City RV Park Review – Pier 38 RV Park, Astoria, OR
Pre-Post Note/ According to latest info from blog readers (see comments) this RV PARK HAS SHUT DOWN As of SEPT 1st, 2016. So, unfortunately this is no longer an option for RVers visiting Astoria. See “Other Camping” section (below) for other places to camp in the area.
A very basic “no frills”, but excellently-located city-owned park on the waterfront in Astoria, NW OR
Link to park here (Facebook Page): Pier 38 RV Park
Link to map location here: Pier 38 RV Park
- Site quality = 2/5
Site quality here is best described as very basic. The park is simply several rows of parking area (dirt/grass) with areas approximately divided into sites. There are a range of hookups available from dry to full (50Amp/water/sewer) and sites are mostly level, but not entirely so (we had to use levelers). No picnic table, “sitting area” or privacy between sites and the road getting in has a few bumps/holes. The upside? Most sites do have slices of water views of the Columbia River.
- Facilities = 1/5
Not really anything in terms of facilities here. No toilet, showers, laundry, WiFi or other.
- Location = 5/5
Location is the ENTIRE reason to stay here, and honestly it couldn’t be much better. You are right on the waterfront in Astoria, opposite Pier 39 (with the most excellent Rogue Brewery & Coffee Girl) and next to the riverwalk trail (a lovely ~1 mile walk/bike to downtown) and the historic trolley (you can catch the trolley RIGHT by the park). We biked everywhere and didn’t use our car once the entire time we stayed here.
- Pet friendliness = 5/5
Very dog-friendly spot. The park is right next to a large field and the wonderful riverwalk trail. Lots of space to walk doggie. Extra bonus? Rogue Brewery & Coffee Girl (both just across the way over the wooden plank bridge) are both establishments with outdoor dog-friendly seating.
Overall rating = 3.25
BONUS ALERT = Camp right on the riverwalk trail in Astoria, OR!
Summary: I’ll be the first to say that is not a park for everyone, but I have to admit we (personally) enjoyed it. We chose to stay here on a heavily-booked week-end where almost everything else (incl. the 2 state parks) in the area was booked solid (this park is first-come-first-serve), and ended up staying a full 5 days. This park is right off the main road (Hwy 30) and has ~30 or so sites, only ~10 or so of which are open at any one time. On the surface this park is best described as “run down”. Sites are really nothing more than open spots to park on dirt/grass and there is no landscaping, separation, privacy or any of the facilities or amenities that you’d usually expect in a regular RV park. There are a range of hookups from dry to full, but otherwise zero other site extras, plus you will hear some road noise from Hwy 30. This is a basic NO FRILLS park, folks and you have to take it as-is. Also, many of the sites are taken up by permanents in older rigs so if this bothers you, you won’t like the place at all. If however, you’re like us and you don’t care at all what the park or the neighbors rigs look like then you’ll find yourself in a friendly place and most excellent location to explore wonderful Astoria. This park is the only “in city” park in town and it’s right on the Columbia River waterfront (several sites have water views or slices of water views), next to the wonderful riverwalk trail (only ~1 mile into downtown) and the historic trolley (there’s a stop right at the park), within walking distance of Safeway and just across the way (over the wooden plank bridge) from the most excellent (and dog-friendly) establishments of Rogue Brewery and Coffee Girl. While we were here we met several of our neighbors (all were nice), biked into town daily and enjoyed the location most thoroughly. Like I said, not for everyone, but if we need a place to stay in Astoria we’ll definitely be back.
Note/ A few “quirks” of this park which you should know if you come here -> sites are first-come-first-serve (at least I know of no official way to book them) and the main office is usually closed, so if you come here your best bet is simply to park in an open spot and search out the manager in his trailer (he is in site 26 on the left-hand row towards the river). Also, site pricing depends on what hookups you chose and doesn’t appear to be completely fixed (?). I believe the “official” price is $40/night for full hookups, but if you ask for less hookups, you’ll likely get a discount (we paid $25/night for electric only).
