We stayed for 2 nights at site 40. Pros: Most sites are flat and spacious compared to other state campgrounds. Beautiful views overlooking the bluffs. Staff is polite. Pet friendly. Pull thru sites. Cons: Only access to beach is a long walk down a very steep hill, definitely kid friendly. Very little shade. No campground store (definitely didn't see one if there was). Most sites are dirt, concrete and dead grass. Survey says: overall rating of 6.8/10. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This campground has two areas, the full hookup area (where the sites are quite close together with little privacy or space) and the no hookup area (which has more room between sites and is closer to the ocean). We really liked being able to walk on the coast path to the pier (about a mile). If I were to stay here again, I would probably opt to take a site in the lower section without hookups; especially, if I could get one of the sites right on the bluff overlooking the ocean. All-in-all a very decent place if you want to be on the OC coast. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Nice pull-through with full hook ups. Beach is just a short walk away. Very nice wide sites with table & fire ring. Only drawback is that there is absolutely no grass, no wood chips, just dirt. But the sites are paved and level and it is a really pretty spot. We are 45 foot long and there is plenty of room for us and our Jeep. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Roads and sites are paved. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. Decent site separation even in the full hook up sites. The FHU sites are in rows and don't have a lot of privacy. The no hook up sites are spread around a bluff and some have excellent ocean views but are for smaller rigs. You can hear Interstate 5 24 hours a day. Once you walk down the bluff to the beach you can only hear the ocean, not the freeway! We had fair 4G Verizon signal. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is one of our favorite parks in southern California. Nice facilities and great sunsets with Catalina Island sometimes in sight. This is one of the few state beaches or parks with full hookups available. The rate is with a California Disabled Discount Card. BTW, there is a disabled veterans card available that allows camping with no fees. The only problem we have ever had here is getting reservations. This is also one of the few California State Parks where you can reserve. Reservations for a specific site become available six months before your planned date. For example reservations during June can't be made until the 1st day of January. Reservations are made through reserveamerica.com, and you need to make reservations as soon as they are available. Week ends fill up fast. Stays are limited to 7 days. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Nice facility. Large sites. A short walk down the bluff to the beach. Great restaurants in downtown San Clemente. The beach trail starts just down the hill from the park, so you can ride bikes along the beach to the pier. Very clean, and the park staff takes good care of the area. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The park is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean. There are a couple paved trails down to the beach. I would estimate approximately 1/4 mile down to beach. We stayed for one night. It’s a popular RV park so obtaining reservations can be difficult. Most of the sites are drive through and paved. Each spot that I observed had a picnic table and fire pit ring. The spot we stayed at had electric (30/50 amp) water and sewer connections. Some sites don't have these amenities. The bathrooms/showers are clean. Showers will cost you 25 cents for 2 1/2 minutes. I saw no grocery stores or restaurants within walking distance to the park. We will plan a return trip and bring the bikes next time. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Really nice park for beach views from bluffs which the park sits on. It's a short walk down 1 of 2 steep paved walks to the sand. The beach is very nice and wasn't busy at all. All view sites are in the non hook-up area of the park. The hook-up sites are all pull-through and are OK, but certainly nothing special and not at all private. The three nicest hook-up sites that are closest to the bluff just happen to be occupied by the volunteer campground hosts. If I were to ever stay here again I would stay in the non hook-up for view and a bit more privacy. There are showers and flush toilets there also. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Beautiful location but a bit pricey. The park is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Most of the pull through sites are further away from the cliff, so the view isn't as good. I believe most of the dry camping is located closest to the water. Decent showers but they are nothing fancy and are pay for use. The town of San Clemente is close by. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Were it not for the near ocean location this place would not be worth stopping at. The asphalt pads are in very poor condition with deep dents from tires and jacks. The only plants on the ground are weeds that stick in your socks and pets paws. There is some freeway noise. The good news is there is a great walking path right next to the ocean to the pier (2 miles one way) and places to eat. You can take the train to San Diego or Orange Co. cities and on to Los Angeles from the pier for nice day trips. Overall it's a $10 park with a $50 location. We camped here in a Motorhome.
