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Fort Stevens State Park

Near Astoria, Oregon, United States

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Park Overview

One of the nation’s largest public campgrounds, Fort Stevens marks the site of a military installation once used to guard the mouth of the Columbia River. The fort saw service for 84 years, from the Civil War to World War II. 

Today, Fort Stevens is a 4,300-acre park offering a variety of recreation adventures, including camping, beach-combing, a freshwater lake, trails, wildlife viewing, and an historic shipwreck. Park features include:

  • Coffenbury Lake has two picnic areas with swimming, restrooms and boat ramp. A 2-mile trail circles the lake.
  • Columbia Shore Disc Golf Course
  • 15 miles of multiuse trails
  • Views of the Columbia River Bar from the South Jetty Observation Tower Closed
  • Adult and youth bike rentals CLOSED
  • Kayak Tillamook offers kayak tours on Trestle Bay. Call 503-866-4808 CLOSED
  • Fort Stevens marks the northern-most trailhead for the Oregon Coast Trail
  • Life jacket loaner stations at Coffenbury Lake

Historic Military Site

Enjoy year-round military displays at the military museum and information center. Visit the only Civil War era earthen fort on the west coast, or explore the many turn-of-the-century, concrete artillery gun batteries. Underground tours are available during the summer of a gun battery that served as a World War II command center. For tour information, call the Friends of Old Fort Stevens  at 503-861-2000.

COVID-19 Alert: Guided tours are canceled. A self-guided tour is available on site.

Year-round Camping

All campsites have a picnic table and fire pit. Book reservations up to 6 months in advance at oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com. Reservations are required for cabins and yurts.

  • 174 full-hookup sites (36 pull-through)
  • 302 electrical sites with water (11 pull-through)
  • 6 tent sites
  • 9 walk-in tent sites with parking nearby
  • 15 yurts (7 pet-friendly)
  • 11 deluxe cabins (5 pet-friendly) 
  • Hiker/biker camp
  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • RV dump station
  • Universal Access: 8 cabins and 10 yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities.
Effective Jun 1, 2021
  • Shower facilities are open from 10am – 4pm in campground loops N, O, L, M, and I. Consult the campground map on site for locations.
  • No kayak tours, bike rentals or guided tours
  • Yurts and cabins are open; reservations required.
  • The park's two picnic shelters are open for reservations with a 25-person capacity
Effective Apr 6, 2021
Construction to repair and improve the South Jetty will be ongoing through 2024. For safety, bicycles are prohibited north of Lot B. Expect traffic control and reduced access to Lots C and D.

The observation tower and dune trails will be closed beginning 4/19/21 until further notice. Lot C and restroom will remain open. Oregon Coast Trail hikers will need to start at Lot B. Read the news release for more information. 

Effective Mar 15, 2021 – Sep 15, 2021
Seasonal beach restrictions are in effect March 15 - Sep. 15 on Clatsop Spit, west of the Fishermen’s Beach access to the South Jetty, during nesting season for the western snowy plover. Foot and equestrian traffic on wet sand only; all other recreation prohibited. Information: oregon.gov/plovers.
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round mdi-tent Open for camping Year Round mdi-currency-usd Day-use parking permit required
(purchase 1-day permit on site)
Buy annual parking permit
mdi-cellphone Call for reservations: 800-452-5687
Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 503-861-3170 x 21
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Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Can I get cell service at your park?

Cell service is spotty at Fort Stevens, depending on your specific location and service provider.  Verizon customers will get better reception than At&t. 

I have a school group, can I talk to a ranger about a specialized tour?

Contact us to speak to someone about this possibility. Space is limited so please make these arrangements far in advance.

Ranger John Koch: (971)-338-8919

email: John.Koch@oregon.gov

What type of items should I bring?

Bring a variety of clothes, including warm coats.  Even in mid-summer it can be very cold and windy on the coast.  Binoculars for wildlife viewing and a bicycle to explore 9 miles of paved trails are also recommended.  If you are visiting between March-July, mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. 

