Questions and Rules

Picnic area at Battle Mountain Forest State Scenic Corridor
mdi-help-circle-outline General How do I send you feedback and comments?

You can use our online comment form, contact us by e-mail, call us at 1-800-551-6949, or write:

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
725 Summer St NE, Suite C
Salem, OR 97301

When can I visit a park?

Most parks post hours at the entrance. Day-use parks are generally open from dawn to dusk. When the park is closed, you cannot enter or stay in the park.

Where can I swim?

Many state parks have access to lakes, reservoirs and rivers, and some have designated swim beaches. For a list, go to the Find a Park webpage and search for parks with boating or fishing. Individual park pages will list specific information. The Parks Guide also provides information on parks with swimming.

All swimming areas are unsupervised. You are responsible for your own safety. Do not swim, float, paddle or boat without a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket, and making sure it fits properly, saves lives. Remember: many of our lakes, rivers, and reservoirs are filled by snow runoff and remain cold year round. And even water that look calm could have swift currents and hidden obstructions beneath the surface.

Do I need Waterway Access or Aquatic Invasive Species permits for boating in Oregon?

You might. To determine the type of permit you need and purchasing details, check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website at

Are showers available to non-camping visitors?

Showers are offered to registered campers, and individual parks may offer non-camper $2 showers if they feel they have the resources to provide them.

The following parks allow non-camper $2 showers as of Feb. 2024.

  • Ainsworth State Park
  • Cottonwood Canyon State Park
  • Deschutes River State Recreation Area
  • Detroit Lake State Recreation Area
  • Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area
  • Memaloose State Park
  • Prineville Reservoir State Park
  • The Cove Palisades State Park
  • Tumalo State Park - Nov. 1 - April 30 only
  • Viento State Park
  • Wallowa Lake State Park


Are electric vehicle charging stations available?

Installation of Level 2 EV chargers are underway in selected day-use parking areas as a pilot project. Visit the Electric Vehicle Charging Station web page for a list of parks and updates on the project.

Where can I find all the rules about Oregon State Parks?

General state park area rules

Additional park and other rules related to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

mdi-help-circle-outline About Camping What are the rules about noise?

Campground quiet hours are from 10 p.m.–7 a.m.

How many vehicles can I bring? How many people can stay at my campsite?

Usually, a maximum of eight campers are allowed per site. Some sites permit only 6 people per site. Yurts and cabins hold five to eight people, depending on the location. The park manager has the final say. 

Some campgrounds allow extra vehicles at each campsite. Some allow extra vehicle parking only in overflow areas. Check with campground staff before you park an extra vehicle at your site—a $7 extra vehicle fee for campers may apply . What's an extra vehicle? In addition to the car or RV you drive into the park, you may tow one additional car or truck at no charge. If you drive an additional vehicle, the $7  fee kicks in.

Campers arriving on motorcycles are allowed two motorcycles per campsite. The $7 extra vehicle fee applies to a third motorcycle.

Where can I build a campfire?

Campfires are allowed only in park-provided fire rings or fireplaces, and those portions of the beach where fires are allowed. Beach fires are only allowed in dry, open sand away from grass and driftwood. Valve-operated, portable propane stoves may be used only in established campsites, picnic areas and designated beaches where fires are allowed. Additional fire restrictions may be in place, and some parks ban campfires and other wildfire hazards nearly every summer. Watch for signs and go to the webpage of the park you plan to visit for current information.

Can I bring in my own 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

How do I make or cancel a reservation?

Make reservations via our partner site, or by calling 800-452-5687. Cancelations can be made online or by phone; changes can only be made by phone. More information is on our reservations page.

Who can reserve and rent a campsite?

You must be 18 years old or older to reserve or rent campsites, cabins, yurts or other overnight facilities. The registered camper is responsible for the activities of everyone at the site.

What are the campsite types and how are they equipped?

There are six basic types of campsites, as well as accessible campsites. Accessible campsites generally are the same as the descriptions below; however, they are accessible according to Americans with Disabilities Act standards including accessible parking space, a clear path of travel to the facility and adherence to established ADA guidelines at that facility. On this website, accessible facilities are indicated on park web pages in the Amenities and Features icons.

For specific information, call the Oregon State Parks Information Line at 1-800-551-6949 (Oregon relay for the hearing impaired: dial 7-1-1).

