by Mario Vaden - Header photo is our oldest son Greg on Neahkahnie Mountain with Nehalem Bay in background
Afterward, check out Largest Coast Redwoods
You are on the site of M. D. Vaden. This is one of my favorite campgrounds in Oregon, near Manzanita and Nehalem Bay. More photos in the Oregon Coast Photo Album.
Find the Reservation link below and access to maps and brochures.
If you want a nice ocean campground in Oregon, Nehalem Bay State Park south of Seaside and Cannon Beach has fine campsites. The park is thickly wooded with short to medium size pines and other evergreens including huckleberry. It has an evergreen appearance all year. The sand is smooth. A breeze is common. The dunes protect the camp sites from much of the wind. This beach is great for kite flying. The beach and dunes provide a collection of natural amphitheaters for youth groups to find a private meeting spot.
Feel free to check out my Oregon Hiking page with favorite trails. At least 3 trails near Nehalem Bay State Park are listed: Saddle Mountain, Ecola Park and Neahkahnie Mountain.
GPS for A-Loop
Some people want full RV hook-ups - in that case, look north to Ft. Steven's State Park. On the other hand, Nehalem Bay State Park has Electrical / Water RV hook-ups at almost every campsite. And a waste dump station. The park has hiking and primitive sites for ocean area travelers on foot or on bicycles.
Almost all sites have paved driveways, water, electric outlets, fire pits and picnic tables. Almost every site fits both a tent and RV of some size. The sound of the ocean reaches the entire campground. The highway is too far away to cause noise.
Also available are Yurt campsites. Yurts are a cross between cabin and tent: round, canvas covered structures with a dome skylight, deadbolt door and equipped with beds, heater, light and table.
Yurts are a tent building ready-to-go as soon as you arrive. All you need is a sleeping bag or blankets to put on the beds. Beds are available for about 5 people, but you can sleep more with cots and pads. Yurts can remain closed and warm, or be opened-up for a breeze and ventilation. The floors are dry, elevated off the ground more than sufficiently. Most yurts have driveways that will accept a small RV and quite a few have a little grassy / sandy area that is big enough for a tent too. This is handy for families or people that invite visitors to this seaside campground.
There are several clear pathways to the beach - about two to five minutes of walking depending on where your camping site is. The top of each beach dune path is marked with a post, making it easy to know which way to head back to the campground. If you walk to the beach at night, be certain to bring flashlights to follow footprints and look for the posts in the dark. If the moon is hidden by clouds or sea mist on a dark night, the posts and dune paths are hard to find.
In late spring and summer, it's wise to reserve online or by phone.
Reservations Northwest: 1-800-452-5687
About 2 miles away from Nehalem Bay State Park are a grocery store, video store, gas stations, restaurants and more. You may enjoy visiting Nehalem Bay Winery. You might consider Manzanita for restaurants if you leave the campground for a meal. Manzanita is next door. Here is a link to a site that will help, look for the food and restaurant part of the site menu: neahkahnie.net
Many sites have some trees and shade. The most open sites are A-20, A-22, A-24, A26, A-28, A-33. Those sites are each capable of holding two tents. The information sheet will not indicate that. But there is not much shade in these few huge sites, but trees do border the back. Those are sunny, but a group on a budget could get possibly 18 tents and 48 people into those 6 campsites. That would probably require a reservation 3 months in advance to get them all.
Several other sites can squeeze-in 2 tents, but you need to visit yourself and make a map for the future. B-36 and B-37 are very roomy with shade trees, two medium tents per site worth of room. There is a meeting hall. If you want to reserve the hall, sites near A-49 and A-50 are obviously the closest. The meeting hall has a 10' wide door that raises up in addition to the regular door. There is a wood stove too. No couches, but a counter, sink and stacking chairs. It's a single large room.
The outer sites of each loop provides a bit more seclusion, due to the dunes or wooded areas behind the campsites. If you use the map links below, you have a general idea of which sites may be closer to a play area or restroom. For some families, the inner sites are ideal. The stats are right about the parking space. Most sites have enough room for 2 cars - check the list. Oregon State Parks lists the driveway lengths on the brochures. If you run short on space for a visitor, the overflow lot is close, paved and lit.
Oregon beach sand can be a lot of fun. Maybe you can add the Cannon Beach sand castle contest to your camping adventure if you time your reservation right. The sand at Nehalem Bay State Park is very soft with very few stones to be seen.
Official Oregon page.
Cannon Beach sand castles
Oregon Coast Visitors Association and Whale Watching