Not too long ago, we drove out to the Salt Creek tide pools that are along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The only tide pools I had ever explored prior to this were those you find in a science center or living history museum - the kind of place with "touch tanks" and dozens of little kids running around sticking their hands in the water to touch the sea stars. I had no idea such incredible marine life could be visited so easily out here near to home.
The best access point to the Salt Creek tide pools is through a campground. We parked and hiked along a trail through the campground, then down a long set of concrete stairs to the shore.
We stepped carefully along the shore, stopping to explore pools of water along the way.
Snails, chitons and hooded limpets hide out in the sea grass. More barnacles cover the rocks.
We explored pools filled with anemones, enormous barnacles and seaweed in varying colors.
We found a sea urchin shell - the urchin has "vacated" this one. My daughter explained that when the urchin dies, it's spikes fall off.
Getting down to the tide pools takes planning, as you need to watch the incoming and outgoing tide. Once the tide comes back in, the entire tide pool area we walked across will be covered with water. The tide was coming in, and so we had to make every minute of our exploration count.