San Onofre Camping Guide

Camping is probably one of the best outdoor activities that can be done all year round at a budget-friendly place. Unless the weather and season don’t permit, you and your family can be instant campers provided you have the resources and location to start with. Speaking of a great camping location, San Onofre offers a variety of options for adventure seekers like you!

What is San Onofre Camping known for?

If you are looking for features that can convince you to go camping here in San Onofre, you are in the right place! San Onofre is known for many great things, one of which is the San Onofre State Beach. This beach is a popular tourist spot in California where locals and tourists can surf, swim, fish, and do kayaking. Every year, about 2.5 million visitors annually are entertained with the wonders of San Onofre State Beach. Dolphins, whales, and sea lions are seen resting on the offshore of the beach from time to time. If that’s not something wonderful about San Onofre, what else is?

The state beach is just one of its wonders. San Onofre also has bluffs that are situated in San Clemente, California. It’s a combination of a camping site and beach that are known by surfers and swimmers. Beautiful sandstone bluffs can be discovered adjacent to the highway where tourists can park their vehicles while enjoying what this place has to offer.

What is the best time of year to go?

San Onofre is a great location for many outdoor activities. Depending on what activity you prefer, whether camping, swimming, or hiking, there is a good season to visit this place. Per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the best time to visit San Clemente, specifically San Onofre, is from March to May or June to November. These are the ideal warm months when there is no snow and constant rain. The temperature is just average in these months, which is great for any type of beach and camping adventures.


What campsites are there?

San Onofre houses two different campsites where you can start your camping journey. They are San Onofre Bluffs and San Mateo Campground. The San Onofre Bluffs is at the heart of S. Pacific Coast Highway, San Clemente in California. It’s a tourist destination perfect for camping. The campground offers a picnic table and a fire pit for every group of campers. There are also chemical toilets and cold outdoor showers. Although an RV dump-station exists in the site, you can avail of RV hookups. The San Onofre Bluffs is near the state beach and the highway adjacent to sandstone bluffs. You can also do sightseeing here aside from camping.

The San Mateo Campground, on the other hand, is located at Cristianitos, San Clemente in California. Campers consider this a short distance inland within the state beach. This site is directly connected to another tourist haven called the Trestles Beach. If you wish to discover the place, there’s a 1.5-mile Nature Trail that will take you to the beach. Campers prefer to go to this campsite because of the fact that they can enjoy surfing too. Redwood surfboards are available and they are the best tools to create your surf adventures. San Mateo offers RV hookups, hot indoor showers, dump station, and flush toilets.


Things to know before going?

Camping in San Onofre is a pretty straightforward process. The place is not as restricted as some other locations and campgrounds. However, you might want to talk to the people who manage the two campgrounds before you go here. Camping and lodging can be reserved 6 months in advance. You may book for a fixed number of days and night and you can extend your stay from the date of your arrival until you decide to go home. Of course, this is still subject to availability. The campgrounds also have their own maximum stay rules.

The San Onofre camping sites offer overnight facilities such as family campsites, group campsites, RV hookups, RV dump station, and RV access. There are also day-use activities and facilities including picnic areas, fishing, swimming, beach areas, exhibits and programs, scuba diving, family programs, and geocaching. Visitors can get access to parking, restrooms, showers, drinking water, and wheelchair.

Prepare yourself to be a camper and make sure to respect your neighbor once you get to the campground. Mingling with other people is possible and easy, just don’t forget to prioritize your safety and security while you camp.


Should you go camping there?

San Onofre has only two campgrounds, yes, but this is not something that should hinder you from trying out the wonders it can offer. There are plenty of reasons why you should go camping there and one major “why” is your free access to its famous state and surf beaches. When you go camping in San Onofre, you don’t only become a camper. You also experience surfing and swimming without being a professional. This is like a package you can get when you choose San Onofre as your camping ground.

And even after camping, you can still do site trips near the area. There are trestles, a church, and trails that you can explore before you go home. The trestles are not accessible by cars, which means you have to do a long walk to discover the world-class surfing area. The church, which is situated close to Camp Pendleton Beach Resort, offers a different level of tourist adventure. You can do bird watching and sunbathe while you explore the area.

What you can do here in San Onofre is unlimited. There are fewer restrictions and that means you can be as free as you want to enjoy the beautiful venue!

Wrap up

San Onofre has never been this famous until the locals and tourists discovered a multitude of activities available here. Your camping experience doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need to choose the right place where to do it. Good thing San Onofre has affordable camping options that will surely suit your preference and budget

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.