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Campgrounds on the coast

Camas, Washington
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Campgrounds on the coast

Looking at both Nehalem bay state park and cape lookout for some tent camping this summer Probably a week ish total. Would love to get some tips on which camp sites are better at these campgrounds, as far as providing decent privacy between sites, not too noisy, but convenient for the kids to get to the beach... And how far is the drive to get groceries/food from each area?

Thanks!

Oregon
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1. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

I have stayed at both campgrounds. Cape Lookout campground for the most of the sites has more shrubs and trees than say Nehalem. The walk to the beach is much closer when staying at Cape Lookout campground than Nehalem. Both are nice campgrounds. With both campsites you do have to drive a few miles to get to a grocery store.

Florence, Oregon
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2. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

I worked at both parks for over 20 years...............Cape Lookout is far superior to Nehalem Bay for tent camping!

Though you don't specify the time of year, I'm assuming you will be visiting within the next couple months??? The reason the time of year is important is because Nehalem Bay, or as we used to call it, Sand Blast State Park, is VERY windy most days from May through August, and the wind is coming off of the ~50º Pacific Ocean!! The wind will start out as a light breeze in the morning and build as the day warms, calming again as the sun goes down. It can be quite an adventure for tent campers especially!!

The campsites at Cape Lookout are smallish (it's a very old campground) and it's 12 miles back into Tillamook for groceries and restaurants (there are limited opportunities a little closer), whereas the sites at Nehalem Bay are larger, and it's less than 2 miles into Manzanita for shopping and restaurants. The beach at Nehalem Bay is also far better (longer and wider).

As for specific campsites, "D" loop is my favorite loop within Cape Lookout. It's a little further from the the beach (and wind!), and has good vegetation between campsites. At Nehalem Bay, try and get a site in any of the 6 camp loops up against the sand dune (doubtful as they are VERY popular). If that fails, then the beginning of "C" loop offers some decent wind protection.

Oregon
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3. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the wind. When we would camp at Nehalem, like clockwork the wind would come around 4pm to about 7pm even though it was sunny during the summer time. The wind was cold!

Camas, Washington
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4. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

for some reason I didn't get emails when you guys replied - thanks! I ended up booking 4 nights at each campground for end of July beginning august. I got C25 at nehalem bay, D42 at cape lookout. Not easy to get what look like best sites (looked at google satellite view as a reference), plus all the Fridays and saturdays are already booked out. are these sites good/ok? hubby is concerned about nehalem bay being all RV sites, and putting our tents in between two RVs. Any comment on that?

Florence, Oregon
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5. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

C25 at Nehalem Bay has a large lawn area BUT, this campsite faces south, meaning the north wind, if it's blowing, will buffet you pretty good during the day. ALL campsites (250+) at Nehalem Bay have electricity so if there are RV's next to you, at least you won't have to put up with generator noise. Staff there have always done a pretty good job of separating RV's and tents when possible. Since this site is on the inside of the loop, meaning it has a shorter parking area, you'll most likely have tents on either side but RV's across the road.

D42 is a small campsite near the back of Cape Lookout, which is good in that you'll be out of the wind and there will be less vehicle and pedestrian traffic. I think you'll like it.

Camas, Washington
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6. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

These are still available at nehalem bay for the dates I want: C43, D03, D05, D37, D52, B08, B10. Any of these better than C25?

Florence, Oregon
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7. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

Of those sites you listed, C43 and the "B" sites are NO GOOD. B8-10 are WIDE open and have a large playground at their back.

All of the sites you listed in "D" loop will afford you better protection from the wind than C25, but here's the problem; "D" loop is the first loop of a cluster of three and the horse camp, so traffic will be heavier.

If it were me, I'd take D37 or 52 over C25, but again, know there will be more vehicle traffic in that area.

Camas, Washington
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8. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

Wow you are a wealth of knowledge, thank you so much dengay! I will come back when I have more questions.

Cornelius, Oregon...
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9. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

@ Dengay:

I just booked 3 nights at Nehalem Bay, for site C43. Why did you say that the site is NO GOOD..I have never been there & now I'm worried I just wasted $80..yikes!

Florence, Oregon
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10. Re: Campgrounds on the coast

Jenny, you didn't waste your money!! C 43 is large enough and close to the restroom/showers and beach, but it will get a TON of wind. Aassuming you'll be there during the summer and in a tent, make sure and tie your tent down REAL well!