Ocean City State Park (near Ocean Shores, WA)

Discussion in 'Washington' started by Unstable_Tripod, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    This coastal park is on state highway 115, just south of the turnoff from state 109 on the north side of Gray's Harbor. The nearest town is Ocean Shores. It has 178 sites divided amongst four loops, numbered 1-4. It also has two Group Camps, one that holds 60 people and one which holds 50. These are in Loop 4. We were in Site 64, Loop 2, which was a standard, no hook-up site. Washington SPs have different prices for Standard ($22 per night), Premium Standard ($25), Full Utility ($31) and Premium Full Utility ($36) sites. Premium means a better view, a bit bigger, more privacy or more than one of these. All of these prices are absolutely outrageous IMO. (This is one of several reasons why I rarely camp in Washington State Parks.) The park takes reservations but is FCFS for empty sites. Roads and site pads were all paved with asphalt and fairly level. The utility sites were jammed horribly close together.

    I guess the park would be considered nice by some folks but I hated it. It was almost all level lawn (they actually mowed the grass!) with no privacy between sites. (Far too civilized for me.) There were a few trees and bushes here and there but for the most part everyone was out on an open plain. The sites were absurdly close together. Our fire ring was ten feet from the next driveway. It's a good thing the sites on either side of us were empty or else it would have seemed like camping in a Target parking lot on Black Friday. The facilities were fine (flush toilets, a token-operated shower house, dump station, trash collection, etc.) but I just don't like camping in such conditions. Sites 80-108 in Loop 3 are Premium Standard because they are larger and cut into underbrush so there is more privacy. If you are going there I recommend aiming for these.

    There is a short trail to the ocean beach and once there you can walk for very long distances in either direction. The beach is wide at high tide and very, very wide at low tide. A hundred yards or so of low sand dunes with scrub grass separates the beach from the CG. Kite-flying is a common activity here. The ocean view is empty horizon. I prefer the beaches to the north where the forest comes right to the shore, rocky headlands pierce into the sea and sea stacks litter the offshore view. The only reason we went there was to be near a cabin my daughter and her family rented. I won't camp there again.
     
  2. DarthMuffin

    DarthMuffin New Member

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    Thanks for the honest review. We stayed at a friend's cabin at Ocean Shores once. That was great, but we checked out the campground while there and I agree with you. It's lawn camping, not for me.
     
  3. kaceyred

    kaceyred New Member

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    Sounds perfect to me!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the review UT,

    I have been meaning to check out this state park some day as DH really likes Ocean shores. Haven't made it there yet, but some day. It's nice to know what to expect beforehand. I see you like to boondock on your profile page. Outside of the State Parks in WA, where else do you like to camp? I prefer quiet camp grounds with at least a vault toilet, as I don't have a toilet in my camper. Would love some of your suggestions.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    There are many small national forest CGs in WA that I like. For example, there are some along the Nooksack River up near the border, there are some along 410 east of Mt. Rainier and there are some along the southern end of the Hood Canal over on the Olympic Peninsula. I've reviewed some of them here in this section. I generally don't disclose my favorite boondocking (camping in wilderness outside of formal CGs) locations.
     
  6. PNW Family

    PNW Family New Member

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    Some additions to this, as well as my own spin from staying there this weekend:

    *NOT ALL* of the parking pads are paved. In fact, loop 2 has no paved parking pads, and I only saw a couple in loop 3.

    We stayed in loop 2, and the sites on the inner half of the loop are essentially one big lawn that's been parceled out into camp sites, and much of it was a swamp after the deluge the night before we got there. The only exception on this inner ring is site 52, which we happened to have. It had trees and bushes on all sides, so that one is relatively private.

    But the majority of people who are staying are likely not there for the camp sites. They're there for the beach, which is absolutely huge, and sandy.

    Would I go again? If I had to pay, it's a maybe. But since I got the site for free for the weekend, that swings it firmly to a yes for me.
     
  7. cssweeney

    cssweeney Member

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    I have to agree with PNW Family. Our loop which was loop 2 did not have paved pads. And with the rain we had almost all of the sites were lakes. Some people woke up to floating tents. There were maybe 2 or 3 sites in that loop that were lake free. My site 58 was on a hill so the lakes were much lower than the pup was.

    Candy,
    1989 Coleman Newport
     
  8. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    Mine 57 was the lake to end all lakes our fire pit was so full of water after the rain stopped that a 6 in thick by 16 in long piece of wood was floating.
     
  9. MsMac

    MsMac Active Member

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    We just got back from 3 nights there. After reading these reviews, I was honestly a little nervous about staying there, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it. We were in one of the "premium sites" in loop 3 (113), and with the PUP set broadside (parallel to the road), we had great privacy and a nice size usable campsite with foliage all around. We didn't look at loop 2, but most of the sites in loop 3 are not open and quite a few are actually quite deep with foliage in between. I'd just stick on the outside portion of the loop, rather than the center.

    The bathrooms are definitely old, but clean. One shower each for men and women, so there can be a line up at busy times. They are $1 for 6 minutes. We stayed through the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, and it was just starting to get really busy when we left. There are ranger patrols often, and people seemed to be generally very well behaved.

    You could definitely hear the ocean from where we were, and it was less than a half-mile walk to get to the beach. This section of beach is also open to vehicles, which is fun to do. The campground is also a stone's throw from Ocean Shores, with restaurants, grocery stores, etc.

    For our money, this CG is definitely worth the trip and was a great place to stay in the area.
     

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