Camping on the Oregon Coast has always been one of my favorite things to do growing up in Oregon. If you’re looking for the perfect place to take the kids, or just need a nice relaxing getaway, there is never a bad time to find a place to pitch a tent in the Pacific Northwest.
Keep in mind a lot of Oregon Coast campgrounds accept advanced reservations and making reservations for a campsite ahead of time is never a bad idea. It’s good to have a backup plan in case you can’t get your first-choice campsite. If you’d like to make a state park camping reservation click here.
South Coast Camping
Harris Beach State Park
You will find this gorgeous campground in a grove of spruce and just north of Brookings. Harris Beach State Park is owned and operated by the State of Oregon. Harris Beach State Park is the southernmost coastal campground in the Oregon State Park System. It is located 2 miles north of Brookings, Oregon and just 7 miles north of the California/Oregon border. It is also pleasantly situated on a bluff above the ocean. There is a paved road from the campground down to the day use area at the ocean’s edge. Once at the ocean, there are dozens of potential activities including tide pooling, long beach walks, wildlife viewing and benches to sit on to simply enjoy the view. Watch for gray whales on their winter and spring migrations, Harbor seals, and California sea lions. Just offshore is the largest island on the coast of Oregon. It has been named Bird Island (also called Goat Island) and it is a National Wildlife Sanctuary and breeding site for such rare birds as the tufted puffin. Within the campground are flush toilets, hot showers, firewood and several camp hosts. The campground is suitable for both tent camping and RV camping. Open year round. Reservations are available. The nearest restaurants, grocery shopping, and services are available in Brookings, less than 2 miles south of Harris Beach State Park.
“Had a great two nights here, quiet, even near the road. Near beach, easy access. Great photo opportunities. Hiking trails, camping and close to Brookings” (Review from Tripadvisor.com)
Cape Blanco State Park
A beautiful and often-blustery campground at the state’s westernmost point, just north of Port Orford and Humbug Mountain. Campground trails lead down to the beach and to the nearby lighthouse.
“It is a great little park. You get water and electric 50 amp for $22.00. It has slot of sites over 40 Ft. This is always a windy area but the trees cut a lot of the wind. The lighthouse and Port Orford make it worth the stop. Beware the dump station is closed !!! There will be no satellite or phone service.” (Review From TripAdvisor.com)
Sunset Bay State Park
Sunset Bay State Park is a state park administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It is located about 0.4 miles south of Cape Arago Lighthouse, and 2.5 miles outside the town of Charleston on Coos Bay. The park offers a crescent shaped beach, tide pools, hiking trails and a year-round campground.
“In April, the coolness of the weather and the earliness of the day made this park a perfect spot to just sit and enjoy the beauty. The peaceful walk on the beach, just sitting on a log and soaking it all in allowed for a perfect place to relax.” (Review from TripAdvisor.com)
Alfred A. Loeb State Park
Alfred A. Loeb State Park is a state park on the banks of the Chetco River. The park offers camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, and rafting opportunities. In the parks boundaries are 3 rental cabins, 53 camping sites, a launch area for drift boats, a day use area, and the trail head of a .75 mile trail that the official Web site says leads to northernmost redwood grove in the United States.
“This park is beautiful and the sites are wonderfully maintained. We love that each site is surrounded by lush foliage and you are not on top of your neighbor. The Park Hosts and Rangers do an excellent job of maintaining the area. Bathrooms are always clean. The setting is wonderful with the Chetco River “at your doorstep”. We love the nearby hiking trail along the river as well as the Redwood Trail just up the road (or across the road at the end of the River Trail). Such a beautiful place to spend the day or camp for several days!” (Review from TripAdvisor.com)
Central Coast Camping
South Beach State Park
Situated next to the Yaquina Bay Bridge, South Beach State Park begins in south Newport and stretches several miles down the Oregon coast. This large campground has easy access to the beach. Lucky folks who sign up early and pay a few bucks extra can join a guided paddle trip up the nearby Beaver Creek estuary. The paved jetty trail provides a perfect place to jog or ride a bicycle. Forgot your bike? The Hospitality Center rents out bikes daily during the summer months.
Other activities around the park include fishing, crabbing, boating, surfing and beachcombing. Attractions nearby include the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, marine life exhibits at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
“We made reservations to camp at this campground for $21 plus $8 dollars to reserve a spot online. We checked in at 3pm and the lady at the desk was friendly. The campground was about 30 minutes from the Yaquina Natural Area where we were going to spend the day. The campground was clean with a good amount of trees and the bathrooms were really nice with showers to use for free. We were only about a 5-minute walk away from the beach and our stay was a good one.” (Review From TripAdvisor.com)
Jessie M. Honeyman State Park
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, also known simply as Honeyman State Park, is located in Lane County, three miles south of the city of Florence, on Highway 101. The 27,212 acres Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area adjoins the park to the west. Many amenities are available, including over 200 campsites, all-terrain vehicle access, swimming, fishing, and sandboarding.
