Free Camping Spots On The Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast boasts lovely sceneries with several free camping spots that will enchant those who love to experience being in the refreshing outdoors.

Camping along the Oregon Coast caters to the different types of camping, from tent camping to RV camping you will have an immersive experience staying in state and national forests grounds, developed campgrounds, public lands, and dispersed campsites.

The free campgrounds have their allures, following the set rules and regulations you can be away from the crowds unlike on designated campsites with fees as long as you get the spot first as the spots are just limited.

Whether it’s your first time looking into free dispersed camping or wanting to save extra bucks on your next trip, we have researched all the free camping spots on Oregon Coast to help you search for the perfect place to explore.

Free Camping Spots on the Oregon Coast

The following are the free camping spots on the Oregon Coast:

Elko Dispersed Tenting

Elko Dispersed Tenting
  • Location: NF-050, Gold Beach, OR Pacific Northwest 97444
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Three campsites
  • Open Season: Year-round
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

Elko Dispersed Tenting site is a secluded and quiet spot near Hunter Creek. You and your family or friends can enjoy a good swim in Hunter Creek while basking in the relaxing quietness away from the crowd.

This free campground is intended for small trailers and tents. And since the place offers primitive camping, expect the absence of the usual amenities that you can find in a paid camping area.

There are no picnic tables, no firepit, no drinking water, no toilet, and no garbage disposal in this dispersed camping area so be responsible for your trash and make sure to bring your trash bags and bring them with you for disposal.

Mt. Ashland Campground

Mt. Ashland Campground
  • Location: NF-20, Ashland, OR 97520
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Nine campsites
  • Open Season: June – October (also depends on the weather)
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

One of the free campsites on the Oregon Coast is Mount Ashland Campground. This free camping spot caters to trailers, small RVs, and tent campers.

The free campsite does not have water and trash cans. If you plan to have a campfire, it is recommended to bring enough water to douse the fire. Dogs are allowed but should be on a leash.

Free camping is limited to just 14 days and since there are no garbage cans, please be responsible and pack up your trash including your dog litter.

Note: The last update on Mt. Ashland Campground says it is closed until September 17, 2022, due to fire danger.

South Lake Dispersed Space

South Lake Dispersed Space in Oregon
  • Location: NF-1428, Beaver, OR 97108
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: One dispersed camping area near a forested lake
  • Open Season: No information but appears to be year-round
  • Operated By: Siuslaw National Forest State Park

The South Lake Dispersed Camping space on Oregon Coast is one of the best free camping spots with a lake view. This is an established campsite in Siuslaw National Forest, one of the Oregon State Parks, so if you’re looking into a boondocking Oregon Coast adventure this one is not for you. Though, the delightful grounds are secluded and can bring that rejuvenating feel from nature.

Launching non-motorized boats can also be done on the lake and the lake is even occasionally stocked with rainbow trout for a fishing adventure.

This camping ground has no potable water so make sure to bring your own and has a vault toilet. If you’re up for a hike, this place has awesome trails and is even the eastern Trailhead of the Pioneer Indian Trail.

Mineral Campground

Mineral Campground near Oregon Coast
  • Location: Cottage Grove, OR 55016
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Three sites
  • Open Season: Year-round
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

Mineral Campground as the name suggests served as a stopover for miners who were on their way to Bohemia Mining District. It’s time to bring your hiking backpack with camping essentials to stay the night or rent an RV for your family to spend a night or two at this lovely place.

This campground offers camping near Sharps Creek and is located at the historic Hardscrabble Grade’s base.

There are picnic tables and fire pits on this campground. There is a vault toilet but there’s no available drinking water and no trash cans so make sure to pack out your garbage properly.

Tent camping, RV camping, or dispersed camping can be accommodated by this campsite and you can bring your furry friends as pets are allowed. Campfires are also allowed but be responsible for dowsing the fire after.

Odessa Campground

Odessa Campground
  • Location: NF-3639, Klamath Falls, OR 97601
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Six sites
  • Open Season: 05/15 – 10/15
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

Bring your portable camping chairs and immerse yourself in the serene environment offered by Odessa Campground. Following the forest service roads, stop at the end of FS Road 3639 and experience this campground’s lush vegetation and calm embrace of majestic trees like Douglas firs and Ponderosa pines.

This campground is among the camping sites with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. There even is a steep boat ramp (but without a boat dock) for small boats.

Each campsite offers privacy to campers. It is recommended for visitors to bring water as there is no drinking water in the area. This campsite caters to RV camping, tent camping, and dispersed camping.

Pets are also allowed and phone service is available on this campground.

Elk River Road

Campsite at Elk River Road
  • Location: Elk River Rd, Port Orford, OR 97465
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Undetermined but reported being several
  • Open Season: No information but appears to be year-round
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

Elk River Road is part of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and offers dispersed camping, tent camping, and RV/vehicle camping. There are several campsites for dispersed camping and some sites even have river access.

If you prefer to be on developed campgrounds then Elk River Road also has Sunshine Bar Campground and Butler Bar Campground.

