I picked this campground because it was a bit down the coast from Astoria and Fort Stevens, where I had stayed in July, and because I need to move south to California by the end of the month. Quick search showed beach, so I went for it.
I got the first hint of how amazing this place would be on the way, when I stopped at an overlook on Highway 1 (West State Park) and saw this.
My heart was singing “beach, beach, beach” all the way down the hills and through the registration booth. I couldn’t set up my campsite fast enough. Finally, I was ready to go, grabbed camera, and took off. Over the dune (what a workout) and then this:
Serious beach going on here, in both directions. I think it must be about 3-4 miles long, after having walked from the north end (near Manzanita) to the south end, the jetty at the entrance to the bay. It’s all gorgeous, and given it is mid-September, not that crowded, even with the campground full every night.
The clouds came and went most of the afternoons and so it was a photographer’s dream to watch.
Even the dunes are lovely, long stretches of sand with grasses at the top and a lot of driftwood logs at the bottom.
On my long beach walk one day, I saw a dozen pelicans, a roiling circle of seabirds going after some kind of big school of fish, and then, just beyond that, whale spouts! I never saw the whales breach, probably because the waves were too high and I was too far away (with no binoculars in hand), but I saw the water spouts for 15 minutes or so. And then as I was leaving, these three pelicans flew so close to me I barely remembered to try and get a shot of them as they headed south.
Honestly, go here. You won’t be disappointed. And if you need to get to a post office, let me show you the way…