Printer Friendly

Oregon coast camping: primitive to plush.

Oregon Coast camping: primitive to plush Pitch your tent between a 500-foot sand dune and a quiet coastal lake. Or bring the RV and park it in a grove of Douglas fir a short bike ride from a rusting shipwreck and World War II gun batteries.

Whatever you ideas of car camping, the county parks, state parks, and national forest arrayed along the Oregon coast offer plenty of opportunities for last-minute vacationers. In fact, with the exception of Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, your "plan" may involve nothing more than deciding which section of the coast of explore, packing the car, and heading out.

Vacation spots are as diverse as the 360-mile coastline, and offer lots of surprises. At Fort Stevens State Park near the Columbia River, brooding forest suddenly gives way to grassy dunes. At Oregon Dunes National Recretion Area (between Florence and Coos Bay), your hiking trail may cross a half-mile of shifting sand only to ascend a shady tree-island of Sitka spruce. A day on the south coast could include a hike in a redwood grove and a picnic atop a sea-facing bluff.

Types of campgrounds

Currently, 44 publicly owned campgrounds and many private RV parks are within a couple of miles of U.S. Highway 101 and beachfront loop roads. For information on RV parks, call the Oregon Coast Association at (800) 982-6278.

The campgrounds run by Oregon State Parks tend to to be plushest. They're well landscaped for privacy, and most offer hot showers and complete hookups for motor homes. About half take reservations.

National forest campgrounds are much more primitive. A few have vault rather than flush toilets, and most have cold water only. Just one has hot showers, and few take reservations. If you're willing to rough it a bit, however, these campgrounds offer some advantages. They're generally less crowded than state parks, making them ideal for last-minute trips. They're also a bit less expensive than state parks. Except for those that cater to dune buggy users, they tend to be quiet, attracting more tent campers than generator-running motor homes.

County-owned campgrounds vary considerably, depending on the jurisdiction, but most cater to motor homes.

The map shows which campgrounds take reservations; for trip-planning help, see the box at right. Now the question is, where do you go?

North coast

For Stevens is a destination in itself, for its World War II sites, bike paths, and variety of wild habitats for bird-watching or just walking. It's also the coast's largest campground, with 605 campsites; they're widely scattered in deep forest, however, so you don't feel crowded.

At the other end of the spectrum is Oswald West, whose 36 tent sites are all a 1/4-mile walk from the highway; you can backpack in, or use the park's own wheel-barrows to carry in your gear. Nehalem Bay has horse camp facilities. Sand Beach caters mainly to dune buggy users.

Central coast

Most of the state park campgrounds here take reservations -- testimony to their popularity. Among national forest campgrounds, Cape Perpetua is particularly appealing; from your campsite, you can hike up a headland, down to tidepools, or back into old growth forest. Tilicum Beach is larger and caters to RVs.

More than a dozen campgrounds are in or near Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Honeyman is the most comfortable. Otherwise, choose carefully among the national forest campgrounds; those near areas open to dune buggies are dominated by them. Tyee, Carter Lake, Tahkenitch, Tahkenitch Landing, and Eel Creek tend to be tranquil. Waxmyrtle, Lagoon, and Bluebill generally have dune buggies motoring through camp. Horsfall and Horsfall Beach are basically parking lots for motor homes and dune buggy trailers. Wild Mare is strictly a horse camp.

South coast

Farthest from population centers, the south coast is the least crowded; only a couple of state parks take reservations. Sunset Bay is close to hiking at Cape Arago and the formal gardens at Shore Acres; Bullards Beach has horse camp facilities and riding trails. Boice Cope, on Floras Lake, caters to windsurfers.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Last-Minute Vacation '91; includes related summer vacation planner
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Words:674
Previous Article:Terrific last-minute vacations; Utah's Capital Reef: spectacular and mostly uncrowded.
Next Article:The central Sierra: big trees, Dinkey Lakes.
Topics:


Related Articles
LABOR DAY TRAVEL MADE EASY; FREE TRIP PLANNER FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS(R) TRAVELERS CHEQUES FOR TWO MAKES VACATIONS A 'WALK IN THE PARK'
KMART STORES TO DISTRIBUTE GO CAMPING AMERICA CAMPING VACATION PLANNERS
A BOON TO DOMESTIC TRAVEL, ECONOMIC CONDITIONS LIMIT SUMMER VACATIONS ABROAD, SURVEY SHOWS
And we thought planning was the key.
In Search of a Last-Minute Summer Vacation? If So, Think 'Cruise'.
Shop Tanger for Great Outlet Savings and Summer Fun Enter To Win A New Chevy Malibu or a Tanger Outlet Shopping Vacation.
GORP.com Provides Hope to Last Minute Vacation Planners; Last Minute Savings Make Adventure Travel Trips a Hot Deal.
Creation vacation: brings low-income families to camp.
Summer break.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters