San Mateo Campground at San Onofre State Beach is located inland from the beach area and is the quieter of the two campgrounds in the park. The campground is situated near San Mateo Creek a little over a mile and a half from the ocean on a small sliver of land between the city of San Clemente and Camp Pendleton. While San Mateo Campground is not located terribly close to the ocean, it is a better tent camping spot than Bluffs Campground in San Onofre State Beach.

While the campground is set away from the ocean, the mile and a half walk takes to close to the popular surfing beaches in San Onofre State Beach. During the summer the north end of the beach is a popular surfing spot and hosts several surfing competitions. San Onofre State Beach offers just under four miles of sandy beaches. There are also a number of hiking trails available near San Mateo Campground. Dogs are allowed on San Onofre Beach, but only certain trails leading to the beach are dog friendly.

There are 157 campsites at San Mateo Campground, all of which offer picnic tables, fire rings, and access to bathrooms with coin operated showers. A dump station is available, and some campsites offer partial hookups. Camping supplies are available within a few miles.

Online Campsite Reservations

San Onofre State Beach – San Mateo Campground Features

Campground Type: Organized
Number of Campsites: 157 Campsites
  • $35/night
  • $10/night/extra vehicle
Use Level: Medium – High
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Showers: Yes – Coin Operated
Trash/Dumpsters: Yes
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: Yes – 1.5 Mile walk to beach
RV/Trailer Length: 35 Feet
RV/Trailer Amenities: Dump Station
Cell Phone Service: Yes
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Campground open year-round

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 33.405551, -117.584468
Nearest City/Town: San Clemente, California
Elevation: 60 Feet
Location: San Diego County, California
Paved Road Access: Yes
Proximity to Stores: 3 Miles

From I-5 near San Clemente, take the Cristianitos Road exit. Drive east on Cristianitos Road for a couple of miles to the campground entrance on the right.


Phone: (949) 492-4872 Facebook:
Web: California State Parks Twitter:
Reservations: Reserve America

When To Go

Spring & Fall – Like most beaches in Southern California, San Onofre State Beach is busiest in the summer, but Spring and Fall also still offer great weather. The best surfing on the north end of the beach is in the summertime

The location could not be found.

What To Do

Surfing – Surfing and surfing competitions are popular at the north end of San Onofre State Beach

Hiking – There are several hiking trails that head inland from the north end of the beach

Relax on the beach – The beach is adjacent to the campground and is great for relaxing on.

Online Campsite Reservations

Image Credits: Darin McClure via Flickr

Previous articleBluffs Campground – San Onofre State Beach
Next articleMixtape – February 2015 – Songs for the Desert
Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog, and the mobile device-focused blog


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here