Cape Blanco State Park

Drive time: 5 hours

SET ATOP 200-foot earthy red bluffs with a black-sand-streaked beach below, Cape Blanco State Park is easily one of the state’s most stunning spots. In early summer, the park’s 1,895 acres of forested headland and fields are blanketed in wildflowers such as lupine, forget-me-nots, and azaleas. The campground itself is tucked into a thick forest of Sitka spruce, giving campers welcome shelter from coastal wind. In addition to 12 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails—plus good old-fashioned beach recreation—the Cape Blanco Lighthouse is just a short stroll from the campsite. From your perch on its observation deck, you’ll be at Oregon’s westernmost point, on top of the oldest lighthouse in the state, and, it feels, the world. Cue Titanic’s theme song.

Vitals: oregonstateparks.org; open year-round; 52 sites; $20; firewood; drinking water; flush toilets; showers; fire pits; picnic tables; dogs allowed

Also Nearby:
Humbug Mountain State Park
Warm and sheltered from the ocean winds, this campground is an excellent base for surfers, mountain bikers, and hikers. Bullards Beach State Park Bisected by the Coquille River, this Bandon park is a popular fishing and crabbing destination, with an expansive and well-developed campground.

 

Long Tent
Image: Ben Canales

Van Gogh ain’t got nothin’ on this starry night in Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Wallowa Lake State
Recreation Area

Drive time: 6.5 hours

SANDWICHED neatly between the sawtooth Wallowa Mountains and an ancient glacial lake, this expansive campground positions thrill-seekers for adventures on land and water—or even in the air. The park’s 89 tent sites are grouped amid towering ponderosa pines and give easy access to a picnic area and the 3.7-mile-long lake, where giant Kokanee salmon and Mackinaw trout swim. When the fish aren’t biting, the myriad floating docks make for perfect swimming pit stops. About a mile from the campsite, hiking trails lead into the Eagle Cap Wilderness—nearly 550 untouched square miles of alpine peaks, glacier-gouged valleys, and sparkling lakes. To observe the drama from a safe (if vertiginous) distance, take a ride on the Wallowa Lake Tramway, a gondola that ferries you on a 15-minute, 3,700-foot ascent to the summit of Mount Howard (fear not, it takes you back down, too).

Vitals: oregonstateparks.org; open year-round; $20; 89 sites; firewood; drinking water; flush toilets; showers, fire pits; picnic tables; reservations available

Also Nearby:
Hurricane Creek Campground
Anglers love the 10 miles of fishing along Hurricane Creek, but this is also a great hiking base.
Boundary Campground
An hour northeast of Wallowa Lake, Boundary’s bare-bones campground near the banks of Bear Creek grants you convenient access to the Eagle Cap Wilderness.