This campsite provides a quick drive to the Oregon Coast and has fantastic swimming holes to enjoy. Because of easy access, this campsite attracts a lot of visitors.

When going on dispersed camping on this public land, please be responsible for your trash and make sure to pack them with you. Also, be careful of black bears around the area as there are frequent sightings around the area.

Wildhorse Meadow

Wildhorse Meadow
  • Location: Wildhorse Meadow, Oregon 97624
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Three Campsites
  • Open Season: May
  • Operated By: USDA Forest Service

Wildhorse Meadow offers dispersed camping near Oregon Coast and has some of the best views from the mountainous areas of Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest State Park.

Your Oregon Coast dispersed camping will be extraordinary with the mountain breeze and clear starry skies. There are picnic tables and fire pits available in the area but with no drinking water so make sure to bring enough supply for our drinking water.

There is a pit toilet available and dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times. You might also see horseback riders as the area has horseback riding activities.

The maximum length of stay in the area is 14 days and there is no garbage disposal so make sure to be responsible for your trash.

Smith River Falls Campground

Smith River Falls Campground
  • Location: 28593 Lower Smith River Rd, Reedsport, OR 97467
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Ten Campsites
  • Open Season: Memorial Day to September 30
  • Operated By: Bureau of Land Management

Smith River Falls Campground is one of the best places to camp on the Oregon Coast for free. It is a first-come-first-served basis campground with 10 sites that can accommodate both tents and RVs.

The campsites are well-shaded by trees perfect for your favorite string lights decor for a magical camping experience. There is also river access for fishing and swimming. The campground also has a vault toilet, picnic tables, and fire grates.

Be aware that there is no drinking water available in the area so please bring enough supply for your stay. The maximum length of stay is 14 days and generators are only allowed to be used between the hours of 10 am to 8 pm.

A boat launch is available on this campsite and there are also universal access restrooms. The best time to visit this campground is during mid-week as it gets crowded during weekends.

As this is one of the public lands, please be mindful of your trash disposal to preserve the beauty of the place.

Best Free Camping Spots in Oregon aside from the Oregon Coast

Here are some of the places in Oregon that you might consider checking out for free camping:

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park
  • Location:1 Sager Building, Crater Lake, OR 97604
  • Reservations: Depends on the campsite
  • Number of Free Campsites: Three Campsites
  • Open Season: Depends on the Site
  • Operated By: National Park Service

Crater Lake National Park is located in Southern Oregon and is the only national park in Oregon. This national park attracts a lot of visitors and offers stunning views for Oregon Coast camping.

The following are the free campgrounds near Crater Lake National Park:

Thousand Springs Sno-Park (Southwest Crater Lake)

This campsite is free in summer but with fees for permits for camping activities from November 1 to April 30. This site offers easy access from the road with vault toilets but without water, sewer hookups, or electric hookups.

Annie Creek Sno-Park (South Crater Lake)

This campsite is open all year round with vault toilets and also has reported outlets in a covered shelter on the site. There are no other amenities but there is cell service in the area.

Forest Road 610 Dispersed Camping (West Crater Lake)

This campsite is considered to be the most primitive of the three. The camping sites are clearings on the roads and with firepits but no other amenities.

Pine Mountain Observatory Primitive Forest Service Campground

Pine Mountain Observatory Primitive Forest Service Campground
  • Location: 55005 Pine Mountain Rd, Bend, OR 97701
  • Reservations: None, First-come-first-served basis
  • Number of Free Campsites: Four Drive-in Sites and Ten Hike Sites for Tent Camping
  • Open Season: May – September
  • Operated By: University of Oregon

Pine Mountain Observatory is located in one of the national forests, Deschutes National Forest. The primitive camping spot is a good alternative if you don’t want to pay fees at the Pine Mountain Campground or Alder Springs Campground.

The dispersed campsites are located near the astronomical observatory with clear night skies for stargazing. There are also hiking trails nearby for daytime

The four drive-in sites can accommodate both RVs and tents while the 10 hike-in sites are only for tents. There is no water or electricity in the area but there is a vault toilet.

The maximum length of stay is three nights and generators are not allowed in the area.

Things to Take Note of When Free Camping on the Oregon Coast

Be a responsible Camper

During your free camping activity, there are several things that you should take note of as follows:

  1. Camping is only allowed in designated areas, follow the designated areas
  2. There should be no littering and please dispose of your trash properly
  3. Respect the rights of other campers and be considerate of their space
  4. Be mindful of your noise levels, especially at night
  5. Follow all fire regulations
  6. Do not disturb wildlife or damage vegetation
  7. Leave the campsite as you found it and follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principle
  8. Be prepared for all weather conditions
  9. Bring your water as potable water may not be available in the area
  10. Pack out all your trash
  11. Respect private property and do not trespass
  12. Obey all posted signs

So these are the free camping spots on Oregon Coast with additional noteworthy fee camping places in Oregon. It is important to take note that free camping is a privilege and not a right. Please be considerate of the environment and those around you. Happy camping!

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