Choose Tugman for your coastal winter base camp (2013)
What makes William M. Tugman State Park north of Coos Bay the perfect place to camp this time of year? Park Manager Radeena Lee says it’s for the chance to stay in a yurt – 16 for you to choose from, including eight pet friendly units.
“The summer and fall rush is over, and many of our yurts are available during the winter months,” Lee says. “Reservations are always recommended, especially for weekends, but many campers are finding mid-week openings without reservations.”
Reservations are available online or by calling (800) 452-5687, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Pet friendly yurt reservations can only be made by telephone at the number above.
Tugman is surrounded by fresh-water lakes and the Umpqua Dunes, part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Spend the days hiking around Eel Lake and the dunes, or help local Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program volunteers count the coho salmon passing through the fish trap on their way upstream to spawn. Steelhead also return in December and some are selected for the hatchery program. Everyone is welcome to “jump in” and help net and release the fish. Extra waders in foot sizes 3-13 are waiting for you to get in on the action.
From Nov. 28-Dec. 31, the park is a great base camp for visiting the Holiday Lights Festival at Shore Acres State Park. After you’ve “fished,” make the 27-mile drive to Shore Acres for the 27th annual event. The garden is festooned 4-9 p.m. every night with 300,000 lights arranged on dozens of lighted sculptures, including a life-sized orca and gray whale, as well as 26 large holiday trees. Visit the decorated Garden House for light refreshments and stop by the Performance Pavilion for holiday entertainment. Last year, more than 47,000 visitors saw the light display.