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Bastendorff Beach rv camping

Free Wild Camping – Bastendorff Beach Oregon

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There is a fair amount of free wild camping in the state of Oregon. However, its mostly inland and we’ve never had much luck finding anything on or near the beach…until now!

We finally hit the jackpot in Coos Bay, OR with this little speck of land owned by the BLM. Bastendorff Beach is just two miles from Sunset Bay State Park and has fantastic sunset views with Cape Arago Lighthouse off in the distance. Every evening we had the most spectacular show right out our front door!

beautiful beach sunset

beautiful beach sunset

beautiful beach sunset

Bastendorff Beach rv camping

The Oregon coast is such an unpredictable place in the fall.  One afternoon is filled with warm sunshine and blue skies while the next feels like a scene written by Hemingway. There’s nothing like throwing on a high neck sweater, pouring a 12 year whiskey, settling in at the captains chair (of the RV) and yelling “all hands on deck” at the boat ahead.

Bastendorff Beach rv camping

moody ocean views

Bastendorff Beach

We found this spot listed on UltimateCampgrounds (one of our favorite road trip apps) but we stopped in at the BLM office in Coos Bay to get the scoop on the area.  They did warn us we wouldn’t be the only campers out there and once we arrived, we understood what they were getting at.

While we had just learned of this wild camping gem…the locals have know about it for a long while. There was a fair population of people in tents and a couple of other RV’ers. Some of them looked like they had been here far longer than the 14 day stay limit. They all kept to themselves, watched the sunsets and were quiet. Which might explain why the local BLM hasn’t made a big push to move them on.

As for us, we didn’t stick around near long enough! We would have stayed our full 14 days here if we hadn’t already agreed to meet family further down the coast.

 

What about you, have you stayed at this same spot or another fantastic free beach spot we need to know about?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Road Report

GPS Coordinates – 43.350205, -124.340591
Road/Camping Conditions – The road in is nice and the camping area is mostly an un-maintained parking lot. If you are tent camping or have 4wd then the sandy roads lead to some fantastic secluded sites with even better views.
Weather – We had a mix of misty rains and sunshine. The high was around 60 while the low was 44.
Connectivity – We had full bars and 4G Verizon
Dates Visited – November 1 – 4

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (32)

  • Ashley Favero

    As of May 2018 when we visited, this is not a free place to sleep. Many signs with day use area only and even a Sherriff offering a criminal trespass warning if we were here again. Please update. There is a campground, but not free.

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    • Sue

      Law enforcement was having so many problems with homeless people, violence and 5-gallon buckets of feces here, that they eliminated the camping altogether. They had reduced it from 14-day use to single-day camping, but that didn’t work. If changing it to day-use-only doesn’t work, they said they will be installing locked gates. Thank you again, people who don’t take responsibility for yourselves. There are other fee campgrounds in the area — the cheapest seem to be $15 w/o hookups. Link: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Portals/0/Parks/campfees5-1-2018.pdf?ver=2018-05-01-131628-340

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  • My husband and I just checked the spot out today. It has a 24-hour camping limit, and it looks a bit unsafe.

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  • Hey guys. Just stumbled upon this place on Campendium while working our way back home.
    We were almost done setting up camp when a local came up and warned us that it’s safety is questionable. She said there was a murder here last week and the big lot is a hub for crime.
    She pointed us further down the road to the southern end of the BLM area, saying there are fewer incidents of crime on that end.
    N 43.344897
    E 124.347947
    We pulled up along the guard rail here overlooking a beautiful beach. We took necessary safety precautions and our first night was uneventful.
    On a positive note… We had a great dinner, we got a dozen oysters for 6 bucks and some fresh chowder from from town and watched the sunset.

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  • mary van

    I am not sure how I missed this post. The photography is beautiful!

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  • Terry Apple (Ms/Mrs)

    Really Good Job. Enjoyed it very much. The only thing I thought might be added was a reminder about walk arounds and tire checks at the start and at each stop, which I expect that you did and just did not mention. You might have automatic steps, but frustration has led many like me to forget to pull in the steps.

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  • Casey Black

    Hello Nikki,
    Really enjoyed your solo trip video. Love your spirit of adventure and trusting in yourself. Looks like kitties enjoyed the trip too. I have not towed our trailer yet and probably won’t until I have to. Hopefully not in an emergency! Looking forward to your next segment on the road! All the BEST.

