Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About San Mateo - San Onofre State Beach
Drive In
Walk In
Boat In
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ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Water Hookups
San Mateo - San Onofre State Beach is located in California
33.407 N
-117.585 W
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15 Reviews of San Mateo - San Onofre State Beach
Small Beach Campground

This campground is great as it gives campers easy access to all of the local areas. It's right outside of town so there is no need to fight the traffic. Its located right up the road from Tressles and uppers both world famous surf spots. The campsites are big enough for 2-3 tents and two cars. There are bathrooms and wash facilities located on sight.

Family friendly

One of the campgrounds at San Onofre State Beach, San Mateo is about a mile inland in San Clemente. I booked two sites next to each other over Easter weekend with my family. The sites were slightly smaller than I’m used to but because we had 2 we didn’t mind the close quarters. The trail to Trestles Beach was very pleasant, although the beach was not quite a swim beach. The park staff was probably the friendliest I had ever encountered and the bathrooms were very clean. The crowd was primarily young families, there was some noise past the quiet hours but nothing too crazy.

OMG Prepare to be Blown Away

Trying not to be too negative, because this is one gorgrous area of the world, but…

The noise: crowded campsite with too many people crammed into a small space; the regular trains passing by all hours of the day/night; and, HWY 5.

The view: our campsite's view was blocked by a mound of dirt. (We thought we were so lucky to score a campsite on the bluff near the edge…)

The wind: holy bananas! The wind picked up and (despite being staked in the ground) our tent nearly blew away. With the total weight of three adults and two kids, we managed to keep the tent, but this wind lasted all night. Wind = No Fire = No Dinner. Grandpa ran into town and grabbed burgers while Grandma secured her sleeping spot in the back of the remaining pickup with camper shell.

The upside: we can all laugh about it now.

Primitive but great surf

This campgound is as basic as it gets with outdoor showers and chemical toilets. Located next the the 5 freeway and train tracks you'll have to put up with a lot if noise. But if a fun surf spot is what you're after you wont be disappointed. I camp here every year and always have a great time. I see dolphins frolicking in the waves almost every year and you can even dip into town for supplies or a pizza. One freeway exit over from a world renowned surf spot this is one of my favorite campgrounds in Cali. But be warned if you are allergic to bees they hangout in and drink from the sinks and showers.

If you like long romantic walks to the beach, this campground is for you

One of my favorite activities is surfing, and when I can camp the night beforehand, I'm an even happier creature. San Mateo campground, located just about a mile and a half from San Onofre State Beach is an awesome spot to rest your head before an early sunrise surf or after a sunset paddle adventure. I must note, the walk to the beach from the campground is about a mile and a half on a well maintained trail, one that even could be taken barefoot if you please, which, I obviously did. This trail drops you off right on the beach in front of one of the best surf spots in San Onofre. The campsite itself was secluded even though the entire campground was pretty crowded. Our spot had enough room for two parked cars, and plenty of space to set up multiple tents as well as a fire pit and picnic bench. The bathrooms on site were clean and well maintained. The only downfall was that each campsite is allotted three parking passes so make sure you and your friends share rides!

Long Walk t the Beach

We tent camped here. It’s a nice campground, clean with lots of amenities for those that need them. The vegetation is mostly brush, so not much shade from trees. In the summer, that can make it very hot. The walk to the beach is long for small kids, but if you want to gamble for a parking spot at the beach, your camp pass allows you to park at several nearby other beaches. They had a great Junior Ranger program offered, our kids loved it!

Decent campground, trestles nearby

Campsites have a decent size and provide some privacy. Not too much to do at the campground but Trestles is walking (ish) distance.

Great place to camp and close to home.

We like this campground because it's close to home. There are a lot of camping spots to choose from. It's a bit of a hike to the beach but totally manageable. The restrooms and showers are nice and clean. If you have an RV, you can have access to electricity and water. There are no pull-through sites, so it might be a challenge to back your larger rig into some of the spots. The campground is pretty close to Camp Pendleton so there may be times when your hear gunshots and helicopters in the distance.

Nice place, easy access to surf

CCampground is nice, most spots have enough shade. The bathrooms are clean and hot showers are coin operated. Easy hike to tressels beach and short drive to san clemente t-street, san onofre - old man's beach, and bluffs. Some noise at times coming from the close military base but overall a really nice place to stay especially for people looking to surf or enjoy the beach. Lot's of hikes in the area as well, which are easily accessible by car.

Not on the beach but a nice campsite close to it

Nestled only moments from the PCH and I-5 the San Mateo is the closest non- military beach one can find in the San Onofre State Beach Area before Memorial Day. It's location provides easy access to the beach as well as the town of San Clemente as it offers campsites for both rv and tent venturers.

We arrived late afternoon. Check in is typically 2 p.m. We were created by State Park representatives which gave us a quick run down as to the location of our site as well as the other points of interest.

Our campsite itself was again a primitive site which included a fire ring and picnic table. The parking was well labeled and made for easy navigation.

We noticed though surrounded by trees throughout the site the actual camping area was very open. This made for more of a group camping experience with other campers. While nice, it also made for a very loud early chatter in the morning.

Bathrooms were divided with 3 shower rooms and 3 bathrooms. Showers were token operated with dispensers just around the side of the bathroom facility outbuilding. 2 tokens would cover a typical shower and we were pleased by the hot water.


Overall the campsite receives a 4 of 5 Bunnies. It is advertised as beachside and that was a bit of a stretch so I must say it was a little frustrating to discover it was a commute instead of what it had been promised. Bookings are a must and are done through an outside vendor which covers the entire state so error is to be expected. Still it was pleasant and close.

For those who need wifi, this is not the location for you!

For the full story on the reservation check out my video about the campground and also the San Onofre area: