San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Campground California

830 Cristianitos Rd
San Clemente, California 92672
949 492-4872
Lat / Long:

33.441972, -117.56944

San Onofre State Beach San Mateo campground has 157 single-family campsites and is a little over a mile inland from the sandy beaches within San Onofre State Beach. Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs (up to 36 feet).  Campsites 1-67 have water & electric hookups. Accessible (ADA) campsites include 1, 65, 78, 139 and 156. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grate. Check in time is 2pm and check out time is 12pm. Group camping (tent-only) is also available.

Amenities include drinking water, hot showers, flush toilet and a dump station. There’s also a campfire center, overflow parking and firewood available for sale. Campers can stay up to 7 consecutive nights. You can have up to 2 vehicles in the RV hookups sites (1-67) and all others can accommodate 3 vehicles (extra charge for a 3rd). The maximum occupancy is 8 people per campsite. There is also an overflow parking area at the campground.

San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Campground – Area Recreation

A 1.5-mile Nature Trail connects the campground to Trestles Beach, a world class surfing site. The trail is dirt/gravel for the first mile and then paved for the last 1/2 mile to the beach.  San Mateo Creek flows just east of the campground outward towards the ocean. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, surf fishing, surfing, swimming, beach combing and picnicking. Ocean/wildlife viewing is also nice here!

San Onofre Bluffs campground is another option at San Onofre State Beach. It is has 175 campsites and is located on sandstone bluffs a short walk from the beach.

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Best Campsites

18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 37, 39, 42, 43, 45, 60, 61, 63, 68, 80, 83, 84, 87, 88, 90, 91, 113, 115, 121, 123, 125, 126, 128, 130, 132, 133, 134, 135, 138, 142, 145, 148, 150

Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • Group
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer

Year Round



# of Campsites:


# of RV Campsites:

1-67 Electric & Water

  • BBQ Grills
  • Campfire Center
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service - Good
  • Comfort Station
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electrical Hookup
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Available
  • Grills
  • Pets OK
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • Showers
  • Wood
  • Beach
  • Beach Access
  • Beach Combing
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Creek
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Trails
  • Ocean
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Surf Fish
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing

San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Photos

San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Comments & Reviews

Visited San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Campground lately? We'd love to hear about your adventure. Did you find us useful? Did we forget something? Anything our community should know before heading out to San Onofre State Beach San Mateo?

80 Replies to “San Onofre State Beach San Mateo”

  1. heatherfonseca says:

    I’ve made a reservation for site #003 but there’s no photo. Oversight or should I be scared? San Onofre doesn’t get the best reviews…

  2. Had a great experience! Camped here in April, everything was green. It was quiet and peaceful. I say it was quiet but hubby and I were debating if the sounds we kept hearing were woodpeckers or machine guns from Camp Pendleton School of Infantry, either way loved the sounds. We had site SM037 which had beautiful views.

  3. Hans Gebben says:

    My wife and I would be interested in spending time with our daughter, husband and new baby girl in San Clemente. We would like to drive our travel trailer there and stay from early January to mid February, 2021. The travel trailer is 17 feet with no slideouts. We have two small dogs under 25 pounds. We would require 30 amp service and water and sewer. Could you email me a price for that length stay, please. We are 71 and 73 years of age and Good Sam members.

    • Hi Hans,
      Congratulations on your new granddaughter! San Onofre State Beach San Mateo campgrounds charges $20 per night for electric hookup sites. You can stay up to 7 consecutive nights. You can click on the ‘Make A Reservation’ button to check availability, pricing and make a reservation. Reservations are accepted on a 6-month rolling window, which means that you can try and make a reservation exactly 6 months to the day of you want to arrive. For example, if you want to begin your stay on January 1, then the first day reservations are open for that arrival date is on July 1 at 8:00AM Pacific time.

  4. Melissa Burke says:

    Are RV’s allowed in the tent primitive spots?

    • Hi Melissa, I’m not familiar with any tent primitive campsites at San Mateo Campground (San Onofre State Beach). All of the 145 single-family campsites can a accommodate a trailer or RV.