Originally named Camp Woahink, the park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and was later renamed in honor Jessie M. Honeyman (1852–1948) of Portland. As president of the Oregon Roadside Council, Honeyman worked with Samuel Boardman, Oregon’s first Superintendent of State Parks in the 1920s and 1930s, to preserve Oregon coastal lands.
Several of the structures built by the CCC, including the camp store, three picnic shelters, and the administrative building, comprise the Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park Historic District. The campground was added in the 1950s. The Lake Woahink Seaplane Base is on Woahink Lake, southeast of the park, and Camp Cleawox, a Girl Scout camp, is across Cleawox Lake and northwest of the park.
“We had stayed at this campsite many years ago with our 3 children and had so much fun. So we thought we would return thinking 20 years later we would have just as much fun. The sites are clean and in a beautiful treed setting, but somehow the feeling was not the same. We walked to the dunes, went into town, but found little for us to do. We are past running up and down the dunes, past the Fun Park with bumper boats etc, so felt let down. It had nothing to do with the campsite, but our age I think or possibly past memories and expectations. We had planned to stay two nights but left after one. I would say if you are young and/or with young families, you will LOVE this place.” (Review from TripAdvisor.com)
Carl G. Washburne State Park
Washburne is located on the east side of Highway 101 with a buffer of native plants and trees between you and the highway. The campsites are spacious and are available on a first come first served basis except for the two yurts which are reservable. There are several trails of varying difficulty leading from the campsites to the beach, wildlife viewing areas, and second-growth forests.
A walking trail leads you under the highway to a five-mile sandy beach and a day-use area, where you’ll find space to watch whales, hunt agates, beachcomb, and picnic. Another trail connects you to the Heceta Head trail, which you can use to reach the historic Heceta Head lighthouse.
In the campground at night, you can hear the pounding surf. There is a creek running through the campground, and elk have been known to wander through. Wild rhododendrons bloom in spring. (More info at OregonStateParks.org)
North Coast Camping
Nehalem Bay State Park
Nestled between the ocean and the bay, Nehalem Bay State Park is situated on a 4 mile long sand spit. Located 86 miles west of Portland along the north Oregon Coast, Nehalem Bay State Park features a campground, two day-use areas and a variety of activities for the whole family.
Situated among a sea of shore pines, the campground borders rolling dunes that separate the campground from the beach. A walk over the dunes and you’re at the beach building sandcastles, flying a kite or relaxing to the sound of the ocean. Beach-combing can produce special rewards – treasures that include agates, shells, and occasionally glass floats. End the day with a sunset over the ocean in the shadow of Neah-kah-nie Mountain. (More info at OregonStateParks.org)
“I just got home last night from a night in a yurt at Nehalem Bay State Park. Having never camped in a yurt before, I was impressed and definitely understand the draw considering the climate here in Oregon. Getting away from Portland for a moment, this definitely felt like a mini vacation and the walk down to the beach on the near perfect sunny day yesterday was exactly what I needed. Ocean breeze and a campfire in the evening, who could ask for more during tax season?” (Review from Yelp.Com)
Cape Lookout State Park
Cape Lookout State Park can be reached by traveling an hour and a half west of Portland through the scenic Wilson River pass. Along the way stop and enjoy waterfalls, scenic views, and some great fishing.
A popular campground and day-use area, Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach. Beachcombing is popular here, and the park is reputedly a good place to find glass floats. More than eight miles of hiking and walking trails wind through a lush old-growth forest. The Cape Lookout trail follows the headland for more than two miles. A bench is located at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view! You might see a whale or two along with other wildlife. (More info at OregonStateParks.org)
“Cape Lookout State Park has rugged forest-covered cliffs with a great stretch of ocean shore. We walked along the beach awhile before heading up the Hwy for a breathtaking view of the ocean and beach” (Review from TripAdvisor.com)
Saddle Mountain State Natural Area is cherished for its hiking trails, wildflowers and breathtaking scenery. A small, seasonal campground, day-use picnic area, a two and a half mile trail to the summit and a short .16 mile side trail are the humble offerings at Saddle Mountain. While it may not seem like much, be prepared to marvel at the sheer volume and quality of natural beauty packed into this park. From a mature forest setting with a variety of habitats; to fields of grassy open “balds” filled with wildflowers; to an open rocky summit; words cannot describe the beauty and wonder experienced on the trail. If the trail’s natural beauty and wildflowers aren’t enough to entice you to the top, the panoramic view from the 3,290-foot summit will. On a clear day you can see the sweep of the Columbia River as it enters the sea, miles of Pacific shoreline- and on the eastern horizon, the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington. (Read more about Saddle Mountain here)
Do you have any favorite camping places on the Oregon Coast? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!