  • Full hookup sites: sewer, electricity and water; paved parking area adjacent to site; picnic table and fire ring.
  • Electrical sites: electricity and water; paved parking adjacent to site; picnic table and fire ring.
  • Tent sites: no utilities, but water at or near the site; paved parking adjacent to site; picnic table and fire ring. Note: tent campers can camp in any site type.
  • Primitive sites: no hookups; one water source may serve multiple sites in natural, cleared setting; no paved parking at most sites. May have personal or shared picnic table and/or fire ring. Vault toilets nearby; showers may be available in another area of a campground or at another nearby park.
  • Walk-in sites: Primitive sites that are a short walk from parking area. 
  • Horse sites: No utilities (except Stub Stewart State Park); corrals nearby for horses (single, double, or quad units, depending on campground); picnic table and fire ring.


What are check-in/check-out times?

Generally, check-in for campsites, yurts, cabins and tepees is 4 p.m. and check-out is 1 p.m. Individual parks may have modified times due to special circumstances. Those will be communicated in your camping receipt. 

How long are the sites?

Most campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length, but site lengths vary greatly, even within the same park. Remember that you must also be able to fit your tow vehicle onto the paved driveway. Let’s say your RV is 25 feet long and you’re towing it with a 22-foot vehicle. You will need a site at least 47 feet long.

Site lengths are listed on the individual park pages at

Check with Information Center, 800-551-6949, for more information.

What is hiker/biker camping?

Many state parks offer camping areas for campers hiking or bicycling into the park (without motor vehicle support). An overnight stay is $7 - $8 per person and the maximum stay is 3 consecutive days in a 7-day period, per campground (except for Harris Beach State Park, which allows 3 days in a 14-day period). The camping areas are first-come, first-served and usually include shared fire rings and picnic tables. Some also include charging stations and/or fix-it stations. Water and restrooms may be some distance away. See Find A Park to search for parks with hiker/biker areas.

How long can I stay in a campground?

You can stay 14 consecutive nights in a regular campsite, yurt or cabin in a single campground, and may return after spending at least three nights out of the park (it can be another state park campground; in fact, we recommend you DO select another state park campground). The maximum time allowed within any campground is 14 nights within any 17-night period. The maximum stay for hiker/biker sites is 3 consecutive days in a 7 day period, per campground.

What if I arrive late to my campsite?

We will hold your reservation until 1 pm the day after your scheduled day of arrival. You will still be charged for the previous night. If you do not check in by this time, your reservation(s) will be canceled, and you will be responsible for the first night’s fee, reservation fee and any applicable transaction fees. 

Your site must remain physically occupied each night for the remainder of the reservation stay. 

Can I camp without a reservation?

The majority of state campgrounds accept reservations. While reservations are not required, they are recommended, especially during the summer and on weekends and holidays year-round.

At campgrounds that accept reservations, any unreserved site can be reserved online from anywhere, including the park via a digital device or a park ranger, if space is available. Campers who secure a first-come-first-served site for a single night without a reservation will need to make a reservation at, or check with a park ranger if they want to stay longer.

Some campgrounds have first-come, first-served campsites seasonally or year-round. See our First-come, First-Served Camping page for information. 

Can I resell my campsite or cabin/yurt reservation?

The question isn't whether you can, but should you?

We want you to know the risks when reselling or buying campsite and cabin/yurt reservations between third-parties. We discourage both. 


  • Your name, contact information and payment method is listed in our records as the original reservation holder. Because you are the original reservation holder, you are responsible for any damages to Oregon State Park facilities caused by the person who purchased your reservation. We have no information about the third-party who bought the reservation from you.
  • As the original reservation holder, you can add someone as a designee to the reservation by contacting us. However, you remain responsible for any damages caused by the designee.



  • Because you are a third-party and we have no record of your agreement with the original reservation holder, we can’t provide any information to you about the reservation or the person who made it. We are also unable to mediate any issues between you and the seller. We can provide limited information when you are added as a designee to the reservation.
  • The original reservation holder always has the option to cancel the reservation at any time. As the third-party buyer, you have no control over the original reservation, even when you are listed as a designee on the reservation. If the original reservation holder cancels the reservation, the refund is applied to the original payment method on file, not to the third-party or designee.

For your reference, the Oregon Administrative Rule that applies to the situation above is OAR 736-015-0015 Reservations

Our Oregon State Parks Information operators are happy to answer your questions. Call 1 800 551-6949 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or send us an email through our Contact Us web page

What are same-day online reservations?

As of Jan. 1, 2024, reservation campgrounds allow visitors to make same-day camping reservations online with some variation depending on the season and the park. Previously, visitors could only make online reservations 24 hours in advance of their arrival date. Now visitors can make online reservations on the same day that they plan to camp.

