This is part two of our Oregon trip. Read about our drive through Washington State here.
We spent about two weeks camping along the Oregon coast, staying at five state parks for an average of three days each. Our first stop was Nehalem Bay state park.
Nehalem Bay state park is located on a sandspit that wraps around the Nehalem River. The sandspit is beautiful, and the campground is quiet and well away from the highway. It ended up being one of our favorite locations along the Oregon Coast. The campground is located in a sheltered spot behind the dunes. A short trail leads from the campground across the dunes to the sea.
Diana was happy to be back on the coast.
Miles of sand.
We did many beach walks. One time we did get soaked by a rainstorm.
Reading a book on the beach.
Banana pancakes and grapefruit for breakfast.
This white-crowned sparrow was singing in one of the pine trees.
Like the white-capped sparrow, this dark-eyed junco was hovering around our camp, on the lookout for crumbs.
We biked to the village of Nehalem. This involved cycling along highway 101 across a hill, on a curvy section of road with no shoulders. It was scary but we survived.
In Nehalem is a highly-rated fish-and-chips food truck. It lived up to its reputation.
Wild iris in a ditch.
Another day we biked to Manzanita, an upscale resort town just up the coast.
It was a beautiful day, and cycling this section was a real joy.
Diana found a book box. Even more happiness!
We bought some local oysters. I shucked them with my Swiss army knife – that wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
After our tasty appetizer of oysters on the half-shell, it was time for the main course: locally-caught ling cod with Washington asparagus.
Our next stop to the south was Beverly Beach state park. Beverly Beach is located halfway between Depoe Bay and Newport. Highway 101 runs right along the coast here, and the campground is located on the inland side of the road in a shady grove of coastal forest. We got a really nice site near the back of the campground.
To get to the beach you can walk back down the campground road. But there is also a hiking trail along Spencer Creek, which leads through lush coastal forest.
Oregon coastal forest.
The trail leads to the highway bridge across Spencer Creek. It is possible to access the beach by going underneath the bridge, thus avoiding the traffic on busy highway 101.
The thing about Beverly Beach is that at high tide, the water almost comes up to the coastal cliffs, so that there is virtually no beach left. At low tide, however, Beverly is a wide and beautiful expanse of sand. For this reason, it’s worth looking at tide tables and planning a visit when low tide is in the middle of the day.
It was cold and windy during our visit. Our parkas kept us warm.
From the beach access you can hike north (right) or south (left). Going south, there is an interesting cliff with Miocene fossils about 1/4 mile down the way. After about a mile there is a creek crossing, and it’s possible to go inland and cross on the highway culvert, so as not to get your feet wet. After another half mile there is a second creek flowing across the beach, and this one does require fording.
Selfie with incoming tide.
We spent three nights camped at Beverly Beach. One evening we caught a nice sunset.
Continue to the final blog post: Washburne and Bullard Beaches.
We visited Nehalem Bay and Bevery Beach in late May and early June. At this time of year the state parks get busy only on the weekends, and we pre-booked our campsites for these times. During the weekdays, we got first-come-first-serve sites. In high season you’ll need to pre-book everything or else your chances of getting a site at a state park are low.