the water and descend a short trail to get down to the beach sand area.
When Is The Best Time To Rockhound Cummins Creek?
Late fall, winter, and early spring are the ideal beachcombing months of the year in Oregon.
In general, the best time to visit Cummins Creek when you are interested in finding agates and other cool specimens is early in the morning, before the crowds get there, as the tide is going out or at low tide.
If you can, try and go right after some violent or turbulent weather, as the pounding waves and blowing wind can push around the sand to reveal items just below the surface that had not previously been visible.
Even going while it is raining can help you in your quest, as the falling drops can expose stones covered lightly in sand, or help you see the colors.
The same is true when visiting Bob Creek, Strawberry Hill, Bullards Beach, and Cape Blanco.
Cummins 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.
Cummins Creek Services
The last time we visited Cummins Creek, there was a bathroom and garbage services. There was also a small field with cropped grass and benches/picnic tables.
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Still looking for other ideas for places in Oregon to visit to hunt for rocks? Check out Glass Butte, Hampton Butte, and the Wheeler High School Fossil Hunting Beds.
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:
Rockhounding Oregon: A Guide To The State’s Best Rockhounding Sites
Central Oregon Rockhounding Map (By the US Forestry Service)
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