Additional Information:

Why is Oregon State Parks offering same-day reservations?
Online reservations offer the security of knowing that you have a site booked before you visit the park.
Online reservations also give park staff more time to offer interpretive opportunities, maintain park facilities and landscapes and increase time interacting with guests.  

How do I make an online reservation?
Making online reservations is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Go to

  • Desktop computer: Look for "Find an Adventure." Enter a state, city or zip code and under "Interested In," select camping and lodging. Enter your preferred site type under "Looking For," then add your dates and length of stay and click "Search."
  • Mobile device: Click on "Advanced Search" and then under "Where" enter a state, city or zip code, under "Interested In" select camping and lodging, add your dates and length of stay and click "Apply Filters."
  • (Sign in first or create a new account if you do not already have one).

2. Click on a park in the search results from Step 1 that says “available” and look for blue icons on the map to see what is open for reservations.

3. Click on a site and then “book these dates” when you find one that you want. Follow the prompts to add your registration information and to pay. You will get a confirmation email. For reservation questions, call (800) 452-5687 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Are advanced online reservations required?
No, but they are highly recommended. You can still visit the campground and check online or with staff when they’re available to find potentially reservable sites. For best availability, we highly recommend making online same-day reservations in advance.

How do you book a campsite while at a park?
There are multiple ways to make a reservation at the park. However, we highly recommend making a reservation before you arrive.

  • Use your mobile device to make an online reservation while at the park by visiting* and click on "Advanced Search" to find your park. See the instructions above under "making online reservations." Make sure you complete the booking/reservation process to secure your site. If you wait for a ranger to book it, the site might be gone.
  • Use your mobile device to scan the QR code on park signs for reservations.* Make sure you complete the booking/reservation process to secure your site. If you wait for a ranger to book it, the site might be gone.
  • Find a ranger during open booth hours to help book a site.
  • Some parks will offer a handful of first-come-first served campsites (Not available during summer). For those sites, use the self-service kiosk if available or follow directions posted at the park.

*Visitors can make online reservations using their mobile devices where they have cell reception or where our free, limited Wi-Fi is available. Wi-Fi is provided at most parks for reservations only and is not guaranteed to be available 24/7. Look for the reservation signs for login information. Since Internet connectivity varies by park, it’s best to reserve your campsite before you arrive

Can I still use cash or check to pay for my campsite?
Visitors can still pay with cash or checks at the park by finding a ranger or following posted instructions, which could include using self-registration envelopes but only if instructed to do so. Ranger availability is limited depending on time and location. Another option is to purchase a reloadable pre-paid credit card with cash wherever they are sold to make online reservations.

Do I still have to pay the $8 reservation fee for same-day reservations?
No. OPRD has waived the $8 fee for all same-day reservations for a smoother transition.

What if I want to book after hours?
You can make online reservations for tents and RV sites up until 11:59 p.m., and for cabins, deluxe cabins, yurts and deluxe yurts you can make an online reservation up to 5:59 p.m. (the earlier cutoff for those sites is due to the staffing needed to provide keys and codes).

Do same-day reservations apply to all reservations?
No. The following site types will remain unchanged and can be booked by calling (800) 452-5687 or reserving online 24 hours in advance:
• ADA Standard, ADA Standard Full, ADA Tent (requires a phone call to book or a ranger can book at the park during booth hours)
• Horse sites
• Group sites
• Hiker/Biker sites
• Meeting Halls
• Picnic Shelters
• Boat mooring

Are there first-come-first served options?
Yes, during some seasons and at some parks. There are a handful of first-come-first served campsites with self-service kiosks at some parks, but not all parks. Visitors can make reservations the same day they arrive at a park during any season if there is space available.

However, the most reliable way to secure a site is the online reservation system. There are parks in Southern Oregon and Central Oregon that are first come first served. Visit our website to learn more:

Questions, concerns, feedback
Please contact the information center at with any questions. We also want to hear about your experience with same-day online reservations. You can share feedback through our online survey.

What gets refunded when I cancel a reservation?

When you make a reservation more than one day in advance, you pay to use a site at the park plus an $8 service fee when booking  through our reservation system. Some or all of the site fees are usually refundable, but service fees are not. See our cancel reservation page for more details.

Example: you reserve three nights in a campsite at $25 a night, and pay an $8 service fee to make the reservation, for a total of $83 ($25x3 + $8), but cancel a week before your trip. Your refund is $75: $83-$8.

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed Can I collect plants, minerals or animals in a park?

