Thread: Winter camping near Crater Lake and on the coast.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    104

    Default Winter camping near Crater Lake and on the coast.

    Hello

    Planning to do a family road trip in January from Alberta to Vancouver and down the Washington and Oregon coast, then over past Crater Lake and up to home. I'm planning 7 days with the option of an extra half day if an extra sleep is needed getting home. Will be doing a mix of hotels and camping.

    I want to spend some time snowshoeing at Crater Lake and hoping to have a break in the clouds for a good view, so I am thinking camping somewhere within an hour or so would be the best bet but I have no idea where! Planning to cut over from the coast at Coos Bay, any suggestions on were to camp or routes to take or avoid in winter? I'm assuming the whole region inland gets snow, do the state campgrounds close in winter? We have a rtt but thinking if it's cold enough we might sleep in the suburban that night to keep the wife happy
    (Not saying my 5yo daughter is tougher than her though...) Haha

    As far as camping on the coast, it seems to be that areas you are allowed to drive forbid camping, and area's you can camp forbid driving on the beach... That's a problem with a RTT! I was looking at camping just north of Pacific City along the beach but looks like that's not allowed. Maybe the Sandlake dunes area? The next night I was thinking to camp just south of Flourence at the South Jetty dispersed camping and then cruise down the beach to the closure at the next staging area. Thoughts or suggestions? This is totally new to me, I've never driven on sand or camped on a beach before but I've always wanted to!
    I admit that I'm a bit ignorant to precautions and "best practices" regarding beaches and dunes though and not looking to get into trouble. Part of the desire to go in winter is the bigger waves, but does that make it foolish to camp along or near the beach? Are we destined to turn into waterlogged, half frozen popsicles and die or have the tent blown off the truck?

    I hope I don't sound like our tourists with all their terribly dumb ideas! Haha
    Thanks for the input.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    3,266
    Crater lake will probably be in accessible behind closed and buried roads several feet snow.

    The coastal storms blowing in bring high winds. Even a hard sided camper can be a bit of adventure. Being back in the trees brings high risk of getting caught in dead fall etc. Its beautiful country but winter conditions are nothing to fool with in both coastal range and sierras etc. Lots of really cool towns to see in the off season without the tour buses.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Fremont, CA USA
    Posts
    15
    Crater lake is accessible in the winter at Rim Village on the south side. You can camp at the KOA in Klamath Falls if you really want to camp, or just hotel it in the plentiful options in KF. I stayed at Jackson F. Kimball in the summer which is very close to the park, but that one and I believe all the State CG's are closed in the winter and I know the National Park CG's are.

    There are lots of Oregon State parks that are open in the winter on the coast: http://oregonstateparks.org/

  4. #4
    Watching winter waves on the OR coast is enjoyable,but you have to understand the danger,I walk the beach,but I never take my eyes off the ocean and I stay away from what I think is the danger zone,a calculated risk.
    If there is a storm high winds are usually present,40MPH is common,65MPH is not unusual.A weather radio is handy,you will be in a tsunami zone,there are signs on the roadside directing you to higher ground.
    The OR coast gets sneaker waves in the winter,add in some logs to increase the danger.Stay in a State campground,keep the kids/animals away from the water,it changes faster then you can react.
    Honeyman State Park is nice,there are other smaller parks as well all along the coast.Some of the parks have yurts for rent if it is too windy for your roof top sail.
    http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cf...Page&parkId=95
    http://theworldlink.com/reedsport/ne...9bb2963f4.html

    There are a bunch of youtube videos on sneaker waves.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPypT9dOvSY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lg75BXSCTU
    Last edited by chet6.7; 12-13-2017 at 03:10 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bellevue/Chumstick WA
    Posts
    602
    We stayed in the Lagoon Campground in the Oregon Sand Dunes just south of Florence. That was the only one open in the National Recreation Area in late Feb/early Mar. I think there were some State Parks ones open in the area. It was great, if not a little damp. Definitely watch the tides and waves, but also in some of the dune areas it can flood too and shift from day to day.



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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Rhoddy, Oregon
    Posts
    87
    If you swing thru Pacific City Oregon and its windy, try Webb County Campground. Wind and roof top tents dont make for a good sleep. Love mine but not in wind. Webb campground is tucked behind the coffee shop/Inn, and is directly across the street from the beach and restaurants. Pros - hot showers, convenience to walk to everything, can camp out of the wind. Cons, its a tiny county campground tucked between a 3 story Inn and an RV park.

    Sand Lake is an OHV park with typical campground set up, if you buy a sticker and whip flag your good to go. You can also look at Whalen Island campground, wide open grass field next to the river a few miles North of Pacific City.

    http://www.co.tillamook.or.us/gov/pa...%203-28-14.pdf
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    104
    Thanks for all the great pointers and advice so far. Sounds like camping right on the beach, whether comfortable or not, is not a good idea in winter. A bit more respect for the ocean is required than I had realized, so thanks for making me aware! As for the Sierra's and Crater Lake, I realize the south access road could be closed due to snow but they try to keep it open in winter so definitely a gamble. The vast majority of campgrounds (provincial and private) in our mountain ranges are closed and gated off in winter so I assumed the same but wasn't certain.
    It looks largely irrelevant now as I overlooked a potential, but very serious scheduling conflict in January. Possibly February but most likely won't happen this winter...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Waaaay out there
    Posts
    77
    While ski/snowboard bumming around the PNW last winter, I found Oregon's Sno-Park system to be quite useful. They are effectively just maintained trailhead and wilderness access points for winter recreationalists. They are open year round and plowed out regularly. You'll need a $25 window sticker-permit (available at most sporting goods stores), and you are good to go. Never seen one that actually forbids overnighting. Not the most picturesque camp location(s), and you'll be sharing the lot with a handful of backcountry skiers, but they get the job done. Punch the word "Sno-Park" into Google maps or software of choice, and you'll see a bunch of them near Crater Lake and beyond. Good luck!

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