Copyright 2009 to 2011 ~ M. D. Vaden of Oregon
Top image: Stout Grove redwoods nearby. Images below: Harris Beach area. If you enjoy forests, inlclude a visit to the Largest Coast Redwoods which begin 25 miles south of Brookings and Harris Beach State Park. Take Highway 101 south, then east on Hy. 197 or Hy. 199 to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
We are not involved with reservations. This is a recommendation page. Reservation number and link are below.
Harris Beach State Park is on par with my other favorite, Nehalem Bay State Park. Harris Beach State Park has fine scenery, and campsites on the beach side of A loop have ocean views. This is near the Oregon border and Redwood Forests of Oregon & California. This image was taken while standing in an A loop campsite. To sample the ocean scenery, look for Harris Beach photos in my Oregon Coast Album.
For local hiking, consider Jedediah Smith redwoods, about 25 miles south. There is a nice trail with Oregon redwoods closer, but the most dramatic redwood trails, begin just over the border about to the south. See my album Redwood Forest. There are several beaches nearby with parking, to take a stroll along the ocean. The beaches within 20 minutes of Brookings are as nice at those near Trinidad or Crescent City to the south: better actually.
The park offers sandy beaches with eroded sea stacks. Summer brings warm days and sunlit beaches. Fall brings clear cool days and awesome sunsets. Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant - with gray whales on their winter and spring migrations.
Brookings Harbor is a nice community - more or less a full service town providing Harris Beach State Park with stores and restaurants.
Park Brochure or Campground Map
36 full hookup, 50 electrical, 63 tent (maximum site 50 feet, cable TV hookups in selected campsites); 6 yurts; hiker/biker camp. For information, call the park office at 541-469-2021. For reservations:
Here are a few basics about Harris Beach State Park campground and the vicinity. And keep in mind that A-loop may be hard to reserve in advance for one of the limited ocean view campsites on the ocean side of the campground A-loop is first come first serve in winter.
Just a few miles up Hy. 199 from Jedediah Smith Redwoods, is a lovely canyon cut by Smith River, which also flows through the forest. About an hour drive east on 199, is Cave Junction near the Oregon Caves National Monument. Also along Hy. 199, is the Darlingtonia plant known as Cobra Lily or Pitcher Plant - near mile marker 18 of Hy. 199. Look for signs to the botanical trail.
Check out Lone Ranch Beach a few miles north. If you need some clothing, or basic household items, Fred Meyer may be your best bet. I've found nice shirts and shoes there myself. Groceries included. Ray's grocery store is smaller, but nicely stocked - along with videos. Next to Ray's, is a Java stand for coffee in the parking lot, a video store, and a liquor store.
On the ocean side of the bridge that crosses the Chetco River at Highway 101, a road leads toward the ocean harbor waterfront. Down there, is fine dining at Smuggler's Cove restaurant - some of the best Prime Rib steak I've had. A smaller place, The Hungry Clam, had excellent Fish & Chips. It was nice to find a good Pizza restaraunt - Zola's Pizzaria. Zola's is close to the Chetco River on Lower Harbor Drive. Zola's website.
There is one small movie theater, a few restaraunts, taverns and stores , but it's a fairly mellow town, not buzzing like Seaside. The Hardware store is pretty impressive for hardware needs. If you need to tweak some RV or camp equipment, they may have something. As for computer wireless, you can access it from the Rest Area across Hy. 101 from the park, as well as in part of Harris Beach State Park at the end near the rest area. The wireless internet is relatively inexpensive.
There are a few gift shops, and studios of artist sculptors along Highway 101. Also, there is a veterinarian on the main highway in case you have a pet emergency.
About 1/2 hour north, you may enjoy a jet boat tour up the Rogue River, from Gold Beach.
A last word about Brookings, it's so close to the park, that you have an easy choice between total campfire and campstove cooking, or opting to bring back meals from town. Especially if you are just arriving and need a quick meal as you prepare to set-up camp.
There are well-known fast food places like KFC, Taco Bell and Subway within a minute of each other. If you need tire repair, Les Schwab, one of the Pacific Northwest's best, is close by.
There are coast redwoods in southern Oregon near Harris Beach and Brookings, but they don't compare in size to the forest just over the border.
About 1/2 hour south are very large redwoods. Simpson Reed Discovery Trail along Hy. 199, a few miles east of Crescent City, has some remarkable trees. That's one of the easiest short loops to get to. And it's one of the best for elderly people who need level ground, likewise for wheelchairs.
My favorite weekends include hiking on the Jed Smith trails, while setting up camp near Brookings at Harris Beach State park. This provides a great coastal experience, waves and sunsets, plus fantastic hiking among forest giants. You will certainly want to see Stout Grove. And Boy Scout Tree Trail off Howland Hill Road is a great hike. There is an information center in Crescent City, but most information and maps are online.