Plant life and natural resources may not be picked, cut, removed or mutilated. However, visitors may gather for personal consumption berries, fruits, mushrooms, or similar edibles in quantities not to exceed one gallon per person per day. No harvesting is allowed in the formal garden area of Shore Acres or any other area posted with restrictions. Some parks may restrict harvest in overnight camp areas and other park areas.

Can I bring fireworks into a park or on the Ocean Shore Recreation Area?

No. Explosives, fireworks or other substances that could cause harm are not allowed in state parks or the beach.

They are prohibited year-round on beaches and campgrounds because they pose a danger to visitors, wildlife and the landscape. High winds, flammable vegetation and the unpredictability of fireworks combine to create a unique hazard particularly in crowded areas.

They also impact sensitive habitat like federally protected Western snowy plover nesting grounds. The debris left behind from fireworks is also a hazard to wildlife. Please respect fireworks restrictions at all campgrounds and beaches.

Can I use my metal detector in a park?

Metal detecting without a permit is allowed in specific areas of some state parks and the ocean shore. See the list.  Areas not on the list may be open to metal detecting with a permit. Some areas are unstaffed, so call 1-800-551-6949, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday to find the nearest park office.

Can I drink alcohol in state parks?

You may bring alcohol to parks, except where specifically banned. Some parks require written approval from the park manager. For information, call the park directly, or call the Information Center at 800-551-6949. And of course, no one younger than 21 can possess or drink an alcoholic beverage. 

Can I dig for artifacts and fossils in a park?

Please leave artifacts in place and notify a ranger of the location. Archaeological sites are our country's legacy. When artifacts are removed or damaged, that legacy cannot be restored.

Is hunting allowed in state parks?

Some parks or areas within parks do allow hunting. See the map of hunting locations in parks. For more information, call the park that you are interested in, or call the Information Center at 800-551-6949.

Can I smoke tobacco in a state park?

Smoking is allowed only in personal vehicles, RVs, campsites and portions of day use parks along state highways that are designated as safety rest areas by the Oregon Department of Transportation. For more information, read our smoking frequently asked questions.

Can I use recreational marijuana in Oregon State Parks?

No, the statute that legalized recreational marijuana specifically lists parks as a public place where it is illegal to use marijuana.  More information on recreational marijuana in Oregon can be found at

Can I ride my E-bike in a state park?

Electric assisted bicycles that fit the definition under Oregon law (ORS 801.258) may ride on bicycle trails 8 feet and wider unless otherwise marked. If you have a need for an electric assisted bicycle as a mobility assistance device for a disability, call the park directly or call the Information Center at 800-551-6949 about options for riding on additional trails. 

Can I operate a drone in a state park?

Yes, sometimes. There are no state park rules that specifically prohibit anyone from flying a drone in an Oregon state park. There are some limits, though, and we encourage you to visit our Operating Drones in  State Parks web page for current information.

Can I collect driftwood, shells, or agates from the beach?

Small quantities of driftwood, shells, agates, and other non-living natural products may be taken off the ocean shore as a souvenir for non-commercial, personal use. Details for different types of products may be found in the recreation rules for the ocean shore (OAR 736-021-0090).

Respect the life here and the precious value it has for all Oregonians: follow proper tidepool etiquette when exploring some of the Ocean Shores’ more sensitive habitats.

More information about visiting the beach is on our Ocean Shore web page.

Can I conduct scientific research at a state park or on the Oregon coast?

Well, it depends. Scientific studies designed to increase the understanding of ecological processes and resources on state park lands are a valuable source of information for park and resource managers.

OPRD intends to cooperate with organizations and institutions when their scientific research is compatible with the department’s mission of land stewardship through the protection of ecological processes and natural resources.

A scientific research permit is required for most scientific or educational activities that involve specimen collection, field work, or that may have the potential to disturb natural and cultural resources on OPRD owned or managed lands.

You can apply for a permit at

mdi-help-circle-outline Animals Are dogs allowed in state parks?

Yes. Dogs and other domestic animals are allowed in all parks except Dabney State Recreation Area in the Gorge, Shore Acres State Park, or on the Canyon Trail at Silver Falls State Park. 

Pets must be physically restrained, meaning you must be holding them, holding onto their collar, or have them on a leash no longer than six feet. Exceptions:

  • in a designated off-leash area;
  • inside your vehicle, tent, or pet-friendly yurt or cabin.

Leashing your pets prevents them from tangling with wild animals or other people’s pets, getting lost, ransacking campground garbage, damaging plant life, or being hit by a car. It also avoids a citation!

You're responsible for picking up after your pets and to keeping them quiet during quiet hours (10 p.m.- 7 a.m.). Thank you for keeping our parks clean and doodie free! 