Extra Info: Excellent Verizon & ATT signal (4-5 bars of LTE ). No on-site amenities, but there is a cheap laundry inside Pier 39 across the plank bridge (2 machines located inside the building).
Extra Info – OTHER CAMPING? There are plenty of other parks available in this area including two State Parks (Fort Stevens & Cape Disappointment, both of which we have stayed at and enjoyed), as well as a very well-rated private RV park which many rave about (Lewis & Clark Golf & RV). No legal boondocking that I know of.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
I was totally unaware of that park… we have no problem staying at sub par parks if the location more than makes up for it. That is typically true the closer one wishes to stay near a metropolitan area…
Yup, that exactly describes the place here. In fact I’ve heard folks describe this particular park in even more “harsh” terms. I know many who would never chose to stay here which suits me just fine. More space for us 🙂
Loved reading this review, as I have such fond memories of my time there. Parked on a grassy lot was perfect for me, because there were so many cool things in Astoria to do, I only slept there….after a tasty Stout at the Rogue Brewery, of course. 😉 That bike trail goes quite a good ways in the opposite direction also, across some railroad trestles, and through some pretty marshlands. Just a great place, and I hope they keep it scruffy looking so I can have a space next time I go back. 😉
Your post on Astoria (and your time in this park) was definitely inspirational for us choosing to stay here. I hope it stays scruffy too.
Great article, great pics! Always a learning experience here! Thanks…George
Jodee Gravel says
How is the access from the road? Astoria is pretty tight and taking a wrong turn can get a rig in trouble. I would love this place and wish I’d remembered it when we reserved for Astoria – just for the great access to town 🙂 Lewis and Clark was very nice (loved having the lawn around the rig for Tessa), but no where to walk from the park and not close to anything. We’re off to Quilete this morning :-))))
Access from the road is super easy. It is literally right off Hwy 30. In fact the first pic at the bottom of the blog (the pic of the park sign and entrance) was taken standing on Hwy 30.
Robyn D says
We skipped Astoria this trip, too crowded. Had a great time at Fort Stevens. May have to check out that park next time.
We’ve always enjoyed Fort Stevens although it can get crazy busy there in summer. The beach is just gorgeous.
Margie Halsell says
Thanks so much for sharing this information. Sounds heavenly to me. The view of the river, the waterfront walk and simplicity looks great.
I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your loved one.
There is another little known RV park at Hammond Marina, just north of Fort Stevens. $25/night full hookups last year. It has showers and laundry. We were there on the 4th of July and were able to walk to a nearby park and watch the fireworks up and down the Washington side of the Columbia as well as Astoria. We would stay there again.
Nice tip! I know exactly where that park is and have driven past it several times, but gave never stayed. The price and location are right.
I really enjoy your reviews. I have a 45 motorhome. I was wondering if you know if there are length limitations at the campsites you visit? It would be really nice if your could include that info in your reviews.
No limitations at this particular spot. Although I don’t list specific size limits in my reviews, I’ll always mention if the campground is not suited for big rigs, or if 40-foot is the max.
Excellent. Thank you.
Sometimes location makes everything worth it. Thanks for the review.
We love all of your posts! I feel like I’m going to school because as soon as our home is sold we are moving full time into our RV and we are learning so much from all the posts that comes with your sites. We’re following faithfully in the steps of my parents. They traveled all over the USA. We hope to be leaving Florida by Thanksgiving. We won’t be able to go very far because of the winter season. But we are still leaving. We both will be 70 by then and our children tell us we are the new 60. We are so happy that we found your blog site as your experiences and knowledge is very important to us. Thank you for any advice you can give to us as we begin the next chapter in our life. God bless you and all who participate in putting out good information.
Well thanks for following along on our journey and a HUGE congrats on your upcoming adventures! I hope the road turns out to be everything you dreamed of!!
Thank you for another super helpful post. Location is key for us so this park recommendation will come in handy as we head up to the PNW this springs/summer.
