Lisa H.
Portland, OR
Joined April 2016
First to Review
Oregon coast campground near tidepools, old-growth coastal forest, Devils Churn, Thors Well and more!

The Cape Perpetua campground is no frills, but is a great spot to stay and explore Cape Perpetua's many charms. With trails from the campground leading to the Visitors Center, it's easy to stay here and explore for several days without getting in the car. The rocky coastline is great for exploring tidepools at low tide. Trails from the Visitors Center lead to crashing waves at Devil's Churn, Spouting Horn and Thor's Well. Or, hike through old-growth coastal forest via many trails also accessed from the Visitors Center.

closest campground to Crater Lake

The Mazama Village campground at Crater Lake National Park is located 7 miles south of Crater Lake's rim. A small grocery store, restaurant and gift shop are all within walking distance of the campsites, making for a well-sourced camp stay. Campfire wood is available at the office, as well as hot showers (bring quarters). The campsites are spaced throughout a wooded area, and some sites have more privacy than others. Bear boxes are located in every campsite for storing food. While you probably won't see a bear, you will see plenty of chipmunks and ground squirrels scouring the campsites for food, so keep it locked up at all times. Each time I've stayed here, Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers were coming through on their trek from Mexico to Canada (or vice versa).

great campground for exploring Smith Rock

The Climber's Bivouac is a walk-in campground located on a rim next to the Crooked River right in the heart of Smith Rock State Park. Not just for climbers, I stayed here for two nights and hiked the trails in the park. The cooking area is separate from the tent area and has plenty of picnic tables under trees for shade while dining. The bathroom has hot showers and is well maintained. Located on the outside of the restroom building is a sink for washing dishes. With many trails in the area, this is a great place to spend a few days hiking and watching rock climbers and wildlife. A bald eagle pair were nesting right next to the campsites and we were able to watch them feed the newly hatched baby eagles.

excellent campground for exploring Oregon's southern coast

Harris Beach State Park is a large campground near Brookings, Oregon. It offers great beach access via trails directly from the campground. With hot showers (included in the campsite fees!) and clean bathrooms, this is a nice campground to spend several days at. There are a lot of RVs here, but the tent sites are in separate loops and have plenty of space for multiple tents.

best campground for beach access

This is my favorite place on the Oregon coast for camping. I've stayed at Cape Lookout over 15 times and will continue to do so every year. It's a large state park campground and is great for anyone who wants easy access to the ocean. The campground is located directly next to the ocean via a short walk over a small dune that separates the campsites from the beach. Amenities include hot showers (included in the campsite fees!) and well maintained bathrooms with flushing toilets. There's an amphitheater with ranger-led interpretive programs in the evenings and Junior Ranger programs for the kids. And, for hikers, there are several trails to explore, including one that goes the length of Cape Lookout. A connector trail from the campground goes up to the cape. Or, explore the seven-mile long beach all the way to Netarts Bay. Make sure to check the tides if heading this direction as part of the beach gets cut off at high tide. Campfire wood is delivered directly to your campsite via park staff who ride through the campground each evening in a golf cart. The campground is regularly patrolled by park rangers.

great campground for exploring the Ochoco National Forest and the Painted Hills

An easy 30 minute drive from Oregon's Painted Hills, the Ochoco Divide campground is a great home base for exploring the area. The campsites are spread out in a Ponderosa pine forest, providing plenty of space for each. The vault toilets are very well maintained and the camp host is friendly and helpful. Note that there is an additional charge for every vehicle over one per campsite, even the group site. It is close to the highway, but from most of the campsites, the noise is not very noticeable. The only downside is that there is no water available, so you need to bring all you need. Otherwise, I would have given this campground five stars.