There are 72 full hook up pull through sites available. Sites 57-72 are 40ft or less in length but all of the rest are 60ft plus. All pads are paved, reasonably level and wide enough for slides both sides. There is some freeway noise but is reduced the further west your site is located. The park was full on a Saturday late in Feb but only ¼ full Sunday. I reserved on line and my CA Distinguished Veterans Pass reduced the $60 park fee to $0. This park is much better than the San Mateo State campground just south of here on the other side of the freeway which is back in only, no sewer and the same price. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We got here a day early and was able to get our same site. Cash or check at front booth (we paid CC through ReserveAmerica for our scheduled nights). We stayed in #67 which is on the north end, but it’s shorter than the other rows, so our TT barely fit perpendicularly. It’s a great location except for some freeway noise. Very easy access to the beach via a 5-10 minute walk. Some train noise, but a fair amount of thunderous artillery from Camp Pendleton. A little on the expensive side for a basic site. We’d stay again in warmer weather. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice state park. Plenty of space between sites and there were shade trees throughout. Had site 155 which was a back-in but double wide, so parked extra vehicle next to motorhome. Nothing much more to say except it was quiet except for a bit of highway noise from I-5. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We have stayed at this park every spring break for the past 6 years. It is a bit of a hike down and back up to the beach, but it is well worth the effort. Prices have gone up quite a bit the past couple of years, but the park is still worth the money. There is a bit of freeway noise, but the campground is pretty clean and offers great ocean views. It can be pretty difficult to get reservations and the beach is usually very crowded during the summer months. This is our family's favorite park in the Southern California area. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The only thing we didn't like about this park was that there where few camp site with views of the ocean and the hike down to the beach was a little difficult for me and my wife who are in our sixties. We camped here in a Motorhome.
It is a nice park but overpriced for what you get. It is a bit of a hike to the beach. You can tell that the State has cut back on their budget for State Parks as the grounds maintenance seems to be lacking. It is crowed on weekends but hardly anyone camps during the week. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
It's great to have full hookups close to the beach. Sites were clean, well maintained and decent size. I enjoyed my site #66 on the outer loop, which provided a nice view of the ocean, though not the beach. It is a few minutes walk down a relatively steep path (one steeper than the other) to the beach. I took the less steep one and it wasn't that difficult at all. The beach is OK but not spectacular. Waves were good enough to attract a large number of surfers. I saw a few sites in the non-hookup section with excellent view of the beach. I enjoyed camping here and plan to return in the Summer. Oh, and the ranger at the entrance station was very friendly and helpful. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Excellent! Full hook ups at a state beach, rare, people were nice, sites are large, other campers respectful, close to San Clemente Pier, Laguna Beach and many area attractions. Have stayed here many times before and will definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed at the bluff side of this campground on 7/24/09. The group next to our site had 14 people in a space that was supposed to have no more than 8 people. They then proceeded to party like loud rock stars until 2:30 a.m. We didn’t bother staying our 2nd night. Definitely a lack of ranger patrol! On the positive side it was a great location and the campground and bathrooms were clean. We camped here in a Tent.
Wow, great park. Lots of room for the kids to ride their bikes and play in the adjoining hiking trails. Don't let the walk to the beach scare you, the paved path is well maintained and not difficult to manage (even pulling a cooler). The beach itself is clean and not rocky at the waterline at all! We will certainly be back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The restrooms never got cleaned in the 2 days we stayed here, restocked yes but never cleaned. The same dirty band aid was still on the floor as when we left. Black mold was all over the walls, trash never cleaned up inside and outside the restrooms. The check in staff were very good but the staff inside the campground most unfriendly and not a happy smile to be seen. The sites are very spacious but children wander around the sites with no respect for any privacy and do tend to be noisy. Large fires at almost every site even thou the temp was in the 85 plus area, I am unable to understand why people have 5 foot flames on hot nights, fires for marshmallows and cooking but not high flame thrower fires. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