Is this park a day-trip affair, or can you do it in a few hours?

The park can be seen in a few hours, but it is recommended to spend more time to see what there is to offer.  Fort Stevens is a destination park and many people spend a week or longer during the summertime. 

I'd love to volunteer/become a camp host who do I contact?

 Our volunteer coordinator is Marlo Russell.  Her direct line is 503.871.83170 ex 24.

We would love to have you on board!
 

Where can I swim?

The lakes and rivers found within Oregon State Parks are open to unsupervised swimming.  You are responsible for your own safety.  Before you enter the water, you should judge your swimming skills against possible strong currents, cold water, underwater objects, and steep drop-offs.  Remember, many of our natural bodies of water and man-made reservoirs are filled by snow runoff and remain cold year round.  Please bring and wear a personnal flotation device and swim with a buddy.

mdi-help-circle-outline About Camping

Where Can I Get Firewood?

Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by getting your firewood at the campground, or close to it. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference. For more information, visit dontmovefirewood.org.

The Friends of Old Fort Stevens sell firewood within the campground and will deliver campfire wood directly to your site!  Proceeds help preserve the park's historic area. 

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I drive my vehicle on the beach at Fort Stevens?

Vehicles are allowed on the ocean shore from Gearhart to the South Jetty of the Columbia River.  They are prohibided on the beach south of the 10th Street beach access in Gearhart, and from the Peter Iredale beach access to the South Jetty from noon-midnight May 1-September 15.  Only "street legal" vehicles are allowed on the beach, no motorcycles or off-highway vechicles.  Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended.  Vehicle access points are located at Fort Stevens near the Peter Iredale Beach, Sunset Beach, Del Rey Beach, and in Gearhart at 10th Street. 

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

What areas of the park require a Day-Use pass?

There are three locations in Fort Stevens State Park that require a Day-Use pass ($5.00 per vehicle).  They are the North and South parking areas of Coffenbury Lake and the Historic Area located at the north end of the park, along the Columbia River. 

Self-serve kiosks are located at each of these three locations. Day-Use passes are also sold at the Information Center (Museum) located in the Historic Area and at the Ranger Station located in the campground.

The following are also accepted passes that allow you to utilze the three areas noted above; current Oregon State Parks Annual Pass, valid campsite permit or reservation confirmation, valid Day-Use pass from any Oregon State Park, or a Pacific Coast Passport.

Please ensure the valid pass or document is prominantly displayed in the front window of your vehicle when parked.  Motorcyclists can carry their passes on their person, and must be ready to present it to a park ranger if requested.

A valid pass is required for any licensed motor vehicle.  The pass does not validate a parking space, rather the vehicle.  Example: Multiple motorcylces cannot share a parking space under one pass.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

The park's land was acquired between 1955 and 1974. Close to 790 acres were given to the state by Clatsop County between 1955 and 1960. Other lands were acquired by gifts, leases, and purchases from the county, local school district, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a private landowner. The original earthen fort, completed in 1865 to protect the mouth of the Columbia River from Confederate gun boats and the British Navy during the Civil War, was named for Union Army Major General Isaac I. Stevens, first territorial governor of Washington, who died in 1862 at the Battle of Chantilly. The post later served as Oregon's only coastal defense fort during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.  The fort has the distinction of being the only military fort in the United States to be fired upon by an enemy during time of war since the War of 1812, when it was attacked by a Japanese submarine on June 21, 1942.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box 2021 Tide Tables mdi-file-pdf-box Campground map and park map mdi-file-pdf-box Fort Stevens Guide to Military Sites mdi-file-pdf-box Graveyard of the Pacific mdi-file-pdf-box Mushrooms of Fort Stevens mdi-file-pdf-box Oregon Coast Whale Watching mdi-file-pdf-box Plover Management Areas – North Coast

Photos & Video