Tide pool miss at Cardiff State Beach, Escondido, CA - August 2015

It had been too long since I'd seen a friend who lives down in Carlsbad and I'd never explored tide pools with her so we planned a weekend when the tide was low to visit what I'd heard was a great spot for tide pooling in San Diego county - Cardiff State Beach.

Here's where we were:

The low tide was 0.42 ft around 4pm (they say anything below 2 ft is worth checking out).

We arrived at 3 and after finding parking (it was tough to find a spot in the lot and cost $15 cash - so keep that in mind!) we walked out towards the water. This area has steep cliffs and since the tide was so low there was a lot of sand exposed, but we really didn't see any tide pools.

There was one small area that was completely swarmed by children with buckets (so hard for me not to lecture children about not taking tide pool creatures out of the pools!) so we kept walking.

We walked south for a long time trying to find some tide pool life and came upon a rocky area that had some crabs and other crustaceans like swarms of these cool/creepy creatures:

Western Sea Roach AKA Rock Lice (Ligia occidentalis)
Once we got to the Del Mar Dog Beach (over 2 miles down!) we decided to turn around.

It was a beautiful day and a pleasant walk (and talk with a good friend) but definitely not a tide pool destination!

Here are some of the other things we saw:

Shells from Scaled Worm Snails (Serpulorbis squamigerus)

Under the highway from the beach is the San Elijo Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area so I imagined there would be quite a few birds around but we didn't really see that many birds besides gulls at the beach.

I also see now that nearby Swami State Beach has a reef that is exposed during low tide so I'll have to come back down and check that out sometime.