One of the few state parks that are easy access for big rigs. We liked this place and would stay again. One caution: two of my neighbors had their coolers stolen ( one had beer in it & the other food) during the night. Lock up anything that someone can carry away. Park rangers said, "It was common." Sigh. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Our site was fairly narrow, as were most of the sites. We had a glimpse of the ocean but could only hear passing traffic. The sunsets were spectacular though. It has mild coastal temps and is close to stores and services. This is a good summer get away, but plan early as this location fills up fast. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is the first time we stayed here. It is a California State Park so getting a reservation is almost impossible, however, with that said we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. All the RV sites are big roomy pull-throughs with enough room for an extra vehicle and a tent. The fresh clean ocean air is fabulous. The restrooms and showers are immaculate and the staff we encountered were very nice. The only draw back is the very steep, long walk to and from the beach as the campground is way up on the bluff/cliff. The view is incredible but the walk down to the beach is not. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This campground is ultra-convenient during my winter visits of nearby relatives. It is located on a bluff above the fabulous San Clemente Beach, which makes for amazing walks and great surfing (Requires a 10-minute walk down a fairly steep incline to the beach). Fisherman's restaurant at the pier is awesome and only 25 minutes walk along the beach. Sites have full hookups and 50 amps. Some of the sites in the front row of the hookup area have an awesome 'Catalina Sunset' view, but they are also the shortest of the sites, and sometimes they get picky about not letting you park your car on the dirt. The negatives - sites are fairly close together; besides the front row there is no view except if the place is uncrowded; it is full just about every weekend all year, and all summer days, booked months in advance, it can be a major hassle to try and camp here without reservations - they make people come back the next morning, wait in lines, do ridiculous raffles, etc. And getting in and out of the park can be time consuming if there is an incompetent and/or inconsiderate gatehouse attendant. Warning - the ATT wifi only works halfway consistently near the gate house, is expensive, and is not maintained well by the staff. We camped here in a Motorhome.
WiFi available in vicinity of gatehouse. We could only stay in our campsite for one night as the registration person did not know if anyone had reserved that site for any future nights. Next morning found out it indeed was reserved and had to move to another site. California state park system needs to change this! Sites are pull throughs in the RV section. Lot of dogs not on leashes during our stay. Train tracks between park and beach, but did not hear much noise. However, campsites close to gatehouse did get some noise from the freeway. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed in the Handicapped spot, which was pretty far from any view of the ocean. Next time we will camp in a regular spot closer to the (far away) view. Spots 1-26 look good. Spot 81 looks very good, but it is in the no hookups area. The tent camping spots are the best and all are very spacious. The hook up spots are lined up next to each other but are roomy. We really liked this area. Just below the campground (It's a short drive) is a great beach. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Check in was very fast, efficient, and smooth. The park staff was friendly and helpful. The bathrooms were above average in cleanliness, with toilet paper never running out in any of the bathrooms visited throughout the two days we were there. The site was clean w/ a fire pit, picnic table, and small BBQ installed. It seemed everyone had a huge bonfire started at night at each site, so if you have allergies beware as the late night smoldering of the wood can come off strong. Most everyone around our site was quiet after 11:00 PM or so, which was considerate seeing that some of them came in huge groups. There is really nothing negative to post about this campgroud. It's the beach, there are trees all around, and only a short walk to the shoreline. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice park, great location on bluff overlooking ocean with access to beach within walking distance of sites. Can be somewhat noisy and boisterous over weekends, with lots of families. Not much in the way of staff support or campground services, but a nice place to stay. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The park was quiet, clean and the ranger staff was pleasant and helpful. Sites are paved with picnic tables and fire pits. The hook-ups and amenities are all in good condition. Most sites are level. Some sites have good shade, and the sites in the 60's have a distant ocean view (the campground is up on a bluff). We camped here with small children, and will camp here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice CA state park. Some RV sites had ocean view (in the distance). Lots of hiking trails that were pretty easy walking even for my 5 year old. Tent sites and RV sites are in separate areas of the park but tents are allowed in the RV sites. Most RV sites had room for slides to open but some were pretty close to each other. Like most CA State Parks this one was clean also. Trails to a nice beach, great waves for swimming, surfing or boogie boards. Great kids night progrem with slides and music done by the park rangers. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Campground itself is located almost two miles inland from beach! Total bummer if you thought you reserved a spot at "San Onofre State Beach" which is actually located at the beach. Once you explain to the kids the importance of reading everything (even the small print) before buying, you're good to go. Campground is actually very nice. Is on Camp Pendelton Marine Base but open to public. Can see Marines training & working near-by. A shame it's so far inland, but if you can't get in anywhere closer, this is a great alternative. Bad (other than location): No sewer hook-up; water & electric only. No WiFi, and Verizon Data (3G & LTE) is spotty at best. Don't know about other carriers. Good: Somewhat close to beach (quick drive or 45 minute walk). Lots of trails to explore. OTA TV Channel selection better than average. Staff is helpful and nice. Clean. Shopping & Restaurants are within 2 miles. Your reservation allows you to park and use other ON THE BEACH State campgrounds for free (San Clemente & San Onofre). Overall: if you can't get on the beach and you have large grey/black tanks, this is a very good alternative. