San Clemente Camping: Best San Clemente Campsites

Camping in San Clemente was and is one of my favorite things to do when I have a free day. Born and raised in the area I have had the privilege to explore all of our beautiful state beaches and campsites in San Clemente. Below I will give you a list of all my favorite spots to hit along with prices, things you might need, etc. ย 

1. San Clemente State Beach(Calafia)

I think this campsite is what a lot of people are looking for but never find when traveling to San Clemente. It is a beautiful and affordable campsite but the Internet makes it kind of hard to find unless you grew up here.

San Clemente State Beach Calafia.

A large part of the confusion is in the state beach sign. It says both San Clemente State Beach and Calafia. Even the locals are torn whether it is called Calafia Beach or San Clemente State Beach. Anyways, the beach and the campground are located on Calafia st. which is an exit off of the 5 free way going south, so once you get off the free way, you just go straight down that road and on the left you will see the San Clemente Campgrounds.

From the campgrounds it is about a 5 minute walk down to the beach. The beach is sandy bottom perfect for swimming, fishing, and sun bathing. You can surf here but it can get a little heavy depending on the tide so just be careful.

sunset

Reservation Prices:
RV campsites with hookups:
$60 Peak Season $45 Non-peak season

Standard sites:
$35 Peak Season $25 Non-peak season

Reservation URL: https://www.reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/

You will have to type in San Clemente SB to find the this site.

Features:

  • Sandy bottom beach
  • Fun campsite
  • Bathrooms and showers
  • Close to downtown San Clemente
  • Surfing, swimming, sun bathing, fishing, bird watching, and bike riding.
  • RV and tent camping
San Clemente State Beach RV Campground
San Clemente State Beach Tent Campground

2. San Onofre Bluffs Campground

San Onofre State Beach

The Bluffs are an awesome spot if you want to take advantage of the world famous San Onofre State Beach. The bluffs are conveniently located across the freeway from San Onofre and has a trail to get down to the beach. However, this trail takes you to trestles which isn’t a good surfing spot if you are just starting out. When you get a spot at the bluffs you are able to use your camping pass as a beach pass as well, so you don’t have to pay to get into Sano. My suggestion is to just take a car down to Sano for the day for no additional charge. This is a great spot for a weekend surf trip during a good swell. If surfing isn’t your thing the campgrounds are still amazing and you are guaranteed to have a blast with family and friends.

San Onofre Bluffs Campground Park Info:

Reservation Prices:

All sites are $40 with a $7 reservation fee

Reservation URL: https://www.reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/

Features:

  • Nice campsite
  • Bathroom and Showers
  • Easy access to San Onofre
  • Close to the beach
  • RV and tent camping

3. San Mateo Campgrounds

This campground is a little inland from the beach but is still an awesome option to camp out in San Clemente. It is about 3 and a half miles away from any beach but is surrounded by trees and little hiking trails. However, there is 1.5 mile trail that you can take to the beach. If you walk a short distance you can go watch professional surfers shred it up at lowers. Like all these campgrounds in San Clemente, they include a picnic table and a fire pit. This campsite has nice hot showers and flush toilets.

San Mateo campgrounds park info:

Address: 830 Cristianitos, San Clemente, CA, 92672

Reservation Prices:

Prices: $35 – $50 a night

Reservation URL: https://www.reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/

Feature:

  • Hiking
  • Beach access 1.5 mile walk
  • Tent and RV camping
  • Hot showers and bathrooms

4. Trails Campground (San Onofre Campsite)

Trails is somewhat of a hidden gem. Information on the San Clemente campground is no where to be found online. Maybe it technically goes by a different name but I have lived here all my life and it has always been referred to me as Trails.

Trails is to the left of the nuclear power plant on the other side of San Onofre. They call it Trails because there are 6 different trails that lead down to the beach.

You will never need a reservation to this San Clemente campground because it isn’t very popular and it is only open for camping during the summer and spring months. Don’t let that deter you it is one of my favorite spots to just roll up to and camp. I recommend trying to camp near trail 4 or trail 6 because the surf is super fun but all the trails are nice.

Trails used to be the best campground because it was only $15 a night! Unfortunately, I went this year and it was $40 a night and $15 to add an additional vehicle. To find trails you just get on the 5 freeway and get off at Basilone Rd and keep going straight pass San Onofre State Beach, the road will take you to the entrance of Trails which is where you can buy your site for the night. Also, you can come here for day use if you have a state beach parking pass or if you want to spend $15 for the day. If you want to surf at San Onofre the camping sticker they give you at Trails also allows you to park at Sano for the day.

Trails campground park info:

Reservation Prices:

$40 a night and $15 for additional vehicle

Features:

  • Bathrooms and showers available
  • Beach front
  • Plenty of campsites year round
  • Dolphins and wildlife are seen here
  • Hiking
  • RV and tent camping

To make a reservation just roll up.


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