  5. Can an RV and tent both stay on the same site in the San Mateo Camp, specifically #SM08. Not able to find this info on the site.

  6. Evgeni Tomov says:

    On some websites, San Onofre State Beach /San Mateo campground appears to have dispersed camping nearby. I could not find any additional info on this and since all the regular campsite seems to have been fully booked for Aug 7-9, I wonder if this could be an option since I am fully equipped for boondocking. Is it allowed? Any help with this will be appreciated.

    • Hi Evegeni,

      We are very familiar with San Onofre State Beach (Bluffs and San Mateo campgrounds) and we’re not familiar with any dispersed camping outside of the campgrounds in the area. Both campgrounds are surrounded by Camp Pendleton Marine base, so no sure where the dispersed camping might be location.

  7. Evan Walsh says:

    Hi – I see that there is a 3 vehicle limit per site, if they fit. I recently reserved SM046 which says it can accomodate a 36 ft trailer. If a partner and myself have 2 small trailers, is this allowed? Their combined length would be under 36 feet. Thanks.

    • Good question Evan. San Mateo campsite #46 is pretty long and if there is a maximum 3-vehicle limit, then you should be able to fit one vehicle and two trailers, provided they all fit (and all wheels are on the paved parking surface). The camp host/ranger will make the ultimate call though. It’s difficult to get a live body to pick up the phone, but you may try calling the campground to confirm at: 949-492-4872.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I was wondering about the trail from the campground to the beach. Is the trail very challenging? Is it safe to do with a family? I am from the city and there are trails I would not take my family due to concerns about sketchy people.

    • Hi Stephanie,
      The trail from San Mateo Campground to the beach is about 1.5 miles and mostly flat. It has a little hill along the way, but not bad. Also the trail is well maintained, heavily traveled and safe. Chances are slim you’ll see a hobo or sketchy person.

  9. Hello
    We are going to arrive after 10 pm Friday night 9/25. Will that be OK and can we access our reserved campsite?
    Thank you

    • Hi Cathy,
      Yes – you’ll be able to access the campground and get your reserved campsite arriving after 10pm Friday night (if that is the first night of your stay). You have up until 7am the next morning to claim your site.

  10. Can we have 3 vehicles parked at a site? also is there a parking lot for additional parking?

    • Hi Lauren,
      At San Onofre State Beach – San Mateo Campground – you can have up to 2 vehicles in the RV hookups sites (1-67) and all others campsites can accommodate 3 vehicles (extra charge for a 3rd). The maximum occupancy is 8 people per campsite. There is also an overflow parking area at the campground.

  11. We are driving from Colorado to San Mateo in May 2021 to welcome our grandchild. We will be staying a month. Is there an area that has better wifi than others ? We’ll be in a 34′ class A RV. Also I’m confused on the 6 month window to reserve. Is it an exact calendar month or mathematically 180 days?

    • Hi Jaci,
      Congratulations on your expected grandchild – very exciting! San Mateo campground does not have internet/wifi service, but the cell phone reception is good there (for wifi hotspots). Also, keep in mind that campers are limited to stays of 7 consecutive nights at the campground.
      You can have up to 2 vehicles in the RV hookups sites (1-67) and all others can accommodate 3 vehicles (extra charge for a 3rd). The maximum occupancy is 8 people per campsite. There is also an overflow parking area at the campground.

  12. The websites have conflicting information. There is no fire advisory on the main website or fire notices, but the site booking under amenities “campfires not allowed”. I have tried to call and no answer. Voicemail says its full. Are propane fires allowed?

    • Hi Erin,
      We are not aware of any fire restrictions at San Onofre State Beach San Mateo. With that said, if the area experiences strong winds, they may go to a stage 1 (no campfires or propane fires). Perhaps a recent camper can comment here as to if campfires are currently allowed.

  13. Hi there! We have stayed at San Mateo many times before, but recently upgraded to a 35ft 5th wheel. Can we still stay in the tent sites? We’re specifically looking at #S150. Thanks!