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  • Ron murdock

    My wife and I will be getting ready for our first RV adventure full time for about a year. Starting next year we been doing our homework in buying a RV. Thanks for all your views, going to put them in good use. We know that we are going to screwup somewhere along the way, we will make it. So thank you for all your views. Maybe we’re see you on our trip.

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  • Thanks for the tip! That indeed looks like a jackpot place! How did you find out about it? The pictures look magnificent, they’re making me want to go there right this instant! Camping near the beach is heaven!

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    • We stopped by the BLM office nearby and they directed us there, what a gem!

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  • Hi Nikki and Jason, wonderful pictures of beautiful sunsets. Are you looking at the ocean longingly for when you ditch the RV and head out on a ship?

    We were at the Salton Sea this weekend, additionally beautiful sunsets over the Salton Sea. Lots of big rigs going by our campground which we thought was the best campground around since you can park right on the beach with no close neighbors…I was wondering where you stay when you are there? There is a GIANT RV park (as in big and lots of RVs) up the hill from Niland. We cruised through there and were pleasantly suprised. Had an eye out for you as Salton Sea was on your schedule Safe travels to you two…

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    • I’m not sure where we are heading on the Salton Sea, we use the Ultimate Campgrounds App to find public campgrounds.

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  • LeAnn Weaver

    wow – love the photos! Amazing beauty!

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  • W. Walker

    My wife & I also toured the Oregon coast, starting from Portland (visiting our kids) to Astoria, then camped at Fort Stevens State Park 2 nites, then to your Pacific City for 3 nites, across from your bar & sandy beach, then off to Newport & South Beach State Park 2 nites, then down to Florence (Really nice town!) then down to Bandon, close to your Coos Beach, but stayed at Bullards Beach State Park, ( We found that ALL Oregon State Park campgrounds to be Better, Cheaper, Cleaner, Cooler than those in California) Saw All the Light Houses on the coast, rode horses on the Beaches & visited all the brewery’s & seafood restaurants along the way. Our first stop toward home in Huntington Beach Ca was the infamous Jedediah Smith Redwood Campground for 5 days. This is a MUST stop campground, & even thou we have solar panels, they did Not work here cause of so many TALL trees!! This was a 5 week trip, practicing for our 3 to 4 month trip this year to Canada & Alaska…We like California, but LOVED Oregon much better..
    Thanks for your stories & tips, we follow them all & will use them this year in Alaska?Canada

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    • T C Spencer

      W Walker – Are you going to take the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry
      or the Alcan Highway to and from Alaska?

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      • W. Walker

        T.C.
        We are going to take the same trip as Nikki & Jason, going the Rocky Mountain Route up to Banff, I don’t recall any info from the Wynn’s about this wonderful stop?!, And we will be taking the Gold Rush Route back home. The Inside Passage Route is pretty expensive. For our 31 RV & tow CRV = 50 feet runs around 3,500 to 5000. One way!! U cannot use your RV while ferrying, you have to rent a cabin or sleep on deck. We can go 1st class in our RV while driving & seeing & stopping where ever. Watch Nikki’s & Jason’s video’s, there are great. I really like Jason’s tire repair video, haha. I Did buy a tire repair kit like Jason’s. Be prepared is my old Boy Scout motto. We will save enough money to go salmon, halibut fishing & maybe take a helicopter or plane flight….
        Good Luck & watch some Wynn (Win!) video’s..
        W

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  • In all the years we’ve traveled the OR coast I never knew this existed. Super cool! And awesome pics too!

    Nina

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  • Larry Rich

    Hey thanks for the free camping spot ideas. My wife and I are just starting doing longer trips . Doing 1.5 months in Wisconsin and Michigan and then 2 months in Yellowstone , Glacier , Tetons and Teddy Roosevelt Park. We’ve taken some of your ideas and applied them to our Redwood 38 GK, LED lighting , Honda generator and the constant reduced or free camping quest. Hoping to go solar next year . Have really enjoyed your site . GOOD JOB !!
    The Richs

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  • Mike

    I added that to my to-do list, thanks.

