San Onofre Camping: Best Camping Options At San Onofre State Beach

san onofre camping

Finding a perfect spot for your next camping adventure can feel like a treasure hunt. Nestled along the Southern California coastSan Onofre State Beach offers a variety of campsites with breathtaking ocean views and easy access to surfing spots.

Our guide breaks down the best camping options within this natural paradise so you can plan an unforgettable outdoor escape. Dive in for a coastal adventure!

Overview of San Onofre State Beach

Nestled along picturesque coastline of Southern California, San Onofre State Beach beckons adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike. This beloved stretch of sand and surf is more than just a beach; it’s a vibrant ecosystem that serves as an irreplaceable resource for both recreation and wildlife.

At its heart, San Onofre offers unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities that come together to create an idyllic camping destination.

Camping enthusiasts will discover that San Onofre isn’t merely about pitching tents or parking RVs—it’s an experience defined by the rhythmic crashing of waves, diverse marine life sightings, including the chance for whale-watching, and access to some of the best surf spots in South Orange County like Trestles.

The state beach stretches along three miles of coast bordered by bluffs and backed by the panoramic views of Highway 101. Its proximity to towns such as San Clemente ensures easy access yet feels worlds away from city bustle.

Here at San Onofre State Beach camping site, you’ll find yourself immersed in the laid-back Southern California lifestyle with sun-drenched days giving way to starry nights—each moment promising memories that last a lifetime.

Notable Campgrounds at San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach offers three notable campgrounds, each with its own unique features and amenities. Visitors can choose from the San Onofre Beach Campground, San Mateo Campground, and San Onofre Bluffs Campground for their camping experience.

San Onofre Beach Campground

San Onofre Beach Campground sits tucked away along old U.S. Route 101, offering campers a stunning view from the sandstone bluffs above the ocean. With 175 sites to choose from, there’s plenty of room to park your RV or pitch a tent.

You’ll find easy access to trails that lead straight down to 3.5 miles of surf and sand – perfect for sunbathers, surfers, and beachcombers alike.

Each spot comes with a table and fire ring; imagine roasting marshmallows under the starry sky! The campground provides cold outdoor showers and chemical toilets – so you can wash off saltwater before heading back to camp.

Don’t forget about Panhe Nature Trail nearby; it offers peaceful walks through native vegetation where you might spot some local wildlife on your way to Trestles Beach, known worldwide for its waves.

San Mateo Campground

Moving inland from the beachside spots, San Mateo Campground at San Onofre State Beach offers a different kind of charm. It nestles you among trees for added privacy and shade, making it a cozy retreat.

The campsites here are spacious, perfect for setting up your tent or parking your RV. Nature lovers will appreciate the 1.5-mile Nature Trail linking the campground to tantalizing waves and sandy fun.

San Mateo Campground stays open all year, so camping in any season is possible. You won’t have to worry about feeling cramped as there’s plenty of room between sites to stretch out.

Bring your hiking boots because the trail awaits—and it leads right to some of California’s most scenic shores!

San Onofre Bluffs Campground

San Onofre Bluffs Campground offers 175 campsites perched along the historic U.S. Route 101, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean. With direct access to the shore via rugged dirt trails, it’s a haven for swimmers and surfers alike, spanning an extensive stretch of 3.5 miles of pristine, unspoiled beachfront.

Each campsite comes complete with essential amenities including a fire pit and picnic facilities – all set against the breathtaking backdrop of California’s natural beauty. Prices start at $40 per night making it an affordable option for those looking for a authentic outdoor experience.

Surrounded by the allure of San Onofre State Beach and its compelling coastal charm, this camping destination is perfect for travelers in search of adventure and relaxation in equal measure – embodying everything one could desire from a classic California seaside escape!

Detailed Features of San Onofre Beach Campground

San Onofre Beach Campground is a year-round camping spot with 175 sites suitable for tents or RVs, offering a peaceful and scenic coastal experience. The campground provides amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and easy access to the beach.

You can enjoy activities like swimming, fishing, and surfing while being surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Additionally, campers have access to clean restrooms and outdoor showers for added convenience.

The campground’s location within San Onofre State Beach allows campers to explore trails for hiking or biking along the coast. Moreover, the area is known for its abundant marine life and offers opportunities for whale watching during specific seasons.

With its relaxed atmosphere and various recreational options, San Onofre Beach Campground presents an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts seeking an authentic beach camping experience in Southern California.

Detailed Features of San Mateo Campground

Moving on from the beachside delights of San Onofre Beach Campground, let’s now explore the tranquil oasis that is San Mateo Campground. Nestled on the northern perimeter of Camp Pendleton, this campground beckons visitors with its spacious and quiet sites enveloped by lush trees and bushes.

Providing larger campsites offering privacy and shade, it makes for a serene retreat amidst nature.

Moreover, outdoor enthusiasts will relish the 1.5-mile Nature Trail connecting the campground to the beach – excellent opportunity for leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike.

This feature adds an extra layer of adventure to your camping experience at San Mateo, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a harmonious blend of nature and relaxation during their camping escapade at San Onofre State Beach.

Detailed Features of San Onofre Bluffs Campground

Moving on from San Mateo Campground, let’s take a closer look at the detailed features of San Onofre Bluffs Campground. Situated at 5200 S. Pacific Coast Hwy, San Clemente, CA, 92672, this campground boasts day-use parking along Old Highway 101 adjacent to sandstone bluffs and offers seven quarter-mile-long trails leading to the beach from the bluff top.

It spans over 2 miles in length with tents and smaller campers located in the North end and larger sites towards the South end.

San Onofre Bluffs Campground is equipped with amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits and restrooms for visitors’ convenience. The ocean views are breathtaking – a perfect backdrop for an enjoyable camping experience.

