Beautiful views, great food, time spent worry-free. These are things we all look for in a great trip. But one thing stays in our memory longer than these details—stories. The little moments shared with someone you love, the beautiful landscapes, and even the thoughts realized after some alone time in nature all form a story by the journey’s end.
Fort Stevens State Park is a historic place overflowing with such stories. The only question left is, what story will you tell about this gem resting along the majestic Oregon coast?
To make the most of your time in this lovely locale, read this Fort Stevens State Park RV camping guide.
Fort Stevens State Park Facts
This once-active military site has been a part of US history for over 150 years. Let the park’s rich history light up your imagination with these Fort Stevens State Park facts!
- Fort Stevens was active for 84 years. It was in use starting as far back as the Civil War all the way to World War II.
- The fort’s name comes from Isaac Stevens, the governor of what was Washington State in 1865.
- With over 4,300 acres of land area to explore, Fort Stevens is packed full of sights and things to do. That includes forested trails to hike, beaches to comb, and wildlife to spot.
- In 1906, a ship called Peter Iredale wrecked on the shores of Clatsop Spit. The wreck injured no one, including two stowaway passengers. Today, the wreck is still visible and is one of the most accessible shipwrecks viewable by the public.
- Thanks to its location along the coast, Fort Stevens State Park is one of the best spots in the US for whale watching. Over 20,000 of these spectacular creatures make their way south in viewing range of the shore every year.
- Since shutting down in 1947, the fort has been converted into the sprawling 4,300-acre state park we enjoy today.
Best Fort Stevens State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Hoping to go RV camping in Fort Stevens State Park? There are plenty of options in and around the park to choose from. Let this guide to the best Fort Stevens State Park campgrounds help you find your next home base.
Fort Stevens State Park Campground
For the ultimate camping location, the RV sites in Fort Stevens State Park are the way to go. You’ll be within walking distance of the beach, the Columbia River, and all the biking and hiking trails you could desire. Full hookups are available at most sites.
More information: Fort Stevens State Park Campground
Astoria Seaside KOA
If you’re looking for RV sites near Fort Stevens State Park that can fit a bigger rig, Seaside KOA is for you. Their pull-thru sites accommodate up to 90-foot-long RVs for a smooth check-in. The kids will find plenty of camping activities
to enjoy, like a swimming pool, miniature golf, and basketball courts.
More information: Astoria Seaside KOA
Kampers West Kampground
Kampers West promises one of the most peaceful RV campgrounds near Fort Stevens State Park. The grounds are nestled into a quiet woodland with trees located near the mouth of the Colorado River. Thanks to its dedicated fish cleaning and cooking station, it’s the perfect spot for fishers to enjoy the day’s catch over an open fire.
More information: Kampers West Kampground
Sunset Lake Park
This simple, quaint RV campground near Fort Stevens State Park is a perfect place to end an evening or even pass a day. The sites are laid out around a lake where you can fish for trout and bass. The park is a short drive away from a lesser-traveled strand of shoreline ocean for some restful solitude. Keep in mind that only 25 sites offer full hookups.
More information: Sunset Lake Park
RV Park at the Bridge
This small park overlooks the sea just beyond a winding coastal road. You’ll have to cross ‘the bridge’ to get to Fort Stevens State Park in about 20 minutes of driving. But this unassuming park deserves mention for its nice view clear to the horizon and friendly service. So if you don't mind staying at RV parks near Fort Stevens State Park rather than in the park, this is a prime option.
More information: RV Park at the Bridge
Best Time to Visit Fort Stevens State Park
Rain or shine, the Oregon coast is a beauty to behold. However, there are some more pleasant times of the year to take in the natural wonders. The temperamental weather of the Oregon coast means you’ll need to think carefully about when to plan your visit. With this seasonal guide below, you’ll find your own best time to visit Fort Stevens State Park.
Heavy rainfall that’s never quite cold enough to freeze makes it difficult to recommend winter RV camping
at Fort Stevens State Park. From November through January, the park sees 18 days of rain on average. The lows of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit mean there won’t be snow to speak of either. But if whale watching is your main goal, winter is your best bet. Fun fact—as many as 25,000 gray whales make their way to warmer waters as they pass by this Oregon park.