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  • Chris and Nadia

    Great photos….Cold angry seas remind me of…..Sage Gimlets (serves 1 person)…
    (1) Part Vodka…we use Stolichnaya
    (1/2) Part St Germain Elder flower liquor
    (1/4) Lime fresh squeezed
    (1/2) part Sage simple syrup
    (1) part Pellegrino spring water

    A great angry storm, preferably snowy, makes them all the better….

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  • Mary Abbott

    We stayed just down the road at the Oceanside Beachfront RV resort. Full hook-ups. We had just come from 5 days of dry camping in the Redwoods. Walked the long, almost deserted beach a couple times per day. It was really great. About $50 per night. Loved listening to the ocean. The nearby town of Coos Bay has a great farmers market on Wednesdays. We also hit the Little Italy restaurant in Coos Bay. Great spaghetti sauce. Lots of other hiking nearby to help burn off those calories.

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  • Margie Daniels

    Beautiful pictures. Diddo to all the writing and stories. I keep notes. Thanks

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  • Nikki

    As one of the few native Oregonians, I must take a minute to say thanks for sharing your photos and kind words about this beautiful state. We have a friend who says that Oregon is God’s retirement village! We love it in all weathers and think we have the most spectacular coast in the country. Thanks again for sharing.

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  • William (Bill) Weaver

    Your photos of the OR coast takes me back to a trip in the 70s. That coast line is a never ending photo op. I have photos of our trips on an electronic picture frame and it runs 24/7. When people see the photo of Haystack Rock and other views, they say “where is that?” Back then, I had never heard of BLM camping. Now I look for them and other free camping areas. On a recent trip to UT, there was no open sites at Canyons Land NP. I asked about BLM and was referred to a spot called Hamburger Rock and we found a good spot. Yes, it looks like a hamburger. It pays to ask. I love your sunsets. My wife and I are in our 70s and the daily sunrise and sunset are a part of our days activities no matter where we are. The older we get, the more we enjoy them. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  • Mickey Mitchell

    If you are really going to sea read and watch everything you can from Lin and Larry Pardey. please.
    http://www.landlpardey.com/

    The boat size they use and no motor as well as gravity water and flame running lights are more modern as you will see that if your dream of sea travel is real these two are the best place to learn from on earth. Scientific fact. Your idea to use a cat boat is not a good idea, it is very hard to park any where, goes end over end easy and is just not a home style long traveling design to take care of and live in. Trust me. I lived on a boat for 5 years. If you are going around the world get not bigger than 36 foot but better much less, columbia used would be a good one to start off with. Do what Lin and Larry say and you will not drown as easy. A wood boat with the epoxy now a-days is a good boat to use. Lin and Larry are the worlds best at what you want to do.

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  • You two are the masters at finding great camping spots. We’ll look forward to the next one. 😉

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  • John S.

    The Oregon coast has many gems, some of them known only to the locals. That is why saying “hi” to the people at the next table is such a good idea. Especially if the people at the next table are wearing well-used Gore-Tex gear.

    We’ve done the Oregon coast many times, the first time on our honey moon, and love it in all weather conditions.

    I appreciate the time and effort you are both putting to get your blog caught up and have to admit that I’m impressed that you can remember so much. (Did you make notes every day?) Also, thanks for the photos, and perhaps I should be the first to say “what! no video?” (A sunset time lapse would have been amazing from that camping spot.)

    Hope you are not getting too wet this week in California.

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  • Yep, we camped on the very same spot you did…twice. The first time the tide was high and the surf wild. We watched huge waves break over and through the breakwater!

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  • It’s a lovely area! When we stayed there, we opted for the county park at the top of the hill with large sweeping ocean views – and enjoyed many wonderful strolls down to that beach area. Did you get a chance to do the hike out to Cape Arago starting at Sunset Beach, or visit the gardens down the road? Love love love the Oregon coast!

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  • Once again we cross paths, going the opposite direction. Before our summer in Alaska we were moseying up the west coast. Stopping at every Lighthouse, even staying at a few 😉 off season. The one we couldn’t go up to was this one. We asked at the visitors center about it and had a wonderful conversation with her. She was fascinated by our “lifestyle” and said that there was an area … and you know the rest. Like you, wish we could have stayed but we had promised my brother a visit before we step off to AK.

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