What Beaches Can You Camp on in Oregon? (5 Best Spots)

Oregon has over 360 miles of wondrous coastline with stunning beaches and wildlife. The only question you’re probably asking is if you can pitch up your tent anywhere along the shore. Well, we’ve got all the answers you need about camping on Oregon beaches.

You can camp on the beach in Oregon for free and in designated campgrounds. However, you are not allowed to camp adjacent to any Oregon State Park and not within any of these city limits: Gold Beach, Manzanita, Bandon, Newport, Seaside, Lincoln City, Cannon Beach, and Rockaway Beach. 

Below we outline what laws are in place for camping on the beach in Oregon, where you can legally camp for free, and the best-designated campgrounds on the beach. Keep reading to find the best camping spot for you.

Where Can You Camp for Free Legally on Oregon Beaches?

Camping is allowed on the beach in Oregon.

However, there are several rules you need to recognize before setting off. To many campers’ annoyance, this takes out huge parts of the coast, but you still have options!

Camping is available in some state parks, but this must be in a designated camping area which will require a fee per night. 

If you’re searching for free beach camping, some light is at the end of the tunnel. Outside of the city limits and away from any state park, there are a few sites you can still camp at for free.

Below we’ve got our favorite five!

1. Bastendorff Beach

Just two miles from Sunset Bay State Park, Bastendorff Beach offers spectacular coast views. It’s a fairly popular camping spot, so as you can imagine, you’ll want to get there early to bag a good pitch!

It also has limited amenities, so there are no full hookups! You’ll also have to make sure you pack in and out unless you want to pay to use the dumpster. 

Bastendorff Beach

2. Tillamook State Forest

Tillamook State Forest is a short drive from the beach, which shouldn’t be an issue when you’ve got your camping site for free.

Tillamook is quieter than Bastendorff Beach, so great if you want a little more privacy! It’s also got fantastic hikes, perfect for anyone who likes the beach and the forest.  

3. Elko Dispersed Camping 

Another forest camping experience that is located very close to the ocean is Elko Dispersed Camping. It can be fairly busy in the summer, but it’s a relatively quiet spot.

One thing to be aware of is the roads to the campgrounds, which can sometimes be questionable. Be ready for a rocky ride. 

4. Wildhorse Meadow Dispersed Camping 

Wildhorse Meadow Dispersed Camping is located about an hour away from Gold Beach. Unfortunately, one of the downsides to free camping is the long commute to the beach!

If you don’t mind, you’ll be happy to hear that Wildhorse is stunningly set among the mountainous terrain of the Rogue River. 

5. South Lake Dispersed Camping 

South Lake Dispersed Camping is surrounded by beautiful forestry and is located by a lake teaming with life. It’s rather spacious, so you’ll have some privacy when staying here.

The only downside is South Lake Dispersed Camping is the furthest free camping site from the beach, which may be a blessing or an annoyance!  

Which Campsites Should You Visit Near Oregon Beaches?

If you don’t mind staying in designated campgrounds, we have the full list of where you should check out. Most campgrounds are located inside state parks and have various amenities. 

1. Fort Stevens State Park 

Boasting over 4,300 acres, Fort Stevens State Park is one of the biggest campgrounds in the US. You know you’ll be spoiled for activities when a campsite is this big.

Fort Stevens State Park offers swimming, beach combing, fishing, hiking, and many more.

It is also a historical military site, as the Fort was used in both the Civil and 2nd World Wars and offers frequent military displays throughout the year.

The campsite is a short walk from the beach and offers tent and full hookup camping year-round. The campsite also provides hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and a dumpster. 

Fort Stevens State Park

2. Beverly Beach State Park 

One of the only real downsides to beach camping is losing your privacy on an exposed beach. Well, this is not a problem at Beverly Beach State Park as the campsite is located within a forest next to a creek.

Don’t worry. It’s still only footsteps away from the ocean beach, where you can watch magnificent marine life, including whales.

The campsite is well-maintained, with a good list of amenities, including fire rings, showers, and restrooms.

The campsite is open year-round and offers a mixture of reservable and first come, first serve sites. 

3. Cape Blanco 

Cape Blanco is located at the western point of Oregon, jutting into the Pacific.

Views from the famous 19th-century lighthouse on the tip of Cape Blanco are spectacular, offering panoramic outlooks of the coast.

With these views come miles and miles of beautiful hikes, perfect for anyone that likes exploring.

Cape Blanco also offers a great campsite for anyone who prefers quieter camping. Private and sheltered, the campsite is relatively small, which adds to a certain charm.

As well as hot showers and flush toilets, the campground is renowned for its friendly and helpful staff. 

4. South Beach State Park 

With miles of sandy ocean beach, South Beach State Park is a location for any photography enthusiasts. The stunning dunes and rocky outcrops make for exciting walks and quality bicycle trails.

South Beach campground offers over 200 camping sites, providing various amenities, from full hookups to yurts or even tent sites.

Unlike the campsites mentioned above, South Beach does not have hot showers. Keep this in mind if you’re camping out of summertime.

Otherwise, beach access from the campsite is easy, and you won’t leave disappointed. 

5. Tillicum Beach Campground 

Located inside Siuslaw National Forest, Tillicum Beach Campground is one of the only campgrounds in this list that offers almost all campers a site with a beach view.

It’s bliss, especially when the beach is famous for whale watching! The campsite is reasonably priced and offers all the amenities you could wish for, with one exception. There are no showers.

We couldn’t recommend Tillicum Beach enough if this doesn’t bother you. It’s become so popular that we recommend booking camping in advance. 

You Can Camp for Free on Oregon Beaches But…

Beach camping in Oregon can be truly magical, although it can also be confusing. The short answer is that you can camp on the beach in Oregon.

The long answer is that you’ll need to choose free camping at a site far from the beach or in a designated campground on the sand.

Whatever camping you prefer, the beach in Oregon is there to be enjoyed by everyone!

And if you need to know about camping laws on the beaches of America, do check out my article on beach camping laws in the US.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

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