You can find more info at

Are dogs allowed on the beach?

Generally, yes. Dogs and other domestic animals are welcome on most ocean beaches; however they must be leashed if you are within the boundaries of a state park. Beyond those areas, leashes are not required, although you must carry a leash with you at all times and your dog must be under direct control (within sight and responsive to commands). If you choose to allow your dogs to run free on the ocean shores, you are still responsible for their behavior so please make sure they are not interfering with others’ recreational enjoyment or harassing seabirds or other wildlife.

Dogs are not permitted on some beaches or at certain times of the year (even on a leash) to protect wildlife, such as western snowy plovers. Snowy plover nesting areas are restricted areas from March 15-September 15. Look for restricted beach access information at Follow rules posted at beach accesses and signs posted in the sand.

Is my service animal welcome in all buildings?

Yes. Service animals are permitted in all areas where campers are allowed. In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. (Providing emotional support or deterring crime are not considered qualifying tasks.) Except under special conditions, service animals must also be restrained while in state parks.

What should I do if I encounter a wild animal?

When you visit a state park, you are sharing the space with wild animals like black bears, cougars and coyotes. They are not domesticated, and are focused on their survival. When they see a human, they are considering:

  1. Will the human harm me or my offspring?
  2. Is the human a threat to my territory?
  3. Will the human feed me?

If you face a black bear, cougar or coyote:

  • Maintain eye contact with bears and cougars. This is a direct threat to the animals and keeps you focused.
  • Do not maintain eye contact with coyotes.
  • Pick up any children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the animal.
  • Back away slowly. DO NOT RUN.
  • Raise your voice and speak firmly. The words do not matter; the tone and volume do.
  • Raise your arms to make yourself look large and clap your hands.
  • If the animal leaves, DO NOT RUN. Remain alert and continue to the exit area.

Watch the animal for signs it may attack:

  • Direct eye contact
  • Lowered head
  • Frozen
  • Slow movements toward you
  • If the animal feels threatened, it will growl, hiss, snap or pop its jaws, and make itself look larger. A bear may stand up; a cougar or coyote will lift its fur.
  • In the rare event that the animal attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks or anything else available.
How can I prevent encounters with dangerous animals?
  • Keep a clean camp. Do not leave food items out on picnic tables or at the campsite, unless you are actively cooking or eating.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your ears open; avoid listening to music.
  • Avoid hiking alone at dusk and dawn.
  • Keep dogs on a leash. Dogs running free may lead an animal back to you.
  • Do not approach wildlife.
  • Carry a deterrent to spray, like bear spray, and practice using it in advance.
  • Hike in groups. Make noise to alert wildlife of your presence.
  • Never feed any wildlife, even seemingly harmless animals. They are food for larger animals —prey attract predators.
Where can I visit with my horse?

Horses are allowed in areas designated for horse camping and trail riding, including beaches open for horse riding. Horses are not permitted in main overnight campgrounds, developed day-use areas or any other area not designated for horses. Visit our Find-a-Park webpage to find horse-friendly state parks and beaches.

mdi-help-circle-outline Discounts Who gets discounts?

Those eligible for discounts

We do not have special rates for any other demographic group, such as seniors.

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events Where can I buy a day-use parking permit or gift certificate?

Day-use parking permits are needed at 25 parks. They’re are available by phone at (800) 551-6949, state park offices, vendors statewide, and online at Reserve America. You can buy a 12-month permit, a 24-month permit or a one-day permit.  More info at day-use parking permits . Note: Online buyers receive a temporary permit to print and use. The permanent hang tag permit is sent via mail and should arrive within three weeks.

An Oregon State Parks gift certificate is a perfect present. Gift certificates are available by contacting 503-986-0707. Visa, MasterCard and AMEX are accepted.

I want to have an event or wedding in a park or on the beach. What do I need to do?

Call the park (or the nearest park to the beach location) to discuss your plans, possible permits, fees and insurance requirements. You may also call the Information Line at 800-551-6949 and ask for the phone number of the nearest park. Depending on the event, you may need a special use permit for "non-traditional park activities," which are outlined in Oregon Administrative Rule. Some examples are:

  • group gatherings such as weddings, company picnics, tournaments, and contests;
  • commercial filming;
  • short/long-term rental of property and structures;
  • construction activities and placement of utilities;
  • educational and scientific projects;
  • sales of goods and services by vendors, concessionaires and other businesses.
Do you have wi-fi in any of your parks?

Wi-fi is not available in Oregon State Parks.  However, many communities have merchants and public buildings with the service.