As we hit the home stretch of our 2017/18 snowbird adventure, we found ourselves on southern Oregon coast in the town of Brookings. We’ve driven through Brookings numerous times on previous trips, but only every stopped briefly for fuel. This spring we decided to make a point of staying a few nights.
My first choice for camping was Harris Beach State Park. We love the Oregon State Parks and were eager to camp at a new one. Unfortunately, the campground was under heavy construction leaving only a few sites open. So we changed our minds and went with the second choice: the Beachfront RV Park down in the Brookings Harbor area.
Beachfront RV Park, Brookings Oregon
Funny enough finding camping right on a beach in Oregon is harder than one might think. Most of the state parks are behind dunes or in the coastal forests for shelter. Most of the opportunities are limited to private parks, and the rates are high. The Beachfront RV Park in Brookings is one example with full hookup beachfront sites going for $51 a night even in the offseason.
However, they do have a dry camping area situated along the Chetco River for a cheaper nightly rate of $32. Being that boondocking is second nature to us we gladly setup there. Sure we didn’t get a view of the ocean but were literally steps away. I actually preferred the river views which had lots of wildlife and boat traffic to observe. Also, we were all on our own compared to being in a row of tightly packed rigs with the public beach parking blocking the views.
Another perk of the RV park is the proximity to the Brookings Harbor district. All within easy walking distance. It was relaxing to stroll along the docks checking out the activity of the commercial boats, browse the gift shops and grab a seafood lunch at one of the many restaurants. We visited in mid-April during the offseason. The vibe was mellow without all the vacation crowds.
Overnighting at Myers Creek Beach on Highway 101
After two nights at the Beachfront RV park, the weather was about to get wetter as another coastal storm moved in. Rather than spend another $32 to sit in the trailer, we decided to move a bit northward to a little Oregon coast highway viewpoint above Myers Creek Beach. Myers Creek Beach is one of the prettiest stretches of highway on the entire Oregon Coast. It’s been used in countless commercials because of the stunning backdrop. A photographers dream.
This time of year the traffic is light, and many times you will have the whole beach to yourself. Knowing some foul weather was in store we pulled over at one of the viewpoints and set up the rig for some storm watching. It was awesome to be all warm and cozy in our home on wheels watching natures power and beauty on full display.
As the day wound down, I decided to overnight at this small viewpoint along Highway 101. It was a risk being so close to the highway and not really knowing if overnight parking was allowed. But being a quiet stretch of road and a rainy, foggy Sunday night was worth it. Most of the coastal highway pullouts have signs that read “No Camping” or “Overnight Parking,” but this one doesn’t.
We have overnighted in this spot on a previous occasion, and I see it listed as a free overnight spot on a few of the online camping databases such as FreeCampSites.net. Oregon highway rules indicated by this website allow a person to remain in rest stops for 12 hours.
Q: Can I sleep at an Oregon rest area?
A: You are welcome to sleep, take a power or cat nap, and otherwise relax. In fact, we encourage road-weary drivers to do so before continuing a long journey. Data indicates that weary drivers have a far greater chance of falling asleep at the wheel or being involved in a vehicular accident. You can slumber in your camper, snore to beat the band in your RV, or dream about Oregon blueberries in your van, as long as it doesn’t exceed the 12-hour rule.
However, I don’t know that this particular pullout is considered a highway rest stop or not so staying there could result in a knock by the police at the door or a fine. So, I want to make that clear. 😉
We had a restful night lulled to sleep by the rain and crashing surf. The next morning I woke up early and took the beagle out for a walk on the gorgeous beach without another soul in sight, Angie had a blast running off leash. I enjoyed the beautiful break in the weather, but soon our walk was cut short by an incoming storm front, so it was back to the warm confines of the RV for breakfast before hitting the road. Stay tuned for more Oregon Coast adventures as we slowly make our way back to Vancouver Island for the summer.