Moreover, lifeguards ensure safety during your beach activities. This well-maintained site also provides accessibility options for those with special needs – making it an inclusive space for all campers!

Top-Rated Nearby Campgrounds

– Splitrock Farm and Retreat, Reid Ranch, Bailes Farm, and Lakeshore Retreat are highly-rated nearby campgrounds offering a variety of amenities and beautiful natural surroundings for a unique camping experience..

Read on to find out more about these top-rated options near San Onofre State Beach!

Splitrock Farm and Retreat

Splitrock Farm & Retreat offers stunning ocean views stretching from La Jolla to Camp Pendleton, making it an idyllic camping option near San Onofre State Beach. The retreat is associated with other top-rated nearby campgrounds, providing a range of choices for those seeking a memorable outdoor experience.

With its beautiful picturesque surroundings and convenient access to beach, Splitrock Farm & Retreat stands out as an ideal destination for camping and travel enthusiasts in search of natural beauty and tranquility.

Reid Ranch

After exploring the tranquil ambiance of Splitrock Farm and Retreat, another top-rated campground near San Onofre State Beach is Reid Ranch. Nestled in California’s scenic landscape, this campground offers 5 spacious sites for both RVs and tents across its 5 acres of land.

With a nightly rate of $55, Reid Ranch provides an affordable yet comfortable camping experience.

Ideal for those seeking ocean views and easy beach access, Reid Ranch stands as a convenient choice for campers visiting San Onofre State Beach. Its serene setting makes it a popular option among travelers looking to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the nearby coastal attractions.

Bailes Farm

Moving on from the scenic charm of Reid Ranch, another gem for camping enthusiasts is Bailes Farm. Nestled in Fallbrook, California, this farm offers a haven with its 12-month flowing river, untouched and free-running without any human interference.

An intriguing feature includes a state-managed hiking trail that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area and enjoy the tranquility it offers. For those seeking a campground harmoniously combined with nature’s unspoiled elements, Bailes Farm presents an enticing option.

Campers at Bailes Farm can revel in the opportunity to experience an undisturbed natural environment alongside the therapeutic sound of a running river. With its idyllic setting and thoughtfully managed facilities including captivating hiking trails – this campground promises an enriching experience for lovers of outdoor adventures.

Lakeshore Retreat

Nestled along the serene waters of San Onofre State Beach, Lakeshore Retreat offers a tranquil escape for campers. With picturesque lake views and lush surroundings, this campground provides a peaceful setting for outdoor enthusiasts to unwind and connect with nature.

Whether you’re seeking a quiet fishing spot or simply yearning to bask in the beauty of the great outdoors, Lakeshore Retreat caters to those looking for a rejuvenating camping experience amidst scenic natural landscapes.

Amidst its rustic charm, Lakeshore Retreat boasts modern amenities such as clean restroom facilities and well-maintained grounds.. Ideal for families and solo campers alike, this sanctuary is an idyllic destination for embracing nature’s soothing embrace while enjoying various recreational activities by the water’s edge at San Onofre State Beach.

Tips for Securing a Campsite at San Onofre State Beach

  1. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance through the California State Parks website or over the phone.
  2. San Onofre Bluffs Campground offers 175 sites starting at $40 per night.
  3. Look for sites 1-23, 26-44, and 95-175 at the Bluffs Campground if you have an RV, with parking pad lengths of 35-36 feet.
  4. San Mateo’s group campsite is suitable for tent camping only and it can accommodate up to 40 people and 8 vehicles.
  5. San Onofre State Beach Campground has 380 sites for RVs or tent camping, offering amenities like bathrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.
  6. Plan to check in at the Bluffs Campground by 2pm and check out by 12pm.
  7. It’s advisable to review San Onofre Bluffs Campground before your trip to gather traveler experiences and updated information.

Best Times to Visit for Camping

The best times to visit for camping at San Onofre State Beach are during shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The weather is milder, and the campgrounds are less crowded. These periods offer a more tranquil experience with comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, and beachcombing.

You can also consider weekdays as an ideal time to secure a campsite. They tend to be less busy compared to weekends. Avoid peak summer months if you prefer a quieter camping experience. This is when the campground sees its highest visitor numbers.


In summary, San Onofre State Beach offers a range of camping options, providing stunning ocean views and group campsites. Visitors can choose from the San Mateo campground or the Bluffs campground with RV-friendly sites available.

Nearby campgrounds like Splitrock Farm and Retreat offer additional choices for those seeking a unique camping experience in the area. With its picturesque location and various amenities, San Onofre State Beach stands out. It’s an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts looking to soak up the natural beauty of Southern California’s coastline.


Can I see a map of the San Onofre State Beach camping sites?

Absolutely, you can! The San Onofre State Beach camping map is available online. It shows you all the campgrounds and spots where you can set up your tent or park your motorhome.

Is it possible to reserve a camping site at San Onofre ahead of time?

Yes, indeed! You’ll need to book your spot through websites like Reserve California or Hipcamp. Just grab your credit card and choose the best place for your adventure.

What are some nearby beaches to explore when camping at San Onofre?

Get ready for options galore! Crystal Cove State Park, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Redondo – they’re all within driving distance. And don’t forget places like Dana Point and Huntington Beach!

Are there any hidden fees I should know about when planning my trip to San Onofre Camping grounds?

No secrets here. Just pay attention to listed fees for parking and overnight stays when you make your reservation. This way, nothing catches you by surprise.

How do I stay safe from rip currents while enjoying the beach at San Onofre?

Staying safe is key – always keep an eye on warning signs about rip currents! Plus, it’s smart to chat with lifeguards. They’ll tell you what’s up with the surf conditions near San Mateo Creek or anywhere around.

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