Pacific Northwest Car Camping

Nick

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Steve's recent California Road Trip TR and my wife's new 4Runner have me dreaming of a return to the Pacific Northwest this year. Particularly Oregon but maybe northern California and/or Washington too. Any recommendations for good car camping along the coast up there? I assume it's all pay stuff, nothing primitive by the coast, right? What other must-see road trip places should I start researching? I've spent a bit of time in Oregon but it's been years and Audra has never been. I have some friends I'd like to visit in Portland and I'd probably want to incorporate the drive through the Columbia River Gorge in it somewhere.

Thanks in advance.
 
I did primitive camping on the coast last year in Olympic NP. I highly recommend it, it was one of the coolest camping experiences I have had. I've been to the Oregon Coast many time but have never camped. I know there are quite a few campground along the coast, but I don't think there are many opportunities for primitive camping along there. The only big chunks of undeveloped coastline are in Olympic NP, and the Lost Coast in Cali.
 
Steve's recent California Road Trip TR and my wife's new 4Runner have me dreaming of a return to the Pacific Northwest this year. Particularly Oregon but maybe northern California and/or Washington too. Any recommendations for good car camping along the coast up there? I assume it's all pay stuff, nothing primitive by the coast, right? What other must-see road trip places should I start researching? I've spent a bit of time in Oregon but it's been years and Audra has never been. I have some friends I'd like to visit in Portland and I'd probably want to incorporate the drive through the Columbia River Gorge in it somewhere.

Thanks in advance.
I have done a ton of camping in oregon. They have some of the nicest state parks around. Right on the california boarder there's a park right out of brookings oregon. The name slips my mind but its the closest one. I would highly recomend it. And for the most part all oregon state parks are nice. There is another one just outside of newport. The park is ok but I really like newport. If your familiar with rouge brewing this is where its from so you can take a brewery tour. I would also recomend taking a halfday fishing trip from here. When I did it I bought the extra crab license and brought home 13 huge dungeness crabs and a ton of black sea bass. All total it cost like $80. Totally worth it.
 
I have done a ton of camping in oregon. They have some of the nicest state parks around. Right on the california boarder there's a park right out of brookings oregon. The name slips my mind but its the closest one. I would highly recomend it. And for the most part all oregon state parks are nice. There is another one just outside of newport. The park is ok but I really like newport. If your familiar with rouge brewing this is where its from so you can take a brewery tour. I would also recomend taking a halfday fishing trip from here. When I did it I bought the extra crab license and brought home 13 huge dungeness crabs and a ton of black sea bass. All total it cost like $80. Totally worth it.
On another thought the greatest liquor store in the world is right on the cali side of the boarder and highway 101.
 
:coffee:

I'll be watching this one. I've had similar inklings for some personal exploration up thataway.
 
I love the Oregon Coast. There is some good spots near Tillamook Head and then they can be found all down the coast. The whole coast is public as I recall and you can camp on the beach in numerous locations. My usual M.O. is to rent a beach house, I got one on Gold Beach with a hot tub on the deck directly on the beach for $160 per night. We then use that as a homebase and explore.

Some of my favorite things along the coast:

Astoria ship wreck museum
Haystack rock tidepools - Cannon Beach
Tillamook Creamery
Rouge Brewery Tours
Beach combing - there is so much stuff to look at you will be gone for hours. I found this last time I was up there:

upload_2015-5-5_22-49-51.png
Dead STINKY Whale




The entire coast is dotted with sleepy coastal towns
 

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if you're driving through the Gorge, you should take the scenic drive by the waterfalls, and by the victoria house. and take the time to drive up larch mountain road to sherrard point. on a clear day from there, you can see five of the Cascades volcanoes, Hood, right in front of you, Adams, Jefferson, St Helens, and Rainier 97 miles away.


@andyjaggy , where did you camp in Olympic NP. i'm looking at going to the beach there this summer.
 
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gold bluffs campground in northern CA, one of the few beach camp spots left in CA. Visit fern canyon (nearby, and in my vid), it's amazing. We were planning an oregon trip this summer, but I think we may postpone it to save money for our full-time RV home dream.
 
Wife and I did a drive up through Oregon/Norcal last year. My impression, all the car camping we found was very crowded, and/or really shitty tbh. I think the key is booking things, and WAY in advance. We mostly hit fine breweries, as craft brew is kind of our thing.
 
The campground at Deception Pass State Park between Seattle and Bellingham is one of the nicest I've stayed at.
 
We camped on 3rd beach and 2nd beach. I really wanted to get to shishi beach but it was pretty far out of the way and we just ran out of time.

Olympic NP is pretty cool, but I am not sure I will visit again. The mountains were alright, but I got the feeling you had to do some serious backpacking to get to any of the good stuff. I was more impressed with North Casacade NP, and will be visiting there more extensively when I finally make it up there again.
 
I second taking some time to spend in the gorge. It is one of my favorite areas anywhere.
 
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