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:
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.
General obligation bonds approved by the 2021 Legislature will fund two projects at the park.
Cell service is spotty at Fort Stevens, depending on your specific location and service provider.
Contact us to speak to someone about this possibility. Space is limited so please make these arrangements far in advance.
Ranger Lauren Patterson
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.
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.
Our volunteer coordinator is Samantha Hollo. Her direct line is 503.871.3170 ex 24.
We would love to have you on board! You can find application information on the state park website to get the process started.
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. Check with the Ranger Station to see if any blue-green algae bloom notices have been issued.
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. Proceeds help preserve and interpret the park's historic area.
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.
From March 15 to September 15 the Columbia River beach has driving restrictions. The area is closed to all vehicular traffic, horse back riding, kite flying, and pets during this period. Beach walking is restricted to the wet sand areas of the shoreline. Contact the Ranger Station at the park for further details.
There are three locations in Fort Stevens State Park that require a day-use parking permit ($5 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 parking permits are also sold at the Visitor Center (Museum) located in the Historic Area and at the Ranger Station located in the campground.
The following are also accepted permits that allow you to park in the three areas noted above; current Oregon State Parks 12- or 24 month parking permit, valid campsite permit or reservation confirmation, valid day-use parking permit from any Oregon State Park, OPRD Veterans Pass, or a Pacific Coast Passport.
Please ensure the valid permit 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 parking permit is required for any licensed motor vehicle. The permit validates a vehicle, not parking space. Example: Multiple motorcylces cannot share a parking space under one pass.
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.