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Nehalem Bay State Park

Park History

The original tract of park land was given to the state by Tillamook County in 1938. Over the years, Tillamook County gave other lands, while the balance was acquired between 1939 and 1963 by purchase and litigation. From time to time, chunks of beeswax for candle making and other artifacts of a once-flourishing trade conducted by navigators between the Northwest Coast of America and Asia have surfaced at Nehalem Bay. In 1955, a large piece of beeswax approximately 15 x 16 inches in size and inscribed with numbers was uncovered in the course of park construction work.

Acreage: 895.11

Annual overnight attendance: 172,876

Annual day-use attendance: 767,232

Nehalem Bay State Park FAQ


Does Nehalem Bay State Park have ADA accessible campsites and facilities?

Three campsites (A13, A30 & A44) and all yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities.  ADA accessible restrooms are located in loops A and F, at the Meeting Hall and the two day-use areas. 

Is horseback riding available at the park?

Yes!  There is a horse concession at our ocean-side day-use area during the summer months.  To reserve a ride, or find out more, please contact the concession at: or (971) 237-6653.

Can I bring pets to the park?

Yes. Pets must be confined by the owner or on a leash not more than six feet long, and kept under physical control at all times. You're responsible to pick up after your pets and to keep them quiet during quiet hours (10 p.m.- 7 a.m.).

Where can I crab and clam around Nehalem Bay?

Please see this map, produced by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

What happened to the boat docks?

Each year we remove our boat docks for the winter season. Though not a popular decision, it is necessary to prevent damage to the docks and pilings. Storm season can be unpredictable with the first large storm of the year often happening in October. The docks are typically removed in early- to mid-October and returned to service by mid-May the following year.

About Camping

What are the rules about camping with horses?

1. Only people camping with horses or similar large animals may reserve horse camping sites. This means you must bring your horse or large animal with you when you arrive to claim your campsite, and the horse or large animal must be present with you in your site.
2. An additional fee will be collected for extra vehicles that are not part of a camping unit.
3. Horse camp sites will be held for campers having horses or similar large animals until 7:00 pm. These sites MAY then be sold on a daily basis to other campers at the park manager’s discretion.
4. Registration is otherwise completed the same as regular campsites.

What's Allowed

May I have a hammock or slackline in the park?

Hammocks and slacklines have traditionally been prohibited due to the potential for injury and resource damage. We have come to recognize that hammocks are part of the camping experience. Thus, hammocks will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, if the hammock is secured to large, sturdy trees with webbing or other protection that will not damage tree bark, and if the hammock is erected as low to the ground as possible, it will be allowed. Hammocks must not be strung between buildings, posts, picnic tables or other infrastructure. Hammock users do so at their own risk.

For safety and liability reasons, slacklines are strictly prohibited in all park areas without a Special Use Permit.


Must I leash my dog on the ocean shore?

The short answer is no, but the handler of any domestic animal on the ocean shore does have responsibilities. Please refer to an excerpt from our ocean shore rules, below:

(2) The handler of any domestic animal must be responsible for the animal's behavior and must exercise direct control over the animal while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

(a) “Direct control” means that the animal is within the unobstructed sight of the handler and responds to voice commands or other methods of control.

(b) Domestic animal handlers must carry a leash or restraining device at all times while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

(c) Domestic animal handlers must promptly leash animals at the request or order of a park employee.

(d) Handlers must prevent their animals from harassing people, wildlife and other domestic animals.

(e) Animals may not be hitched or confined in a manner that may cause damage to any natural resources on the ocean shore.

(f) Handlers are responsible for the removal of the animal's waste while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

Additionally, there are restrictions in place in our Snowy Plover Management Area (SPMA) from March 15 - September 15. The SPMA begins at our day use beach access trail and runs south to the north jetty on Nehalem Bay. The SPMA is clearly marked and signed. Restrictions are:
No Motorized Vehicles
No Non-motorized Vehicles, including bicycles
No Dogs
No Kites, including drones

Statewide FAQ

Available via this link