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Absolutely fantastic state park. Layout is great, sites feel private with plenty of room. Many sites have views of valley looking towards Fort Pendelton. You will hear artillery fire from time to time. Great location to access Trestles surf areas. Car sticker gives you free access to San O's beach. Easy access to San Clemete and Dana Point. Staff was very friendly. We stayed here for 2 weeks. Week days are empty, weekends are full. We will be back. Check for park closing due to military ops. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Our second time at this park because of proximity to family. If that weren't the case, we probably wouldn't come here. If San Clemente had any space, we would have gone there instead of here. There's noise from Camp Pendleton and I-5, even though it's a mile away. There's no view of the ocean, or anything else for that matter. Verizon aircard connectivity was sketchy at best. On the positive side, the sites are well spaced and have considerably vegetation between them, so privacy isn't a problem. The rangers and camp hosts were friendly and helpful. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I like this park. It is dark, no lights at night. It is on a marine base, and sometimes there are loud explosions. No problem during the day, but the dog doesn't like it. There is shrubbery between every campsite so you are not right next to your neighbor. Nice park, not all sites are easy to back into with large trailer, so beware. 28, 23, and 30 are good for large trailers. I will camp here again We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We came to this park to camp with our friends. Large paved sites. Our site included a picnic table and fire ring. The dump station was not available this visit. We needed to go one of the other State campgrounds in the area in order to dump our tanks. We would return to the park again for a getaway, as it is within a 45 minute drive from our home. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice enough for a state park but pricey. I think this is the most expensive place we stayed during this trip and others were RV resorts with FHU, cable and pools, etc. for less than this. You can pick up a few SD TV channels on Antenna here. Some sites are roomier than others with some backing up to common grassy areas (inner circle). Its a long walk to the beach, but since its all back in we drove the toad to the town and beaches. It does fill up on weekends but everyone respected quiet time at 10PM. I might look for another park if I am in this area again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Enjoyed this park a lot. We had space #3, which is directly across from restrooms/showers. One of the access roads to another area of the campground ran right behind our site, so was a little noisy. Also had some I-5 noise early in the morning, even though it's almost a mile away. The sites are fairly large and level, with lots of vegetation separating them. The E/W hookups worked as expected, and the double sanitation dump was very convenient, and actually very clean for what it is! AT&T cellphones and Verizon Aircard worked well here. We didn't use the showers, and only used the restrooms once or twice. I've marked them clean, but clean is relative. Considering how many campers use them, they weren't bad at all. We like this campground well enough that we'd like to come back. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is our absolute favorite campground! Showers are like "fire hoses." Rangers are really nice. Great pizza at Selma's. Calafia Beach is the best for riding boogie boards. Spaces are nice, wide and far apart from your neighbor. Best to use the showers around 3:00pm after the park people have completed their daily cleaning. We paid 1/2 price using our State Disability registration. California has doubled the price of nightly camping fee, and additional vehicles are now $15. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
We camped at San Mateo campground, the campground about 1.5 miles from the beach. This campground would not be my ultimate favorite to go to. There really isn't much to do. The Beach is far away (and if you take the trail be prepared for TWO big hills). There is no playground. I mean you can hang at camp but the sites aren't all that big either and I know it's summer but all the sites were really brown, as in dirt. And lots of it. We had water and electric hook-ups which were nice. But with CA raising its prices on camping, this campground will now be $60 a night for the partial hook-ups. Definitely not worth it in my opinion. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I'm reviewing The Bluffs only. Total dry camping. Bathrooms but no showers. We couldn't see the ocean. As the name implies, the camp sites are up on the bluff, if we wanted to get to the water we would have had to hike down approximately 50' down a very steep path, as we are disabled we didn't even attempt this. We stayed here only 2 nights, probably won't stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We found this park very comfortable and pleasant. The bathrooms were very clean and well maintained. The campground had several very nice sites and parking was fairly easy. Although there is no view of the ocean, it was a very close and easy drive to get to the beach. There are several restaurants and stores nearby. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This campground is a gem! Friendly staff, clean sites, quiet, easy access, good security, it has it all. But, if you're afraid of rattlesnakes, I wouldn't stay here. Given the proximity to the freeway, I am surprised to always hear about one or two snakes sighted during our visits. Come to think about it, we saw a very large coyote on our last visit who boldly came into our campsite. Of course, that is what camping is supposed to be about, right? Nature at its best! Keep your dogs close to your rig and they'll be fine. We camped here in a Motorhome.
