SP Campground Review – Fort Stevens State Park, Astoria, OR
A huge park with miles of beach, forts and bike trails on the very NW tip of Oregon Coast.
Note/ Review updated as of last stay June 2013
- Site Quality = 4/5
Given the enormous amount of sites in this park (almost 500!!) it’s really hard to give an overall site review, so I’ll just mention some general trends. Overall sites are very decent. They are concrete back-in/pull-through with decent separation, a selection of electric/water (50Amp) to full hook-up and fire-pit/picnic table. Good access throughout. Most loops are very similar, but there are some notable differences:
-> Loops C->H – These are located on the right-hand (North) side of the entrance road and are (in general) very heavily forested especially towards the back of the loops (it can get quite dark here). Sites backing up to the main/central road tend to be more open, but also have some road-noise. Good separation, but some sites tend to be quite uneven and size of “sitting areas” are variable. Pull-throughs seem some of the flattest in this section. Loops D, J, and H have no showers. Loops H, I have full hookups.
-> Loops L/M – These are full hookup loops on the left side (South) of the entrance road. Overall forested/shaded sites. “Inner” sites are all pull-throughs and very easy access although they seem (in general) to have smaller “sitting areas” than outer back-in sites. All sites are nicely flat here.
-> Loops N/O – These are the furthest left-loops near the lake and are the most “open” in the campground, making these our favorite by far. Several sites are fully open/sunny esp. towards left-hand (e.g. even numbers O8-O24. These also have the best chance of satellite reception.). Sites are perhaps not as private as the other loops, but have more consistent “sitting areas”. All are nicely flat, but most inner sites (i.e. those backing towards middle of the loops) are almost at 90-degree angles to the road. For big-rigs I definitely recommend the outer sites which are nicely slanted.
- Facilities = 3/5
Fairly good facilities here. There are several toilet/shower areas around the campground. Showers are large stalls with separate clothing area, but have those annoying spray-heads and “instant” buttons (I did find you could cheat them with a “wiggle” to lock them to one side). Main ding is sand and mud all around which sometimes gets the facilities dirtier than I like. LOTS of other facilities all around the campground incl. day-use areas, picnic areas, biking trails etc. Large multi-lane on-site dump station, but entrance is rather tight.
- Location = 5/5
This is a fabulous location. You’re only ~1 mile from endless beach, surrounded by masses of hiking/biking trails, a wonderful (large) lake, as well as on-site museum and forts. Nearby shopping at Costco just around the corner, plus Astoria is only ~10 miles away. LOTS of other activities all-around.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Another fabulous doggie park. There are literally miles of beach-area that are completely paw-friendly and (practically) empty most of the time. Lots of additional on-site trails, plus access to the lake for more swimming/activities. For those who need it there’s a nice fenced-in dog-park just a few miles outside the campground. Poo bags provided.
Overall Rating = 4.25
BONUS ALERT = Explore miles of beach, history, lakes and trails all in one spot!
Summary: So this is one of those campgrounds that people seem to either love or hate. I have to admit we’re on the love side. It’s one of the very largest State campgrounds in the West with close to 500(!!) sites and for that reason alone I’ve heard it called a “zoo”. In the middle of summer when it’s fully booked with kids and families I could imagine it might get a little rowdy, but in the off-season it’s perfectly fabulous and there’s space enough that (personally) I never felt crowded even in the booked-out week-ends. Sites are very decent with concrete, good separation and a selection from electric/water to full hookup as well as fully shaded (most of right-hand loops C->H) to more open (esp. loops N/O -> these were our favorite). The big attraction is there is simply MASSES to do. There is a large lake, miles of hiking/biking trails and even historical interest in the on-site museum and forts. It’s ~1 mile to the beach from your campsite, but WHAT a great beach. You could easily spend a whole afternoon walking with pooch in the sand and (likely) not meet more than 10 people. Add to that nearby Astoria, plus all the other local attractions and it simply doesn’t get much better. Definitely a spot we would visit again.
Extra Info: Fairly erratic Verizon signal here -> Anything from 1X to decent 4G depending on the weather (or so it seemed). We were able to get a stable 1-2 bars of 4G LTE internet signal by “forcing” our MiFi onto 4G only. Sites cost $27 in summer, $23 in off-season all reservable (174 full hookup, 302 electrical). On-site dump station.
Note/ You can get a pic of each and every campsite in this park at campsitephoto.com