Nehalem Bay State Park on Oregon’s North Coast

Nehalem Bay State Park on Oregon’s North Coast
Nehalem Bay State Park on the north coast of Oregon is my new favorite Oregon State Park. With its close proximity to the beach, scenic views, and neighboring quaint towns of Nehalem and Manzanita, it’s sure to be a hit with other RVers as well. The park, which sits on a spit in between the Pacific Ocean and Nehalem Bay, is conveniently located off Highway 101 and easily accessible for most rigs, including large Class As.

The Beach
After you back into your site and set up camp, you’ll want to grab your sun block or raingear—it is Oregon after all—and head to one of the two sandy trails that lead to the beach. Once you scamper up the dunes, which can leave you a little winded, it’s all breathtaking ocean views from there. It’s time to take off your shoes, let your feet sink into the silky sand, and skip down towards the water.

The Campsites
The main campground is comprised of 265 paved sites with partial hookups that can accommodate most RVs. Sites range from 20 to 59 feet in length and each one has a picnic table and fire ring. Most of the sites are partially shaded, but many of them offer plenty of sun when it shines.

Several strolls through the campground will reveal that there is no such thing as a bad site at this park. Even though some of the sites hug one another pretty tightly, it still feels like you have ample room between you and your closest neighbors. Large dunes may separate the ocean from the campsites, but only visually, as you can hear the ocean from the entire campground.

Other camping opportunities within the park include yurt rentals, a horse camp with primitive sites, a hiker/biker camp and even an airport camp for fly-in campers!

Bring the Kids
RVing families will appreciate how family-friendly the campground is. Take a walk around the loops and you’ll see kids riding bikes, playing flashlight tag, and working on their sidewalk chalk drawing masterpieces. Plus, there are two playgrounds. The one located near the D and E loops is more suitable for the older children and the playground nestled in the A/B loop zone is perfect for young children and preschoolers under the watchful eye of an adult.

Recreation opportunities within the park include hiking, biking, horseback riding and beachcombing. Just a few minutes drive outside the park and you can meander down the streets of the quaint coastal towns of Nehalem and Manzanita. Cannon Beach, Rockaway Beach and other popular tourist destinations are nearby as well.

The Views
One of the main reasons that I love this campground is because of the views of Neahkanie Mountain to the north. It changes several times daily; at lunchtime it could be enshrouded in a thick fog; and by dinner, you might catch a glimpse of the mountain’s surreal, golden-hued cliffs illuminated by the setting sun.

If you have a tow vehicle, be sure to drive to the mountain—it’s located just north of Manzanita—because the summit viewpoint provides one of the most spectacular views on the Oregon Coast. And if you’re into local lore, this mountain has stories to tell: Legend has it that there’s a hidden treasure buried there that was left by Spanish sailors in the late 1500’s.

Doggone It
The only issue I had with the campground involved other campers. Since it is a pet-friendly zone, naturally the park was teeming with dogs. It’s great that people take their furry friends along with them on their trips. What’s not so thrilling is discovering that some of the pet owners can be inconsiderate when it comes to cleaning up after their dogs. The trails to the beach and the beach itself were littered with fresh and not-so-fresh dog messes. The park does provide baggies at various stations around the campground, so hopefully one day all of the park’s visitors will use them and dispose of the bags properly so that we can all better appreciate the scenery.

Regardless of the doggie messes, I’m already anticipating my next trip to Nehalem Bay.

Note: Eco-conscious RVers will love the recycling center at the campground—it’s just one more of the great features about this park!

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Erin Floresca. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erin Floresca. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erin Lehn for details.