7 Best Campgrounds On The Oregon Coast (Southern Half)

Camping on the Oregon Coast is unlike anything else in the Pacific Northwest. Most campgrounds have a beach, mountains, restaurants, and hikes all within walking distance.

And, with the number of trees between you and your camping neighbors, it’s always easy to feel like you’re all by yourself.

Even if you think you’re familiar with the PNW and haven’t been to the Oregon Coast, you’re in for an incredibly unique experience. Even after living in Washington for years, the Oregon Coast is my favorite spot in the whole world to camp.

But where should we go?

Best Camping Spots On The Oregon Coast

Honestly, there are tons of campgrounds on the Oregon Coast. Then add the dispersed camping opportunities and there are literally hundreds of spots.

However, that’s not to say that they’re all created equal.

Not only are some spots far more beautiful and iconic than others, but you might also run into the problem that we had last time we were camping on the coat…everything was full.

We reserved our spots almost two months beforehand and still couldn’t afford to be too picky.

So, if you want your pick of campsites it pays to look at a bunch of different sites and book early.

While I can’t book for you, I can give you some of the best places to check so that you have lots of options!

1. Harris Beach State Park

If you’re headed to the Oregon Coast I’m going to assume that seeing the ocean or exploring the beaches is the main priority. Otherwise, you could find the same trees and more solitude in just about every other campsite in the PNW.

If your goal is beauty and ocean views, Harris Beach is the place you want to be. Located just outside Brookings, Oregon (like right outside) you have the pleasure of beach camping and the feeling of solitude while still being able to eat dinner in town or head to the laundromat if you need to.

The campground offers RV and tent sites, as well as cabins and yurts. Amenities include flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station. The park also has a day-use area with picnic tables and a playground.

There are numerous hiking trails in the area, as well as a beach perfect for exploring tide pools.

The main drawback is that the campground sells out early. We try to visit in the off-season (meaning springtime) to have our pick of spots and avoid the crowded beach. Just be prepared for the rain!

2. Harbor Vista

Siuslaw River and the dunes

Harbor Vista Campground is a popular camping spot for tourists and locals alike. Located on the Oregon coast, the campground offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby beaches.

Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming, or simply relax in the beautiful setting. Harbor Vista Campground is also conveniently located near many of Oregon’s attractions, including the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

The campground itself offers 38 sites for tents and RVs and is open year-round. Amenities include bathrooms, coin showers, an on-site caretaker, RV electric hook-ups, picnic tables, a children’s playground, and nearby hiking.

The campground also offers direct access (via a short walk) to both the beach and the Siuslaw River.

Nearby Florence is also a great place to get a bite to eat, shop in historic Old Town, or even book a horseback escape.

We’ve spent many nights here in a tent and have not been bored yet! At least, we’ve never been bored if you don’t ask my six-year-old…

3. Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

Lake Marie, a small freshwater lake we visited in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

The Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground is a beautiful campground located right on the coast.

The campground offers stunning views of the coastline, and it is also situated nearby to a variety of hiking trails. If you’re into seafood, this area also offers some or Oregon’s beach crabbing and beach fishing opportunities!

The campground offers 23 tent sites as well as cabin, yurts, and “yurt deluxe” options (which I can’t comment on as they’re too ritzy for me to have stayed in…).

In addition, the campground offers a variety of amenities, including fire pits and picnic tables.

Most Oregon coast campgrounds are honestly pretty similar so you’ll just want to find one that is close by to amenities or views that you enjoy!

4. Devil’s Lake

Devil’s Lake Campground is located in Oregon’s Coast Range, about 30 miles east of Salem.

The campground is open all year, and offers RV and tent camping sites, as well as a large group campsite.

The campground is a bit out of the way and is pretty much located in town so you’ll have a bit of a drive if you want to get anywhere outdoorsy.

When we were there last (2022) they were working on redoing all the boardwalks around the campground which will provide more things to do once finished. Just be aware of where the boardwalk runs when you book your site as it runs right next to some sites.

If you’re looking for things to do while camping here, Devil’s Lake is a popular destination for fishing, swimming, hiking, and picnicking.

The lake is stocked with trout, and there are also bass, bluegill, and catfish in the lake. There are several hiking trails in the area, including an easy 1/2-mile loop around the lake. Devil’s Lake Campground is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re looking for a relaxing spot to fish or a basecamp for exploring the Coast Range.

This was supposed to be our spot…luckily they had an opening to move us to.

While the camp hosts routinely change here, I will note that we were very unimpressed. We could not get hold of either camp host despite calling and knocking on their RV several times. We actually never saw them which meant we had to ask other campers for the shower code (and they had already had to ask someone else). Your mileage may vary so, hopefully, nothing goes wrong for you!

5. Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout Beach

If you’re looking for stunning ocean views, the campground at Cape Lookout State Park is a great option.

The campground is situated on a beautiful stretch of coastline, and there are plenty of hiking trails nearby that offer even more breathtaking scenery. In addition to its natural beauty, Cape Lookout State Park Campground is also a great place for fishing, as there are plenty of fish to be found offshore.

Visitors can also go whale watching, kayaking, and windsurfing. There are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, as the area is home to bald eagles, ospreys, and sea lions.

If everywhere else is full, you can usually find a spot here. With over 200 available sites, this is also on the back burner when we’re looking for somewhere to camp on the coast.

6. Humbug Mountain State Park

Humbug Mountain

If you’re less interested in the beach and just want to enjoy Oregon’s rugged coastline, Humbug Mountain Campground might be the premier place to enjoy the outdoors.

There are plenty of activities to keep visitors busy, including hiking, fishing, and swimming.

However, that’s not to say that the beach is not an option. You can easily access the beach for beachcombing or taking walks. Just don’t plan on building any sandcastles with the sand (I mean…rocks) here.

River on the Beach near Humbug Mountain Campground

In addition to a ton of sites, the campground also has a store and a playground. We haven’t spent a lot of time here as our young kids are more into the beach than hiking around (and I’m not crazy about the cliffs on the edge of the trails) but we’ll be back again someday!

7. South Beach State Park

Yaquina Bay Beach

South Beach State Park is a state park in Oregon, located just south of Newport on the central Oregon coast. The park offers camping, hiking, picnicking, and beachcombing opportunities, as well as access to the Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head Lighthouse stations.

The lighthouse is open to the public for tours, and the Yaquina Bay Bridge provides a stunning view of the coastline. The park also has a marina and a boat ramp, making it a popular spot for boaters and fishermen.

The campground itself feels kind of like a small city with over 300 sites but at least that means it comes with some nice amenities (showers, a small store, firewood, etc.)

My Best Tip For Camping On The Oregon Coast

If you want to have a good time on the coast, prepare for the rain.

While this is true pretty much everywhere in the PNW, the Oregon coast can storm for weeks on end.

This past spring we spend 10 days camping along the coast and had rain on 7 of them. Bad enough that we had to cut a hole in the bottom of our tent to let the water out and ended up spending 7 hours at the laundromat trying to dry out our stuff.

So take a tarp (unless you’re in an RV…) and have a few alternate activities in mind!

Conclusion

If you don’t mind a little rain, camping in Oregon can be a great experience. The state is home to a variety of scenic locations, and the cooler weather can make for more comfortable camping conditions. Just be sure to pack your rain gear and choose a campsite that is well-drained. And if you really want to avoid the rain, consider visiting Oregon during the dry season (July-September).

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