    • Hi Yvette,
      San Onofre State Beach San Mateo campsite #S150 has a pad length of 36 feet and there is also some overhand off the back. You should be able to fit your 35ft 5th-wheel and the towing vehicle (parallel park) in that site. Have fun!

  14. Is the San Onofre San Mateo campsite open for overnight RV camping? I have a reservation coming up, but according to the reserve California website, the campground is closed. Please clarify.

    • Hi Ernie,

      Good of you to double check. The California State Park page has not been updated since Dec 7 on ‘closure announcement’. I do know that most of the California State Park campgrounds have recently reopened. However, we are not located at San Mateo campground so can’t say for sure. They are taking reservations though for this week at San Mateo (ReserveCalifornia) so I’d say it is open. You probably should try calling the park/campground just to make sure: 949-492-4872.

  15. Hello!
    Quick question. I’ve booked site 111 in August. I’m planning to tent camp. Is this allowed at this particular site? I could not tell if the picture of the RV on the map only means RVs only? Or you can tent camp too? I’ve tried to call the campground but haven’t had luck getting in touch with anyone there.
    Thank you for any insight.

  16. Larry Nelson says:

    We have used both #138 & #135 recently, and both sites are recommended. Flush toilets & pay showers.

  17. Jessica K. says:

    We reserved #69. It looks like its next to a trash can. Is being next to a trash can problematic at all?

    • Hi Jessica,
      It should not be a big issue. Your camping area is a little distance from the trash can so there should not be any smell. You might hear the lid close from time to time (campers depositing trash), but usually not at night.

  18. Are RV’s allowed in tent sites? We have sites 122, 123, and 125. Thank you

  19. Hello, I am camping at SM081 in a couple weeks. My reservation says that the spot fits 3 cars and 8 people, but that the tent pad spot is 10 x 10. Do these camp sites allow more than one tent?

    Also it says the spot has a fire ring, but then it says fires are not allowed. Does anyone know if these spots allow fires? Thanks!

    • Hi Marty,
      Yes – you can put up more than one tent, if there is room in the camping area. They usually allow fires there, but the past few days had a ‘Santa Ana Window Condition’, and they probably shut down fires during the period. It’s going to be a dry summer so not sure what they policy will be regarding fires. I’m sure they won’t be permitted during windy conditions.

  20. Kent Savarese says:

    Hey. Are generators allowed in primitive camping areas? Normal daylight hours of course. Thanks

  21. Jack Thong says:

    We reserved SM118 and SM119 for June. Just wanted to check:
    1) Does the campsite have a BBQ Grill?
    2) Are we allowed to do campfire in the provided fire pit?


    • Hi Jack,
      The campsites don’t have a BBQ pedestal/grill, but there is a grill/grate that folds over the fire pit. You can have fires in the campsite fire pits, unless there is an extreme fire-hazard (strong winds). Weather/winds should be okay in June, but Park Ranger / Camp Host will let you know when you check in. Have a great time!

  22. I booked San Mateo Sites SM 051 and SM 065. Do you require an RV in those spots or are tents only acceptable?

  23. Michele Conradi says:

    We have site SM016 this week…the 5th wheel is 40 feet. Pad length is 36 but site length is 50. As long as we park the towing vehicle in overflow, would that be ok?

  24. I made a reservation for an RV spot SM063. My RV is 38′ but looks like these spots only allow 36’… is this correct?

    • Hi Jake,
      As long as all wheels are on the paved parking surface and the front end is out of the campground road you’ll be okay. Campsite #63 has an overhang area off the back so you should be able to back up your RV to where the wheels hit the curb.

  25. Groovy Leslie says:

    Are all of the campsites a mile walk from the beach or are there some that are closer?

  26. Hello, I made a reservation under my account for myself and I invited my brother to join me.
    My brother is planning to arrive at 2pm but I cannot get there until 4pm. Can he check in without me ? Or do I need to be present since the reservation is under my account ?

  27. Debbie Fisher says:

    I would like to see availabilty for san mateo campground for 2 nights. I’ve tried calling the number provided and mail box is full.

