Tide pool tours with a marine biology guide offer a sensory feast for all ages and abilities
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Appreciating Salish Sea biodiveristy
Unlike the Atlantic Coast or Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Coast and Salish Sea is in a sweet spot for intertidal diversity that includes sponges, sea anemones, marine worms, mollucks (chitons, limpets, marine snails, nudibraches. bivalves, octopus), barnacles, crabs, starfish (technically sea stars), urchins, sea cucumbers, tunicates, fish, and seaweed.
More eyes are likely to spot a tide pool prize
Your naturalist guide is a former marine biology teacher and is excited for each Pacific Northwest tide pool tour, which essentially entails careful exploration over a rocky shore during a low tide. When a 9-year old from Iowa (who has never been to the Pacific Northwest) spies a Giant Pacific Octopus, you know that your tour rocks!
Viewing tide pools is like organizing a walking tour
A Pacific Northwest tide pool tour is less like hiking and involves more deliberate stepping, balancing, and pausing to appreciate the biodiversity in the Srait of Juan de Fuca (which when combined with Puget Sound, creates the Salish Sea). Pacific Northwest tide pool tours have been organized for seniors by sticking to the level ground of the beach and avoiding the rocky terrain Although this area is smaller, many very interesting animals are hiding out under seaweed and in sandy tide pools - including good crab diversity.
Pacific Northwest hiking and tidepooling
If you want a hiking tour, there are locations on the Pacific Northwest coast in Olympic National Park where you can both hike and enjoy tide pools. If you are interested in a combination of hiking in coastal forest or beach and tide pool observation, consider organizing an Olympic Naitonal Park Beach Tour.
Remember to leave no trace and keep it safe
If you love the marine ecosystem, consider embarking on a guided tide pool tour. The uninitiated can be rough on delicate tide pool creatures, whereas a naturalist guide demonstrates responsible behavior that keeps Pacific Northwest tide pools in good condition for everyone to enjoy. Read more about how to leave no trace in Olympic National Park tide pools and how to stay safe while exploring tide pools., especially if you plan on embarking on your own Pacific Northwest tide pool tour.
Bring along an expert on your Pacific Northwest tide pool tour
You will walk right by some of the most amazing tide pool creatures without a marine biology guide to point out many of the small, cryptic, and camouflaged tide pool animals. Like the art of tracking, you might only be able to view the tunnels, eggs, scat, or carapaces of certain tide pool animals. Time and experience is required to really show you what you are seeing.
Low tides are special opportunities
Although low tides occur all year, some of the best daytime low tides in the Pacific Northwest occur from April to August. Since Pacific Northwest tide pool tours are especially of interest to children (aged 6 and up) and young adults, this seasonal timing lines up well with summer vacation. Not all tides are equal and not all days offer good low tides, so make sure that you contact ExperienceOlympic to check on the best day to experience tide pools during your trip to the Pacific Northwest. People of all ages have enjoyed a guided Pacific Northwest tide pool tour so it is a great option for anyone who is drawn to Olympic National Park as a vacation destination!
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