Winter camping in Oregon is all about where you go. Would you prefer to camp in the snowfall, taking in all the magic of the season? Or would you prefer a more moderate stay on the coast, with the lapping waves at your back? Oregonians are lucky to not have to choose: the state offers plenty of opportunities for both. This winter, check out the following nine best winter camping spots in Oregon.
Take advantage of the seasonally discounted lodging at Fort Stevens State Park. Once a military defense installation, the fort has become a 4,300-acre park along the Oregon coast. The coast usually has wild weather compared to other parts of Oregon, so take advantage of their plentiful campsites for an amazing winter trip.
A popular destination for visitors from neighboring Washington State, Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park is located just off the highway and has first-come-first-served campsites. The site is open year-round and offers easy access to the Heceta Head Trail, which leads to the beautiful and historic Heceta Head lighthouse.
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Deschutes National Forest in Bend, Oregon, offers dispersed camping, a term used to define camping outside of designated campgrounds. During the winter, the most prepared amongst us might take their tents and carve their path through the forest, setting up a site away from civilization and everything else. Make sure you read and understand the rules for dispersed camping in Oregon.
Siuslaw National Forest is another excellent spot for campers interested in trying dispersed camping. They have several different areas to choose from. Before attempting dispersed camping, especially in the snowy Oregon weather, make sure to read and follow all of the guidelines provided by the National Park Service.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is one of the smaller sites on this list, but it still boasts a wide variety of campsite options, including full hookups, electrical sites, tent sites, and different kinds of yurts. The sites are designed to maximize the beauty of nearby Lake Marie, and provide easy access to the 65-foot Umpqua River Lighthouse.
Parents, take note: Champoeg State Heritage Area is the site where “Oregon’s first provincial government was formed by a historical vote in 1843,” according to the park’s official website, making it an ideal location to combine camping with history. The campground includes eight full-hookups, and over 70 other camping options.
Settle right on the beach for a camping trip to Bullards Beach State Park. The campsites are insulated somewhat from the chilly winds by shore pines. The large site has hundreds of camping options, including full-hookup sites, electrical sites, yurts, and horse camps.
Another coastline option, Sunset Bay State Park is one of wintry-Oregon’s finest destinations. Its idyllic nature cannot be overstated. Choose from full-hookup sites, electrical sites, tents, yurts, and group tent camping areas any time of year.
Tumalo State Park is open year-round, although certain areas of the park are closed for the season. Winter visitors will want to utilize Loop B for its hook-up sites, tent sites, and yurts. Snow sport lovers won’t get much closer to easy skiing and snowboarding, as Mt. Bachelor is just up the road.