    • Hi Debbie,
      You can click on the ‘Make A Reservation’ button to check availability, pricing and make a reservation at San Onofre State Beach San Mateo campground. You can also call the reservation number at 800-444-7275.

  28. I’m looking to Reserve a space for RV camping but it says administrative is that open to the public to reserve online if it shows available

  29. Pharmer says:

    Hi, I hope this is ok to ask here. Are we allowed use a tow truck to transport an RV into a reserved RV site at San Mateo Campground at San Onofre SB? The tow truck will unload and leave on the day of check in and return to pick it up on the day scheduled to check out? Thank you.

    • Hi Pharmer,
      I don’t know of any policy/rules that say using a tow truck is not allowed. You may try calling the park/campground to confirm though: 949 492-4872

  30. I have a reservation for 10/26/21 at San Onofre/San Mateo Campground for “Group Camp 1”. Where exactly is that located in the campground and does it have any water or electricity?


    Is there a paved bike trail around the campsites and to the beach?

    • Hi Berniece,
      The trail (Panhe Natural Trail – Trestles Beach Trail) from San Mateo Campground to Trestles Beach/San Mateo Point is about 1.5 miles. It is dirt/gravel for the first mile and then paved for the last 1/2 mile to the beach.

  32. Stephanie says:

    What is the coin operated shower info please. Quarters? Time allowed?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Stephanie,
      The showers at San Mateo campground are indoors and have hot water. They operate on tokens, which you can purchase from a machine at the campground. Not sure what the rate is, but usually it’s about $1 for 3-4 minutes.

  33. I have a group camping at San Mateo campgrounds next weekend and cannot find a confirmation of the max length of RV for sites 80, 83, 85, & 86. Is the max 25 or 36?

  34. Kacey Kyle says:

    Hi there! I reserved the group campsite in June, but was thinking about getting a couple regular sites for those folks with trailers/RVs. I see that the sites with hook-ups are already booked, but wondering if you can recommend any other good sites for trailers/RVs or close to the group site? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kacey,

      Good job on reserving the group campsite! We have a few favorite (non hookup sites) over in the loop near the group area. Those include 142, 145, 148 and 150. Hopefully you can reserve 1-2 of those.

      • Kacey Kyle says:

        Ya, I was pumped we were able to snag it! I’ve camped at San Mateo a couple times but never the group site… is it a good one? And darn, looks like just 146, 152, 155, and 157 are available. Any faves of those?

        You guys are so awesome, can’t even tell you how much I use this site (and actually just signed up for the ‘Campsite Assist’ for San Clemente group)! Keep up the good work.

      • Right on – thank you very much for the kind words and support. We love providing the photos and other camping services for sure. Hope you score that San Clemente group site.
        As for those other San Mateo sites – they are all pretty good. I think #146 is pretty private, but not a room of tent space. Sites 155 and 157 would be nice too – especially if you’re looking for both – as they are right next to each other.

  35. Emily Hancock says:

    This website has answered almost all of my questions! I’ve tried looking on the main site and also calling the campground but I found this to have awesome info! Thank you! We’re looking forward to camping at Mateo again. I haven’t been there for almost two decades!

    • Thank you Emily! Really appreciate your kind comments and glad we’ve been able to help with your camping vacations. Let me know if you have any questions about San Onofre SB / San Mateo. It’s a really nice campground and I think you’ll really like it (again).

  36. Michael Cassedy says:

    Hello, I’m planning on booking a group tent site but where will the vehicles go? Is there an area on the site to park them? (As I noticed it says Tent Only)

    • Hi Michael,
      The Park Service didn’t have the group area correctly placed on its map for San Mateo campground. We made the adjustment/corrected and you can click on the ‘Campground Map’ button to view. There is a parking area (for about 8-10 vehicles) next to the group tent camping area.

  37. Hi there! I was hoping to find out if tent camping is allowed in site #43? There looks to be more than enough grass. Thank you for your help 🙂

  38. thu koeler says:


    I have book site 101 103 and 132. Which site should be the head quarter for my family to gather for meals etc..

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