San Onfore Beach in northern San Diego County is easy to pick out along the coast by the now-defunct nuclear power plant. The state beach includes areas on either side of the power plant. Surfers gather at places like Trestles Beach, Old Man's and The Point.
San Mateo Campground is situated inland off Christianitos Road. There visitors find exclusive trailer or RV loops along with sites for tents. Electric and water hook-ups are available at some sites. A Group Site is located and the southern end of the campground. A 1½ mile trail leads down to Trestles Beach.
Bluffs Campground is spread along Old Pacific Coast Highway. This campground is only open from mid-May through September. There are no hook-ups. Another Group Site is found here.
Picnic table, fire ring, some sites with partial hook-ups
Restrooms with flush toilets, piped water, store, amphitheater
Surfing, Bluff's Beach Trail, Panhe Nature Trail, fishing,Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, Surfing Heritage Foundation museum in San Clemente
ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips
California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.
San Onofre Group Campsites
San Onofre State Beach has 2 group campsites, one at San Mateo Campground and the other at Bluffs Campground. The San Mateo group site is at the southern end of the campground and can accommodate up to 40 people and 8 vehicles. It is a tents-only site. Sleeping in vehicles is not allowed. The campground is wheelchair accessible. The group site has 2 fire pits, one standard and one ADA, as well as one large BBQ (charcoal or wood), 6 picnic tables, 2 shade Ramadas, and potable water.
The Bluffs Group Campground can accommodate from 9 to 50 people and up to 12 vehicles. Maximum vehicle length is 18 feet. The camp has a large area for tents, outdoor showers, and a nice ocean view.
Fees: San Mateo - $200, Bluffs - $225
Reservations from ReserveCalifornia: San Onofre State Beach Group Campsite Reservations
General Camping Information
Vehicles must be parked on the pavement within the campsite area.
Fires must be in designated concrete fire rings only.
Pets are not allowed on the beach. They must be in vehicle or tent at night.
Generators may only be operated between the hours of 10 AM and 8 PM.
Be careful when you make your reservation that your vehicles will fit within the space allowed at your site.