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Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

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Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Hello,

I'm looking for some good advise on where my family can tent camp on the beach. We've checked US Park Services/ reserveamerica.com but every campground seems to be away from the beach. We would also like to try crabbing and clamming while there any good suggestions?

We are traveling from Grants Pass and are new to the area. We only have a Friday and Saturday night so we don't want to drive further than 4-5 hours away. All suggestions appreciated.

Keno, OR
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1. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Just outside of Charleston (near Coos Bay) there is a county camping park named Bastendorff Park. Just before turning to go up the hill to the park, there is a private campground, on the beach, or very near it. I am not sure of the name, but it has quite a few sites, as well as some yurts. Be aware of the tsunami danger (at least you could get to high ground pretty readily if the danger arose). Further south, quite a few miles south of Crescent City there is a lovely (but primitive) camping park at Fern Canyon/Gold Bluff Beach. There is no electricity there, solar showers, gorgeous beach, Roosevelt elk nearby, and, of course, the amazing redwoods...

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2. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Try Brookings...you're only 2 hrs away max! Crab off the docks at the port of Brookings-Harbor and there is great clamming south of town at the Winchuk Wayside. Go down on the beach at the wayside and walk along the ocean for about a half mile and you have secluded clamming all to yourself. Check tide-charts before you come for (-) tides...the best time to clam. Find your own spot to camp on the beach or choose a site...Harris beach is perfect but usually really booked up during summer time...but may have some openings...explore our beautiful area!

Keno, OR
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3. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Brookings does has a very nice state park (Harris Beach) and you can reserve a site ahead of time--I would recommend that for the summer months unless you can get there early in the day to find a spot. The camping area, however, is quite a bit higher than the beach, and I don't believe there are any sites with views of the beach. The recommendations I made for Charleston and Gold Bluff Beach are actually right on the sand, a stone's throw from the water. You might also think about staying in the redwoods--Jedediah Smith State Park is just south of Brookings a few miles--you'll go by it on your way from Grants Pass to Brookings. It is an awesome experience being amidst those huge trees. However, there are no electrical sites there, in case you need that. It is a California state park, and they take reservations too, so you either want to be there very early (10:00 a.m. maybe, or reserve ahead). Harris Beach has everything from just tent sites to full hook-up with cable TV sites...

Maine
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4. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Years ago we camped at Honeyman Camp Grounds in the Oregon Dunes National Park. The sites were in the trees but the trees were in the sand dunes. We rented ATVs nearby and had a blast.

Keno, OR
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5. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Jesse M. Honeyman State Park is a great place to stay in the

off season, or if you have ATV's and don't mind all the noise and smelly gas fumes, but we drove through a summer or two ago and decided not to camp there--too raucous for us. (Then again, we are middle-aged geezer types who prefer nature to the sounds and sights of man, so this is probably just our bias showing. The time we stayed in a yurt there over the Christmas holiday was wonderful!).

Oregon
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6. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Thanks for all the suggestions. We are going to take the 2hr drive perhaps this weekend and check out Harris Beach State Park. Does anyone know much about Sunset Bay State Park up in the Sunset Bay Camp Ground in the Coos Bay area?

Keno, OR
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7. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

It is a large state park, lots of amenities--much like Harris Beach--and close to Shore Acres botanical garden. There is also a cool lookout just down the road from Shore Acres where there is a large offshore reef/beach filled with sea lions--you can hear them barking from Shore Acres. We don't camp in Sunset Beach in the summer because it is packed with people--you will want to reserve a spot if you are trying to stay there. However, at Christmas time, be sure to visit Shore Acres. They decorate the gardens with over 200,000 Christimas lights, and it is a magical place to be (fun any time of year, but really special then). Sunset Bay is very close to Bastendorf Beach County Park (Bastendorf is about two miles closer to Charleston/Coos Bay) and we can usually get a great site there any time of the week, even in the height of summer season--they don't take reservations, so you do take your chances, but it is a very nice, small park, and not usually full. Bastendorf Beach is a great beach to visit--you can see a lighthouse from there, and it is very clean, flat, and lots of elbow room, even with so many visitors in the near vicinity (Sunset Bay). Sunset Bay beach is very small, but very picturesque, and easy to see why people hang out there at sunset (you can get awesom pictures!). Don't forget to take your binoculars!

San Francisco, CA
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8. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

We stayed at Harris Beach recently for the first time, and though the beach is out of sight, you can hear the ocean from your site. Beachside State Park, though we didn't get that far north, has campsites immediately adjacent to the beach. Gold Bluff Beach in Prairie Creek State Park (California) is dramatic, though exposed, and you are camping next to and on the sand. Most of the sites have 2-sided lean-to's to block some of the wind. It is fairly primitive, meaning pit toilets, piped water, tables, and not much else.

Scottsdale
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9. Re: Tent Camping On The Southern Oregon Coast

Sunset and Bastendorff are both great bets - grew up in that area. There are crabbing charters in Charleston, I believe, and good places to clam on the beach.

I love the Bandon area even more - a 20 minute drive from Coos Bay. There is a good camping place heading south, before you go over the bridge to get into town. Can't remember the name of it though. Also Florence would be a good area to look into.

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