Fogarty Creek Beach is a better-known stop for rockhounds on the Oregon coast.
But don’t let its notoriety stop you from visiting.
The views and the hunt are more than worth the stop, especially if you can get to the cove before the crowds finish their breakfast and coffee at the nearby hotels/motels.
Rockhounding Fogarty Creek Beach: What You Need To Know
The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.
What Can You Expect To Find At Fogarty Creek Beach?
The primary materials people seek out at Fogarty are agates.
However, if you pay attention, you might also find jasper, carnelian, shells, sea glass, driftwood, marine fossils, and petrified wood.
Oh yes, and lots of other pretty rocks which we don’t necessarily known the name of.
Where Is Fogarty Creek Beach?
Fogarty Beach is a part of the Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area, located less than two miles north of the Boiler bay State Scenic Viewpoint, which itself is just north of Depoe Bay, Oregon, putting it on the road between Newport and Lincoln City.
How To Get To Fogarty Creek Beach?
The drive up or down 101 is not complicated. When you get close to milepost 125, keep an eye out for the Clarion Inn (south of the turn) and the Fogarty Creek RV Park (north of the turn).
Once you make the turn (east, away from the ocean), you’ll drive down a short forested road that opens up to a parking lot which probably fits 100+ vehicles.
To get to the actual beach, you’ll follow the creek toward the ocean, and then underneath highway 101.
After you get under 101, you’ve arrived.
Where Should You Hunt For Agates And Other Treasures At Fogarty?
As always, our favorite places to start are in the gravel beds, preferably any beds close to the water.
We like exposed gravel that the waves pound on at high tide.
However, gravel comes and goes depending on the season and the year.
If there doesn’t appear to be any major gravel exposed, we head to the creek next.
We’ll tromp up and town both sides of the creek all the way down to the ocean, and if it isn’t too deep, go right up in the middle in boots looking for treasures the folks in sneakers missed.
Certain times of year, the creek is barely a trickle in places, leaving all kinds of river rock exposed for us to hunt through.
Sometimes we’ll bring a shovel and dig down a little bit to see if anything interesting turns up.
Then we’ll head to the south side of the beach, which is hemmed in by some rocky cliffs.
There is usually some gravel over there, especially up against the cliffs, as well as some larger rocks that can be shifted around and picked through.
If the tide is out, or there is enough beach, you can walk north. There is usually some gravel and rocky areas to pick through in that direction, but definitely keep an eye on the ocean.
When the tide is out, we also like to check the large exposed rocks and tide pools, because sometimes agates get in there and people don’t think to look in the tide pools for them.
When Is The Best Time To Rockhound Fogarty Creek Beach?
In general, across the board, the best time to rockhound any beach on the Oregon coast is in late fall, winter, and early spring.
This is the time of year when turbulent storms pound the sand, and over deposit or turn up agates and other cool looking specimens we love to collect.
We try to aim for around the first low tide of the day. And a bonus if it is raining, because rain tends to help clean the sand off cool looking rocks and highlight their neat colors.
The main downside of Fogarty Beach is that it is close to a lot of people who can easily get down to the beach, and there is a lot of parking to accommodate the people who are driving in to visit.
Best to get out there early in the day, especially in the high season (summer months) before the best stuff gets picked up.
Fogarty Creek Beach Rockhounding Limits
You can take home up to a gallon of agates and non-living specimens such as rocks and shells per day, but 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.
Fogarty Creek Beach Services
As noted above, Fogarty Beach has a pretty decent sized parking lot, where you could get a truck and camper trailer in there without too much trouble if you get there early enough.
There’s fields and picnic tables under the trees away from the beach (and the wind) to hang out at, garbage cans, and also flush toilets (which is a bonus).
If it is raining, you can grab a seat in the covered picnic shelter while you eat your sandwich.
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