San Mateo Campground

San Mateo Campground: What You Need to Know

Thinking about visiting San Mateo Campground? Great! This is a great campground with a 4 miles of beautiful sandy beaches a stones throw away. Be sure to read this article right through to the end to learn everything you need to know before booking your next getaway.

Where is San Mateo Campground?

San Mateo campground is located inland from the San Onofre State Beach in Southern California. It is positioned near San Mateo Creek about 1.5 miles from the ocean between San Clemente and Camp Pendleton.

Map of San Mateo Campground

While it is not directly on the ocean, it is a great destination for tenting or RV’ing. You’ll enjoy large campsites with fire pits, picnic areas, hiking trails, and much more. Need power? No problem, this campground is equipped with electrical hookups at designated campsites.

How much is San Mateo Campground?

Camping at San Mateo campground will cost you $35/night with an extra vehicle charge of $10/night. There are coin operated shower facilities and the campground is open year round.

Visit the Parks and Recreation website for current pricing information and postings.

What is there to do at San Mateo Campground?

There is plenty to do at San Mateo campground like surfing, star gazing, hiking, biking, swimming, beaching, birding and some good olé’ relaxation. With 4 miles of sandy beach, there is pretty much something for everyone at this campground.

For surfers, the north end of the beach is popular and there are many surfing competitions hosted here throughout the year.

Are fires allowed at San Mateo Campground?

Yes, unless there is a fire ban in the area, camp fires are permitted on your campsite.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, your furry friends are welcomed at this campground. However, only certain trails leading to the beach from the campground are dog friendly. Make sure your dog is leashed in all public areas and in the campground.

How long is the walk from the campground to the beach?

The beach is located approximately 1.5 miles from the campground. It will take you about 30 minutes to walk there.

When to go to San Mateo Campground?

The campground is open year-round. However, if you want to avoid large crowds, then like most beaches in Southern California, summer is their busy season. If you like a little more quiet, then we recommend visiting this park in the Spring and Fall.

There is still great weather to be had at this time of year and the beaches are a little quieter. That said, if your primary reason for visiting is to surf, then Summer offers some of the best waves of the year on the North end of the beach.

San Mateo Campground Checklist

Number of Campsites:157 Campsites
  • $35/night
  • $10/night/extra vehicle
Use Level:Medium – High
Dogs Allowed:Yes
Fire Pits:Yes
Drinking Water:Yes
Showers:Yes – Coin Operated
Hiking Access:Yes
Beach/Lake Access:Yes – 1.5 Mile walk to beach
RV/Trailer Length:35 Feet
RV/Trailer Amenities:Dump Station
Cell Phone Service:Yes
Operating Season:Campground open year-round

How to Get There

Geo Coordinates:33.405551, -117.584468
Nearest City/Town:San Clemente, California
Elevation:60 Feet
Location:San Diego County, California
Paved Road Access:Yes
Proximity to Stores:3 Miles

From I-5 near San Clemente, take the Cristianitos Road exit. Drive east on Cristianitos Road for a couple of miles to the campground entrance on the right.

You can make your reservation through the County of San Mateo Parks website.