A Guide To Camping On Oregon Beaches

Do you dream of camping under the sweeping nightsky, with the lullaby of crashing waves in earshot? Oregon’s coast offers an array of beaches that can make this fantasy a reality. This article will guide you through everything you need to know; from camping restrictions, to the best spots for pitching your tent along these Pacific havens.

Ready to embark on a coastal adventure? Let’s dive right in!

Camping on Oregon Beaches: The Reality and Challenges

Beach camping on Oregon beaches comes with its own set of limitations and challenges, including restrictions, lack of amenities, and safety concerns.

Beach camping limitations and restrictions

While beach camping on the Oregon coast presents a unique opportunity for adventure, certain limitations and restrictions apply. For campsites not located within state parks, overnight stays are typically allowed; however, these areas lack essential amenities such as restrooms and trash collection.

It’s crucial to respect private property rights by not camping near homes or private lands. Fires should be small, controlled, and must adhere to local regulations as they can vary from place to place.

Furthermore, collecting firewood is strictly prohibited in some areas due to ecological concerns— instead, bring your own firewood or buy it locally where available. Camping permits may also be required at select beaches so plan ahead to secure them before your trip.

Lack of amenities

While camping on Oregon beaches can be a wonderful experience, it’s important to be prepared for the lack of amenities. Unlike traditional campgrounds, beach campsites often have limited facilities and services.

You won’t find things like showers or electricity at most beach campgrounds. Additionally, restrooms may be basic pit toilets rather than flushable ones. It’s essential to bring everything you’ll need for your stay, including food, water, cooking equipment, and toiletries.

Plan ahead and pack accordingly to ensure a comfortable camping trip along the beautiful Oregon coast.

Safety concerns

Campers need to be aware of safety concerns when camping on Oregon beaches. The coastline can be unpredictable, with changing weather conditions and strong currents. It is important to keep an eye on the tide schedule and be cautious when swimming or participating in water activities.

Additionally, campers should be prepared for hazardous terrains such as steep cliffs and rocky areas. Following Leave No Trace principles is also essential to ensure the safety of both campers and wildlife.

Fort Stevens State Park Campground offers beachfront campsites with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Nehalem Bay State Park Campground provides a picturesque setting near the bay, perfect for water activities and wildlife watching.

Barview Jetty County Park Campground is a great option for RV camping, with direct access to the beach and nearby hiking trails. Jones Creek Campground offers a more secluded experience, nestled in the coastal forest with easy access to both the beach and Tillamook Head.

Elk Creek Campground is another hidden gem, offering peaceful camping along Tillamook Bay with opportunities for fishing and crabbing.

Fort Stevens State Park Campground

Fort Stevens State Park Campground is an excellent option for beach camping on the Oregon coast. Situated near Astoria, this campground offers both tent and RV camping with stunning views of the ocean.

You can explore the historic remains of the Wreck of the Peter Iredale or hike along Tillamook Head while enjoying your stay at Fort Stevens. With plenty of activities to enjoy, including swimming, fishing, and kayaking, this campground provides a memorable outdoor experience.

It’s important to note that reservations may be required, so plan ahead to secure your spot at Fort Stevens State Park Campground.

Nehalem Bay State Park Campground

Nehalem Bay State Park Campground is a top choice for beach camping on the Oregon coast. Nestled along the beautiful Nehalem Bay, this campground offers stunning views and a variety of recreational activities.

With both tent camping and RV sites available, campers can enjoy the convenience of full hook-ups and easy access to amenities like hot showers and flush toilets. The park also features hiking trails, a boat ramp, and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the nearby towns of Manzanita and Cannon Beach, Nehalem Bay State Park Campground is an ideal destination for your coastal camping adventure.

Barview Jetty County Park Campground

Barview Jetty County Park Campground is a popular camping spot located on the Oregon coast. This campground offers a variety of camping options, including both tent and RV sites. With its stunning views of the ocean and easy beach access, it’s no wonder why campers flock to Barview Jetty County Park.

The campground also has amenities such as clean restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits for a comfortable stay. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore nearby attractions, Barview Jetty County Park Campground is an excellent choice for your Oregon beach camping adventure.

