NP Campground Review – Oregon Inlet, Hatteras National Seashore (OBX), NC
A somewhat busy (and noisy) primitive National Seashore campground in a great location to explore the northern part of Hatteras National Seashore along the Outer Banks of NC
Link to campground here: Oregon Inlet Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
Link to map location here: Oregon Inlet Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Decent site quality here with just a few dings. This is a very open campground with sites arranged in 3 simple loops (A, B, C). All sites are pretty much identical -> flat, long (around 40-feet) paved sites with no hookups. Fairly decent separation plus picnic table and grill in each “sitting area”. Main dings are the road-noise (the campground is right next to Hwy 12 so there is *some* road-noise almost all the time) and no vegetation, so not much in the way of privacy (and no protection from the wind). No hookups but generators are allowed outside of quiet hours. Loop A is tent only, whereas loop B/C are open to all. Sites right next to the dunes have a little less road-noise and are a tad more protected, but otherwise they’re all very similar.
Note/ You can’t book a specific site here (only a space), so you simply chose your campsite upon arrival and let the office know which site you want when you check-in.
- Facilities = 2/5
Somewhat odd facilities. Decent flush toilets, but the showers are primitive pull-chain-type cold showers where you have to keep the chain pulled to get any water. Also they have no-where to really place your stuff (one hook, but that’s it) and are located outside in stalls which are not completely closed so you’ll feel the breeze as you shower. Let’s just say showering here is an “experience” LOL. On-site dump station and water (across the road at the marina).
- Location = 4/5
As far as exploring the northern part of Hatteras National Seashore this is a very decent location. Oregon Inlet is only 4 miles from Bodie Lighthouse and just a short drive from the popular resort towns of Kitty Hawk & Nags Head (including the Wright Brothers Memorial). Plus it’s less than 1 hour to the very northern tip of the Island (Currituck Light and wild horses). The main negative is that the campground is right next to Hwy 12 so it’s somewhat noisy (mostly the wind drowns it out, but there is constant road noise) plus the next-door beach allows cars so you have to share your beach-walk with vehicles (this also means the sand is not as pristine as you might expect.).
- Pet Friendliness = 4.5/5
A good spot for doggie. Decent space by camp, plus you are a short dune-walk away from a dog-friendly beach. Also this campground has very few few stickies/burrs (a common problem along the OBX) so it’s not too painful for paws. Only slight ding? Cars on the beach mean you have to watch out for vehicles while walking doggie in the sand.
Overall Rating = 3.5
BONUS ALERT = Camp only 4 miles from Bodie Island Light!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Apologize for the wind interference in this video (especially in the beginning!), but we’ve got a quick ~7-min overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwTLZ0qtkEw
Summary: We chose this campground as our base to explore the northern section of Hatteras National Seashore, and for that it worked out great. It’s just ~20 minutes south of the popular resort towns of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, a short 4 miles from Bodie Lighthouse, and only ~1 hour to the very northern tip of the island, so you’ll have easy access to everything there is to see and do in the area. The campground itself is a basic, primitive campground with 3 loops. Sites are all nicely flat, paved sites around 40-foot long with picnic table and grill (no hookups) and pretty decent separation. No vegetation so not much in the way of privacy (and not much protection from the wind), but not too many stickies/burrs either (some, but they weren’t terrible) so pretty decent for hanging outside and with paws. The biggest dings were next-door road noise (from Hwy 12) and the fact that the local beach allows cars. The noise wasn’t too bad (and mostly drowned out by the constant wind) but it was there, and the cars on the beach (lots of them) meant our local beach-walking was not as pristine and relaxed as we hoped. Still we were happy the beach was dog-friendly and definitely enjoyed the easy access to town and all the sights in the area. Given the limited choice of reasonably-priced camping in the area, we’d probably chose to stay here again.
Note/ There were only a few skeeters during our time here (late Oct), but I gather they can/do get bad in summer, so be prepared if you come earlier in the year.
Extra Info: Good cell signal (4 bars Verizon LTE, 2 bars ATT LTE). 120 total sites, NO hookups. Only loops B/C allow RVs. Sites cost $28/night (or $14/night if you have National Parks Senior Pass). Campground open third week of April through last week-end of November. On-site dump station and water (across the road at the marina).