Two Evenings at Seal Rock, Oregon

I had major doubts that we would see seals at Seal Rock. I figured it was like so many other things where there used to be seals or someone saw 2 seals there once and the name just stuck. But I was mistaken. We ended up heading the 5 minutes up the road from our campground to Seal Rock on 2 consecutive evenings, and we saw seals both times. What a delight.

On the first evening, Will was adamant that we were just going to do the short ½-mile walk that overlooks the beach, but when we arrived and found the beach engulfed in fog completely limiting our view, we decided to head down the walkway to the beach. We were not disappointed.

While you are walking down the trail to the beach, the smell of birds is almost overwhelming. Looking at the rocks enclosing the beach, there were birds everywhere. Seagulls, pelicans, and so many others lined the rocks and making it evident why the smell was so strong. However, once you get onto the sand, the smell either subsides or you get used to it. I cannot be sure, but either way, it was not a hindrance to our enjoyment of the beach.

I had 1 goal for our stay along the Oregon coast: to see a tide pool. This was something I had never experienced and while we had visited several incredible beaches, they did not quite have the right geology to make them good candidates for tide pools. However, Seal Rock delivered. As soon as we stepped onto the beach, I knew this was going to be our best bet to see these amazing and special ecosystems. There were the perfect rocks lining the beach that made the absolute best nooks and crannies for all the sea anemone, tiny fish, barnacles, and the other creatures. And while we did not see any on our first visit, the star fish were out in full force on the second night, adding bright pops of color to the dark, drab rocks.

I could have sat and watched the innerworkings of these incredible pools for hours, but we have a toddler and dog who love nothing more than running in the sand and tide, so my time to admire this incredible work of God’s hand was limited but cherished.

Both evenings, we found the seals lounging and relaxing on 1 rock, apparently the so-called “Seal Rock.” We saw a few swimming in the water around or toward the rock but did not get to see any jumping into or out of the water. They were so much fun to watch.

I am beyond happy that we found this incredible spot. While the first visit was foggy and both evenings were a little chilly, we could not have had a better experience. It truly felt like that tiny beach encompassed all the best parts of the Pacific Coast. We are so accustomed to feelings of awe and wonder coming from mountains towering above us or vast scenic views, but I had those exact feelings looking into the tiny worlds existing in each of those tide pools. And I cannot wait to get back.

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