Jones Creek Campground

Jones Creek Campground is a beautiful camping spot located on the Oregon coast. Situated in the heart of nature, this campground offers both tent and RV camping options. With stunning views of the surrounding forest and easy access to Jones Creek, campers can enjoy peaceful walks and even go fishing.

This campground provides a tranquil atmosphere for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don’t forget to check local guidelines for any specific rules or reservation requirements before planning your trip.

Elk Creek Campground

Elk Creek Campground is a fantastic option for beach camping on the Oregon coast. Situated in the Nehalem Bay Area, this campground offers stunning views and easy access to both the beach and Elk Creek.

Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, Elk Creek Campground has spacious sites that can accommodate your needs. With activities such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking nearby, there’s no shortage of things to do during your stay.

Don’t forget to make reservations ahead of time to ensure a spot at this popular campground.

Tips for a Successful Beach Camping Experience

Be prepared for changing weather by packing appropriate clothing and gear.

Be prepared for changing weather

Pack and dress accordingly for the ever-changing weather on Oregon beaches. The coast is known for its unpredictable climate, so it’s essential to bring layers, including a waterproof jacket or windbreaker.

Be ready for cooler temperatures, fog, rain showers, and even strong winds that can suddenly pick up. Plan ahead by checking the weather forecast before your trip and be sure to have appropriate gear to stay comfortable in any condition.

Pack essential gear

Ensure you are fully prepared for your beach camping adventure by packing essential gear. Be sure to bring sturdy tents, sleeping bags, and camping mats to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.

Don’t forget to pack cooking equipment such as a portable stove, pots and pans, and utensils. Additionally, be prepared for changing weather conditions by bringing appropriate clothing layers, rain gear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.

Remember to bring extra batteries or chargers for any electronic devices you may need. By packing these essential items, you’ll be ready to make the most of your beach camping experience on the Oregon coast.

Follow Leave No Trace principles

To preserve the beauty of Oregon’s beaches and ensure that future campers can enjoy them as well, it is important to follow Leave No Trace principles while camping. This means packing out all trash and leaving the beach in its natural state.

Avoid disturbing wildlife and their habitats, including sand dunes and tide pools. Campfires should be built only in designated fire pits or with a portable stove, and completely extinguished before leaving.

By following these principles, we can protect the environment and keep the beaches pristine for everyone to enjoy.

Know the tide schedule

Knowing the tide schedule is essential when camping on Oregon beaches. The shifting tides can significantly impact your camping experience, so it’s important to be aware of the high and low tides throughout the day.

This knowledge helps ensure your safety and allows you to plan activities like beachcombing or exploring tidal pools at the right time. Additionally, being aware of the tide schedule can help you avoid potential hazards such as getting stranded by a rising tide or setting up camp in an area that may become submerged during high tide.

Stay informed about the tide schedule for a successful and enjoyable beach camping experience.


In conclusion, camping on Oregon beaches offers a unique and fulfilling outdoor experience. While there are limitations and challenges to consider, the state parks and campgrounds along the coast provide safe and enjoyable options for campers.

By being prepared, following guidelines, and choosing the right camping spot, you can have a successful beach camping adventure in Oregon. So grab your gear and get ready to enjoy the beauty of nature on the stunning Oregon coast!


1. Do I need a permit to camp on Oregon beaches?

Yes, you will need a permit to camp on Oregon beaches. Permits can be obtained from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

2. Are campfires allowed on Oregon beaches?

Campfires are generally allowed on Oregon beaches, but it is important to check for any current fire restrictions or bans before starting a fire. It is also necessary to follow proper safety precautions and always fully extinguish the fire when done.

3. Can I bring my pet when camping on Oregon beaches?

Yes, pets are typically allowed on Oregon beaches, but they must be kept on a leash at all times and owners are responsible for cleaning up after them. Some beach areas may have specific regulations regarding pets, so it is essential to check the rules before bringing your pet.

4. What facilities are available for camping on Oregon beaches?

Facilities for camping on Oregon beaches vary depending on the specific location. Some campsites may offer amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and potable water sources. It’s recommended to research the specific campground you plan to visit for information about available facilities.

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