One question – we are newbie fulltimers (just started in March) and like you have a 40′ beast. I assume your rig has auto-levelers so when you say, “sites are mostly level, but not entirely so (we had to use levelers).” are you referring to your auto-levelers or jack pads/tire levelers? If it’s external levelers how do those work with the auto-levelers? I’ve tried to research this but haven’t come up with anything that discusses this combination in detail. We could use a little more leveling at our current site! Thanks, Paula
Yes, our rig has auto-leveling, but we don’t like to push them too far (I’m very insistent on all wheels being down at all times). So we often use Lynx Leveling blocks under the wheels to get the rig closer to level and just use the auto-leveling to do final adjustments. If we use blocks under the wheels we’ll also use blocks under the jack pads (so they don’t over-extend).
You can see what our entire leveling scheme looks like here:
Hope that helps to explain it!
Thanks, that’s extremely helpful! We’ve seen some crazy leveling since we started (my favorite was the one with the front tires a foot and a half off the ground!) so glad to know the correct way to do it! We used those Lynx levelers with our 22′ RV but just assumed our 40’er would smash them. Should have thought to search your site first. The next rainy day I need to have a Nina marathon and read all of your posts!
Glad it helped! We’ve had the same Lynx Levelers for 5 years now and only one piece has cracked. I never thought they’d be able to handle our “beastly” weight, but they seem to hold up just fine. We love them!
Love your post. We stayed at the Lewis & Clark campground the end of June, 2015.
Great review Nina! Close to Coffee and a brewery, how can you go wrong! Did you ever see this park fill up to capacity? I am planning on visiting Astoria in a month and arriving on a Friday. Do you need to show up in the middle of the week to get a spot? Your blog is invaluable in researching our travels, Thank You!
We didn’t see it fill the whole time we were there, and we arrived on a Friday too. Hopefully there will be space when you get here. Enjoy!!
We are sitting in this park as I post this. You also get seal serenading. Loving it. Thanks for the info. We aren’t able to check into cape disappointment until Sunday so great hold over spot. Just left behind a heavenly 3 week stay at Grayland Beach. Highly recommended this area as well. Great weather right now. Lovely beach.
Awesome!! Highly recommend checking out the Astoria farmers market on Sunday morning before you make your way over here. We’ll be in the lighthouse AM shift (10:00-13:30) Wed-Sat next week if you decide to drop by.
Diane and Casey says
Thanks for the suggestion. One of the best farmers market I’ve been to. May have to go back next Sunday. We may check out the light house if so we’ll try to make that time frame and say hello. Enjoy your final days here. It’s so gorgeous.
Excellent! We go every Sunday to that Astoria market. It’s one of our favs on the coast. There’s a smaller, but still quite nice market in Ilwaco on Saturdays so you can check that out when you’re on this side.
Harry Salit says
Update, website says it closed, not true, but it is closing Sept 1 according to the temporary manager.
Bummer!! Do you know if the closure is permanent?
The temp mngr sounded like it was, said to call the visitors center to get the latest. We were very dissapointed to read on web that it was closed so made arrangements to stay elsewhere. While in Astoria decided to drive by and were shocked to see over dozen rvs
The temp said the previous manager was upset over being let go so he posted the closure on the web!!!!! They don’t know how to correct the post.
I very much enjoy your blog and stayed at many cg’s that you recommended.
But did not think much of Quinalt casino, maybe the shrubs have grown up but we could not see the ocean!!! Sites not level & now they charge $10/day on weekends!!!
Then Kalaloch was very nice in the right site. South Beach also good with ocean views from almost all sites.
Interesting little drama. Cheers for the extra info. I’ll try to keep an eye on it and see where this goes.
Hi, Nina — I am trying to head there this weekend, but all phone numbers lead to Chad, the former manager, who I believe may have been ousted. There is no phone number, no way to make a reservation, and no one seems to have a contact. I may get brave enough to try it anyway. Just a little leery since it’s the weekend, but if I get in, I’ll try to find out the scoop.
The temp manager said to call the Visitors Center for latest about Pier 38. They will close sept 1