Rockhounding Stonefield Beach State Park (aka Tenmile Beach) is yet another great example of a small Oregon beach can deliver such cool finds a collector will love.
Rockhounding Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek: What You Need To Know
Although Stonefield Beach is a State Recreation Site, there’s little about it that seems official.
Instead, it is more of an off the beaten path kind of spot, that is, if you can even find it.
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 Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek?
The reason local rockhounds love Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek is the exposed gravel all along the creek and near the high tide line as well.
Because the beach is narrow (rather than long and wide), the surf pounds the gravel bar/bed regularly, which tends to expose the pretty stuff that we like to collect.
At Stonefield beach, it is common to find agates, jaspers, petrified wood, drift wood, fossils, shells, sea glass, and lots of other cool rocks that are just really pretty.
Where Is Stonefield Beach/Tenmile Creek?
The parking for Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek are separate, located across a creek from each other.
Tenmile Creek parking is on the north side of the creek (and bridge), while Stonefield is on the south side.
Though depending on who you ask, people use Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek when giving directions interchangeably.
To get to both of these parking areas, all you need to do is head north out of Florence, or south out of Waldport.
Keep an eye out for milepost 171, as you’ll find the Tenmile Creek Bridge (and the eastbound Tenmile Creek round right in that area.
There might not be signs for the parking areas.
The north parking area is a wide open area that looks more like a field, and could fit 30 plus cars.
The south parking lot looks like a driveway turnoff, and the parking area is really small, and could fit only a handful of cars.
You could potentially walk between the two parking areas over Tenmile Creek bridge, but honestly, walking on 101 is not our favorite or recommended, especially with children.
Getting Down To the Beach/Gravel
For the south parking area, all you’ll need to do is follow the road which narrows and turns to sand, about 400-500ft of walking.
For the north parking area, there is a narrow dirt path.
The trouble with the north parking area is that you can get to the gravel bed without issue, but if you want to get to sand south of the creek, you’ll have to cross the creek.
Depending on the time of year and the water level, this might not be possible.
There is some sand to the north if you follow the creek, but the beach area is much narrower, and much more likely to be covered by water if the tide is in.
Where Should You Look For Agates and Other Treasures At Stonefield Beach?
Definitely start with the gravel. If you can, look for any gravel that appears to be within or near the high tide line, as the waves will have done more work to move the sand and rocks around in those areas.
When the tide is out, check around any gravel that is exposed, and also on or around any tidepools, as agates can often get into those areas.
When Is The Best Time To Rockhound Stonefield Beach?
The best time for rockhounding Stonefield Beach and Tenmile Creek is in the late fall, winter, and early spring.
This is the time of year that is more stormy and turbulent, which means that the waves push around the sand and gravel beds a lot more, which exposes valuable specimens for us to find.
Try to get there early in the day, usually after the first high tide of the day is headed out, or right at the first low tide of the day.
During or after a rain is a good time as well, because the falling drops can help uncover agates, as well as enhance their colors so we can see them.
Generally people focus on surface collecting, but if you have the ability and time, you could try bringing a shovel and digging into the gravel bed a bit. Just make sure to fill in any holes you create.
Stonefield 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.
Stonefield Beach Services
There are no services at this location (such as a bathroom, garbage cans, or water fountains.
You should know, however, if you really love this beach, that several of the houses along this beach are rentals, or AirBnBs.
Renting one of these places could be a really easy way to maximize your enjoyment of this area.
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!
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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