Point St. George

Low Tide Adventure. Crescent City, California

Just to the northwest of Crescent City lies the dramatic landscape of Point St. George. This area has multiple trails that wind around the tops of the bluffs with various points of access to the beach. It is worth bringing your best binoculars. Out at sea there are large rock formations where you can hear a consistent barking from the sea lions. On a clear day you can will be able to spot the spooky St. George Reef Light, one of the most remote lighthouses ever built. Turkey vultures haunt this location and are fascinating to observe, often revealing low tide secrets if you watch them forage.

Low tide adventures here require caution, experience and agility. It is best to explore only as the tide is receding. There are spots here you could find yourself in trouble quickly. The waves can also be problematic- take note of them from above and avoid the areas where they crash against the rocks.

It is worth looking anywhere among the rocks where the tide has receded. Tread with extreme caution. There is a form of seaweed here that coats the rocks and is incredibly slick. A buddy is highly recommended for this adventure. You will want to have another set of eyes and hands to fully enjoy your experience.

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Giant Green Anemone

Giant green anemone can be found betwixt the rocks and in tide pools. Even though they are solitary these anemone may congregate in groups/ They may be somewhat camouflaged with pieces of shell and rock. They have a brilliant hue in and out of water.

Anthopleura xanthogrammica
Anthopleura xanthogrammica

Giant Green Anemone

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Anthopleura xanthogrammica
Anthopleura xanthogrammica

Giant Green Anemone

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Anthopleura xanthogrammica
Anthopleura xanthogrammica

Giant Green Anemone

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Anthopleura xanthogrammica
Anthopleura xanthogrammica

Giant Green Anemone

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Purple Shore Crab

During my visit there were so many crabs that their scurrying was cacophonous . They cannot be missed. The crabs will frantically evade as you approach, frequently leaping from rocks so safety. If you catch up to them, the crab will turn to face you, ready to defend their life.

Hemigrapsus nudus
Hemigrapsus nudus

Purple shore crab

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Hemigrapsus nudus
Hemigrapsus nudus

Purple shore crab

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Hemigrapsus nudus
Hemigrapsus nudus

Purple shore crab

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Hemigrapsus nudus
Hemigrapsus nudus

Purple shore crab

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Sea Lemon

This sea lemon, a type of nudibranch, was the only example of its kind I found exploring this beach. It was in a small tidal pool. They are quite common on this part of the coast and are one of the largest sea slugs in this area.

Peltodoris nobilis
Peltodoris nobilis

Sea lemon

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Peltodoris nobilis
Peltodoris nobilis

Sea lemon

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Ochre Stars

The spectrum of ochre stars differs to the typical pallet found in Puget Sound. These ochre stars favored oranges and a deep purple-red. They appear to be mostly solitary, in tide pools and among the rocks.

Pisaster ochraceus
Pisaster ochraceus

Ochre Sea Star

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Pisaster ochraceus
Pisaster ochraceus

Ochre Sea Star

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Pisaster ochraceus
Pisaster ochraceus

Ochre Sea Star

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Pisaster ochraceus
Pisaster ochraceus

Ochre Sea Star

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Turkey Vultures

While not exactly tide pool creatures, turkey vultures certainly command a presence while you explore Point St. George. They are fascinating to watch in their own right. Careful observation can often lead to new tide pool discoveries as these birds like to feast upon whatever can be scavenged from the shores. 

Cathartes aura
Cathartes aura

Turkey Vultures

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Fresh turkey vulture kill
Fresh turkey vulture kill

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Cathartes aura
Cathartes aura

Turkey Vultures

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Aggregating Anomones

There are very few bare surfaces at Point St. George between the seaweed and the colonial anemones. Single colonies take up large territory and you will easily squish them if you do not take the utmost care! Their above-water puckered forms often include a bit of beach debris which further serves to obscure them.

Anthopleura elegantissima
Anthopleura elegantissima

Aggregating anemones

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Anthopleura elegantissima
Anthopleura elegantissima

Aggregating anemones

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Anthopleura elegantissima
Anthopleura elegantissima

Aggregating anemones

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Anthopleura elegantissima
Anthopleura elegantissima

Aggregating anemones

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Turkey vultures

fly over the bluffs at Point St. George 

 
 

LOCATION

This is one place Google maps can't get quite right. Heading north from Crescent City there are multiple pull-outs where you can park along N. Pebble Beach Drive. This map indicates the first one. You can head down to the first beach from here, but will need to come back up along the bluff to safely traverse to the rest of the beaches. There are accessible trails and beaches from this pullout to just south of where Google indicates "Point St. George". Come early. Take your time. Return again. Don't have your back to the ocean for long.