Spring might conjure up images of warming weather, blooming wildflowers, and fun in the sun. But Oregon’s coast keeps its brisk chill until around mid-May. Besides the near-freezing temperatures at night, you can expect around 10 to 17 days of rain on average. The good news is that late February through May is the other high season for migrating whales. So RV camping near Fort Stevens State Park in this season is a nice alternative to the wet winter months.
Summer is definitely your best choice for pleasant weather during a Fort Stevens State Park RV camping trip. Expect warm days around 70 degrees Fahrenheit without all the rain of the off-season. Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach, go fishing, swim or try some water sports at the park. But this wonderful weather also draws the crowds. Expect much higher crowd density than any other season and potentially higher rates at RV parks near Fort Stevens State Park.
If you’re looking for off-season RV camping at Fort Stevens State Park without too much rain, aim for a fall visit. On average, September gives you the best odds of a dry stay with just seven days of rain in a typical year. The weather in September is a perfectly crisp 50 to 70 degrees, just right for outdoor activities you’ll want to enjoy. The pleasant temperature and lack of rain make for a good time to check out the military museum before making your way to the batteries spread throughout the park.
Things to Do in Fort Stevens State Park
There are so many things to do in Fort Stevens State Park; it can be hard to know just where to start! Read on for some great ideas to ease your trip planning.
Explore Battery Russell.
This large concrete structure once was an active canon battery. The compound has been intact since WWII and fully open to exploration. Imagine the canon being operated by its full crew of 35, scrambling to defend a surprise attack as you read the stories and facts leading you around the space.
See the Peter Iredale shipwreck.
Some call it nothing more than a hunk of scrap stuck in the sand. But the discerning eye will recognize that the remnants of this century-old wreck are a rare sight. The ship’s rusted hull is a nice centerpiece for a photo-op and a stark reminder of the power of the sea around you.
Go whale watching.
The Oregon coast is a fantastic spot for whale watching. Orcas, Grey Whales, and Humpbacks all make their way along the park’s edge on their way to warmer waters. The winter season is around mid-December to mid-January. The spring season starts around late March.
Hike the Oregon Coast Trail—well, part of it anyway.
Pack the hiking shoes! You won’t want to miss this. This behemoth trail along the majestic Oregon coast is 384 miles long, and 344 of those miles are officially designated as “scenic hiking.” It runs through beaches, along tree-lined forests, and even through quaint, seaside towns for an ever-changing gift of a trail.
Tips on Visiting Fort Stevens State Park
Your time should be filled with memorable moments and new experiences. These tips on visiting Fort Stevens State Park below were curated to keep you safe so you can fully enjoy this great destination.
- Pick up a free park guide. Fort Stevens is a park with a rich history that you’ll enjoy reading about as you explore. The park’s free guide to each historical site is loaded with old photos and details to inspire your imagination.
- The Oregon coast is prone to widely varying weather patterns. It’s so important to choose the season of your visit wisely. Avoid booking too far ahead in advance and stay on top of the forecasts leading up to your stay.
- High tides along the beach can make some park areas inaccessible. It’s a good idea to check the tide forecasts before hitting any long trails.
- Be careful if you’re going into the ocean. Riptides and currents are particularly strong along the Oregon coast. Even in shallow parts of the water, sinkholes are sometimes lurking just under the surface. Even if you’re a seasoned swimmer or surfer, stay well under your limits in this part of the Pacific.
RV Rental for Fort Stevens State Park
That does it for our ultimate guide to this historic park teeming with things to do nearby. And if you’re curious about the lifestyle but don’t have the rig, Cruise America’s Fort Stevens State Park RV rentals have everything you’ll need to hit the road.
Their fleet comes loaded with all the amenities and comfortable living space you’ll need to make the journey as joyous as the destination. Whether you’re a road veteran or driving an RV for the first time
, you’ll find just the vehicle to make some fond memories.
Reserve an RV rental
for Fort Stevens State Park today!