San Mateo is the inland campground portion of San Onofre State Park, whereas the Bluffs campground is a summer-only primitive camp along the driveway of the beach campground. San Clemente State Beach is nearby but is a different park altogether. Note that only a few of the Bluffs sites have ocean views, but all are within a nice trail to the long, beautiful beach. San Mateo campground is several miles from the Bluffs portion of the park. This camp is 1+ miles inland from the beaches, down Christianitos Road, an access road to Camp Pendleton Marine Base. San Mateo camp has one section for electric-water hookup sites, and several loops for primitive sites. There is a double dump station in the camp. The sites are mostly very spacious and more private than most campgrounds, with lawns, trees and shrubs, ample picnic tables and fire pits. The perimeter sites look out onto a beautiful riparian wilderness area. This also means that your small pets are in danger if left outside unattended. I have seen coyotes roaming the campground and I was thrilled one day when a bobcat (not a cougar) emerged from the brush and went under my rig. Mostly though you will see lots of rabbits. This camp has availability more frequently than nearby San Clemente State Beach, which is booked most weekends and all summer. However, hookup sites sell out on many weekends and holidays and during the summer here as well so site-specific reservations are suggested for those. Now the negatives (besides no sewer hookups) – a firing range is close to the site, and the sound of gunfire echoes through the camp most weekends and some evenings. Finally, the bombing practice at Camp Pendleton can be heard very clearly here. Besides all that, enjoy, you’re in a great location to explore the area from! We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a great place in the off-season. We were here midweek and lots of sites were available. Weekends and summers fill up fast. It's 1.5 miles on a trail to the beach. There is quite a bit of ups and downs on the trail so it is not just an easy ride or stroll. Sites 1-67 have water & electricity, the rest have no hook ups. Off season rate for hookup sites is $29 with $2 discount for seniors. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Just returned from a 3-day weekend at San Onofre / San Mateo Campground with my wife and two children. From my understanding there are only 68 "full hookup sites" at this campground, which offer 30amp service and water. There is a double station dump site. Reasonably sized pad, easy to back into. Site was not completely level. Fire ring and large picnic table at site. Our site had plenty of shade and the rear joined a common area with a nice tree for the kids to climb. There are community fresh water spigots located every few spaces which were very convenient. Dumpsters and bathrooms were located conveniently throughout the park. There is a "campfire" gathering area, however programs only take place in the summer. The beach is approximately 1.5 miles away and is accessible by walking/biking path or Christianitos Road. The path is hilly and may prove a challenge to those not on mountain bikes. The closest convenience store is St. O's liquor store on Camino del Real, ~1.5mi away. There are a few restaurants close by, also on Camino del Real. We had a great time, however unless you have motive transportation (toad, bicycle, skateboard, scooter) expect to do some walking to get anywhere. I am certain we will visit again. Note: Sunday morning/afternoon we noted that there must be a firing range (not Pendleton) nearby. We did not confirm this with the park staff, but might be worth checking out if you are into shooting sports. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This campground is not near the beach, it is in a valley about 2 miles from San Onofre SB. The sites are roomy and have electric/water hookup. Bathhouses were clean when I looked. Surfing is very good at the beach and the reason most people come here. Your camping fee gets you into the beach parking. Since this is not on the water we may not return to this campground. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
San Onofre Bluffs Campground (south of San Clemente State Beach and San Mateo Campground). Typical state park campground. No hook ups. 3 free dump stations. $35 night (RV and tent same price). Large RV sites. Tent sites have trees and privacy between each space. About 1 block from beach. 12 nice easy walking trails to access beach (divided into 6 sections). Section 1 and 6 are dog friendly. Very friendly staff and park host. No gates that close. Generator hours are from 10 AM to 8 PM. Noise from trains and highway but easy to forget about it. Great views over the landscape to see the ocean. Visited over weekend and over half RV spaces were open. 15 minutes to shopping and fast food. Will return. We camped here in a Motorhome.