New Oregon State Park camping rates go into effect Nov. 1, 2017


The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is raising state park camping rates by $2 for some types of campsites effective Nov. 1, 2017.

The Oregon Legislature approved the $2 increase as part of the 2017-19 Oregon Parks and Recreation Department budget.  After a public comment period in August and September, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the rate increase at its September 2017 meeting.

The rate for a typical full hookup RV site at the state’s most popular campgrounds will rise to $30 per night, and basic yurts will go from $40 to $42. Rates will also rise by the same $2 amount for deluxe yurts, basic and deluxe cabins, electric sites, and hiker-biker camping areas. Tent camping rates, now $17-$19 per night, will not change. Additional information is available at
http://bit.ly/OregonStateParksrates.

“The $2 rate increase aligns with the views expressed in past park surveys that show visitors prefer smaller rate increases on a more frequent basis than a large fee increase in the future,” says Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD.  “We do not receive tax dollars for operation of our parks. Nearly all our funding comes from visitors, a portion of RV registration dollars, and the Oregon Lottery.”

Oregon’s state parks attract 2.7 million campers and 51.5 million day visitors every year, consistently ranking in the nation’s top 10 state park systems.  OPRD last raised its camping rates in 2014, and the state park system is not funded by taxes. Visitors, voter-approved funding from the Oregon Lottery, and a share of recreational vehicle registrations fund the Oregon state park system.

Visit www.oregonstateparks.org for a list of all state parks and campgrounds.

Is the beach your go-to camping spot for the eclipse?


Think Again

The Aug. 21 new moon will bring very high and very low tides. A very low tide exposes a lot of beach, which is deceptively dangerous when the high tide rolls in. This will happen late on the night of Aug. 20 into the early morning of Aug. 21. Don’t camp on the beach because the high tide of more than 9 feet will cover most of the normally dry sand. The best scenario is that you and your sleeping bag will get wet. The other scenarios are far worse.

Also, camping is prohibited on the beach immediately seaward of a state park, as well as within the city limits of Newport and Lincoln City (within the totality path). No overnight parking on the beach anywhere.

Top camping tips for the Total Solar Eclipse

Look for these signs at beach access points in the path of totality

Will you become an eclipse chaser?


We’re 30 days away

The Aug. 21 solar eclipse experience may trigger a new passion for you to pursue. Umbraphiles are eclipse chasers who travel the world to experience the awe of the shadow. Some chasers tally the minutes spent in totality. If you’re one of the lucky million or so in Oregon who squeezes into the 87-mile-wide totality path, you can bag 2 minutes to 2 minutes 10 seconds and be on your way toward a lifetime goal. You never know; how about a trip to Argentina or Chile for the next total solar eclipse July 2,  2019?

Wondering what to expect for our eclipse? Here’s a quick primer.

Total Solar Eclipse phases. Composite Solar Eclipse.

The critical viewing moments
Adapted from a description by Jim Todd – Director of Space Science Education, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

First Contact
While wearing your approved eclipse glasses, this is the moment you’ll notice a bite out of the sun. The bite will steadily grow larger until the sun becomes a narrow crescent. Look at shadows cast on the ground from tree leaves—an amazing collection of crescents.

10-15 minutes before totality–Shadows grow sharper as daylight diminishes and an eerie quality of daylight envelops you. Shadows grow sharper. The temperature drops. Birds and other animals act as though it’s evening.

1-2 minutes before totality–Your senses scream. Something big is about to happen. Sunlight looks strangely different; it isn’t day, nor is it the night. The sky displays a color gradient, dark to the west and blue to the east.

Look to the west. Mountains or clouds in the distance turn dark. The moon’s shadow has met them and is coming quickly toward you.

Look at the ground, especially white surfaces. You may see the elusive shadow bands that flicker and dance and somewhat resemble the refractions of sunlight on the bottom of a swimming pool.

Seconds before totality–You may see the very thin crescent of the sun (through your eclipse glasses) suddenly break into a thin string of beads. Baily’s Beads occur because the last remnants of sunlight are peeking through valleys and low points of the moon’s surface. The last Baily’s Bead lasts for only an instant and the breathtaking sight of this last bit of sunlight along with your first view of the corona is called the diamond ring.

Second Contact
Total eclipse begins–Now the moment has come and it is unmistakable. For probably the first time in your life, you are standing under the shadow of the moon. It is suddenly dark and there will be an audible reaction from you and others. You can take off your eclipse glasses and look at the corona with your eyes and binoculars. This is the only safe time to look at the eclipse without eclipse glasses.

Chromosphere and prominences– If you view the eclipse through binoculars (only when the Sun is completely blocked by the moon!), look for an innermost and irregular layer of deep red. This is the Sun’s chromosphere. Watch for what seem to be several licks of flame. These are solar prominences and their number and degree vary.

Stars and planets–Brighter stars and planets are visible during totality but don’t spend too much time stargazing. Focus on the eclipse

Third Contact
Total eclipse ends–
After about two minutes, the total solar eclipse ends, marked by a second diamond ring followed by Baily’s Beads. Be sure to watch this through your eclipse.

Last Contact
Partial eclipse–
Pause, reflect and celebrate with your family and friends.