Fort Stevens State Park

Park History

The park's land was acquired between 1955 and 1974. Close to 790 acres were given to the state by Clatsop County between 1955 and 1960. Other lands were acquired by gifts, leases, and purchases from the county, local school district, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a private landowner. The original earthen fort, completed in 1865 to protect the mouth of the Columbia River from Confederate gun boats and the British Navy during the Civil War, was named for Union Army Major General Isaac I. Stevens, first territorial governor of Washington, who died in 1862 at the Battle of Chantilly. The post later served as Oregon's only coastal defense fort during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.  The fort has the distinction of being the only military fort in the United States to be fired upon by an enemy during time of war since the War of 1812, when it was attacked by a Japanese submarine on June 21, 1942.

Acreage: 4,247.48

Annual overnight attendance: 256,124

Annual day-use attendance: 1,204,284


Fort Stevens State Park FAQ

General

Can I get cell service at your park?

Cell service is spotty at Fort Stevens, depending on your specific location and service provider.  Verizon customers will get better reception than At&t. 

I have a school group, can I talk to a ranger about a specialized tour?

Contact us to speak to someone about this possibility. Space is limited so please make these arrangements far in advance. Tours aren't available on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Ranger Dane Osis: 503-861-3170, extension 41

email: dane.osis@oregon.gov

What type of items should I bring?

Bring a variety of clothes, including warm coats.  Even in mid-summer it can be very cold and windy on the coast.  Binoculars for wildlife viewing and a bicycle to explore 9 miles of paved trails are also recommended.  If you are visiting between March-July, mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. 

Is this park a day-trip affair, or can you do it in a few hours?

The park can be seen in a few hours, but it is recommended to spend more time to see what there is to offer.  Fort Stevens is a destination park and many people spend a week or longer during the summertime. 

I'd love to volunteer/become a camp host who do I contact?

 Our volunteer coordinator is Barbara Webb. Her direct line is 503.871.83170 ex24.

We would love to have you on board!
 

Where can I swim?

The lakes and rivers found within Oregon State Parks are open to unsupervised swimming.  You are responsible for your own safety.  Before you enter the water, you should judge your swimming skills against possible strong currents, cold water, underwater objects, and steep drop-offs.  Remember, many of our natural bodies of water and man-made reservoirs are filled by snow runoff and remain cold year round.  Please bring and wear a personnal flotation device and swim with a buddy.

About Camping

Where Can I Get Firewood?

Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by getting your firewood at the campground, or close to it. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference. For more information, visit dontmovefirewood.org.

The Friends of Old Fort Stevens sell firewood within the campground and will deliver campfire wood directly to your site!  Proceeds help preserve the park's historic area. 

What's Allowed

Can I drive my vehicle on the beach at Fort Stevens?

Vehicles are allowed on the ocean shore from Gearhart to the South Jetty of the Columbia River.  They are prohibided on the beach south of the 10th Street beach access in Gearhart, and from the Peter Iredale beach access to the South Jetty from noon-midnight May 1-September 15.  Only "street legal" vehicles are allowed on the beach, no motorcycles or off-highway vechicles.  Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended.  Vehicle access points are located at Fort Stevens near the Peter Iredale Beach, Sunset Beach, Del Rey Beach, and in Gearhart at 10th Street. 

Day use/Special Events

What areas of the park require a Day-Use pass?

There are three locations in Fort Stevens State Park that require a Day-Use pass ($5.00 per vehicle).  They are the North and South parking areas of Coffenbury Lake and the Historic Area located at the north end of the park, along the Columbia River. 

Self-serve kiosks are located at each of these three locations. Day-Use passes are also sold at the Information Center (Museum) located in the Historic Area and at the Ranger Station located in the campground.

The following are also accepted passes that allow you to utilze the three areas noted above; current Oregon State Parks Annual Pass, valid campsite permit or reservation confirmation, valid Day-Use pass from any Oregon State Park, or a Pacific Coast Passport.

Please ensure the valid pass or document is prominantly displayed in the front window of your vehicle when parked.  Motorcyclists can carry their passes on their person, and must be ready to present it to a park ranger if requested.

A valid pass is required for any licensed motor vehicle.  The pass does not validate a parking space, rather the vehicle.  Example: Multiple motorcylces cannot share a parking space under one pass.


Statewide FAQ

Available via this link