Harris Beach Oregon is home to a wide, sandy beach and tide pools perfect for beachcombing. Located in Brookings—the southernmost Oregon Coast community—this state park is a year-round delight, a perfect place to slip away from it all and discover a place of rugged beauty, crashing waves, and seemingly endless blue skies.
Harris Beach State Park is easy to access from Highway 101—the famed coastal highway that runs from Los Angeles up to Olympia, Washington. Kalamath, California is 50 miles to the south, and Florence, Oregon, is 150 miles to the south. Once you make your way to Oregon’s scenic southern coast, the ocean will come into view, much to the delight of everyone in the car. You won’t need to buy a pass to visit—like most Oregon beaches, Harris Beach is free for everyone to enjoy.
After you arrive, you’ll need to chose what to do first; the list of things to do is long. Both mild-at-heart types and the adventurous will enjoy their time along Harris Beach Oregon. A stroll along the beach is anything but basic here. The tide pools, always a little bit different, are home to interesting marine creatures. Beachcombers also find treasures washed up along the beach; they have found everything from bottles and lumber to gemstones and glass floats from Japan.
Whether you’re at the beach for a swim or a stroll, you’ll have an excellent vantage point for watching the scenery. The picnic tables along the shore offer great views too for overlooking this slice of the Oregon coast. Just off shore, there is an interesting rock formation, which some of the locals call Bird Island and others call Goat Island. Whatever it’s called, it’s part of a natural wildlife sanctuary. Many seabirds flock to the island, including the tufted puffin. Wildlife watchers will have a heyday at Harris Beach State Park.
Back on shore, birdwatchers might spot California quail, a little north of the border, and charming little chickadees. Ground squirrels and brush rabbits are common sights here, too, along the nature trails that meander through the land off the coast.
The state park also is home to a campground that accommodates tents and RVs. In total, 36 sites have full hookups for RVs, and another 50 sites are equipped with electricity and water for tent camping. The 63 campsites are close to water—all sites have a parking, picnic tables, and fire rings. A few sites have cable for an additional fee. Guests have access to a playground and bathrooms, as well as laundry.
A collection of six yurts also is available to reserve at the state park’s campground. A step up from tent camping, the yurts have wood floors and a door that locks, along with lights and heat. Each yurt at Harris Beach State Park has bedding and a dining room table. Just outside, you’ll find a fire pit and a picnic table where you can sit and relax. One of the six yurts is pet-friendly and can be reserved in advance. The rates for the yurts are the same all year, but the campgrounds cost less in the off season. Between October and the end of April, the nightly rights are even cheaper.
Even when the weather is too cold for a swim, there’s a lot to see along Harris Beach Oregon. The nature trails and walking paths are still accessible in the winter—and many campers and day visitors especially like watching the storms roll off the ocean and move on shore.