Your outdoor recliner chair probably needs to get out of the backyard for a while, and Oregon coast camping is the ideal remedy. But don’t be fooled by its liberal public beach law; it turns out that in Oregon you need to do some serious planning for legal, dispersed camping on one of its “public” beaches. The Oregon law stipulates that no camping is allowed on beaches next to state parks. And, since there is no developed camping along beaches adjacent to state parks, it’s impossible to drive to these areas due to lack of parking.
Who camps on Oregon’s empty beaches? Some thru hikers from the Oregon Coast Trail, but even these brave souls often have trouble finding legal beach camping.
The solution is to use designated Oregon coast camping campgrounds if you don’t want to hunt down the rare coastal camping to stake your territory with your outdoor recliner chair or tent. Most thru hikers who camp on the beach say it sounds idyllic but in reality these primitive sites are sand-filled and uncomfortable—another reason to choose Oregon coast camping in a developed campground.
We list our five favorites Oregon coast camping spots, from south to north and back again, but there are dozens of high quality OR camping opportunities at amazingly low prices.
Many Oregonians know the Umpqua Lighthouse in Winchester Bay for its scenic seaside overlook but many don't realize that you can also camp in this state park! While the Umpqua camping area is not directly on the coast, you will definitely feel the sea breeze at this ocean adjacent campground. This spot is perfect for Oregon coast camping with yurts, primitive “cabins” and both RV and tent camping in a modestly sized campground, it’s one of the prettiest campgrounds in Oregon. Umpqua is next to a small lake for an easy day hike or a view from your collapsible beach chair while you drink in the silence and serenity.
Tillicum Beach Campground offers car camping in a lovely setting with nearby beach or woodland camp sites. If you choose to make camp in the woods, it’s still a short walk to the beach. This is an excellent campground that fills up quickly, with reliable camp hosts and clean facilities. The nearest town is quaint Yachats, which has a wonderful mushroom festival in October as well as several restaurants with great seafood offerings and local cuisine.
Beverly Beach is five miles north of the town of Newport, and is also a state park. Camping here means showers, bathrooms, beach access, a meeting hall and your choice of RV, cabin, yurt or tent sites. The campground is forested but a very short walk to a spectacular beach.
Devil’s Lake State Recreation area offers RV and tent camping, and is less than a half day’s drive north of Beverly Beach. With 28 full hook-ups and 54 tent sites, you can usually find the right spot here in the trees but be ready for crowds. This is the only OR campground located in a city, Lincoln City to be specific. Summer activity includes boat rentals and day use at the lake. Like nearly all Oregon camping, yurts are also available for a reasonable fee.
Back down the coastline toward Cali is the perfect spot to pitch a tent for a night or two (or ten), at Bullards Beach State Park. The two attractions are a lighthouse and a nearly 5-mile stretch of beach for exploring. Like most OR campgrounds, fees are reasonable and there is a variety of accommodations from RV to yurt to tent camping.