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.
San Onofre State Beach – San Mateo Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||157 Campsites|
|Use Level:||Medium – High|
|Showers:||Yes – Coin Operated|
|Beach/Lake Access:||Yes – 1.5 Mile walk to beach|
|RV/Trailer Length:||35 Feet|
|RV/Trailer Amenities:||Dump Station|
|Cell Phone Service:||Yes|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year-round|
|Geo Coordinates:||33.405551, -117.584468|
|Nearest City/Town:||San Clemente, California|
|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.
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:|
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
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.
Image Credits: Darin McClure via Flickr