San Clemente State Beach Camping

What You Need to Know About San Clemente Beach Before You Go

View from San Clemente State Beach
••• View from San Clemente State Beach. Ken Ratcliff/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

San Clemente State Beach is in southern Orange County, a location known for its scenery and ocean views. The beach is about a mile long, at the foot of a steep bluff.

If you would like to stay in San Clemente but don't like tent camping and you don't own an RV, try Luv2Camp. They're a local company that delivers and sets up a fully-stocked RV at your campsite. All you have to bring are bedding, towels and food.

What Facilities Are There at San Clemente State Beach?

San Clemente State Beach has 144 campsites. Some of them are RV sites that can accommodate trailers and camper/motorhomes up to 42 feet long. Some sites are pull-through, but others require you to back in. They have water and electrical hookups and a dump station.

San Clemente has seven campsites that are accessible. The restrooms and some trails are also accessible. However, you might need assistance to get up and down the stairs that go to the beach.

The campground has hot showers and flush toilets. Showers are timed, operated with a token you buy from a machine nearby. They also have outdoor showers for a quick cleanup after a day of playing in the sand.

You won't find a lot of fancy amenities at San Clemente like swimming pools, hot tubs and camp stores. Sites are level and partly paved, but there is no grass - just wood chips and dirt.

 

In this oceanside state park, you can enjoy all kinds of water sports including swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, bodysurfing and snorkeling. Fishermen catch bass, croaker, corbina and barred perch in the surf.

What You Need to Know Before You Go to San Clemente

Dogs are allowed, but they must be kept on leashes no longer than 6 feet.

And you have to keep them in your tent or and enclosed vehicle at night. They are not allowed in park buildings. Only service animals can go on trails and beaches.

San Clemente is a California State Park. All state park campgrounds must be reserved in advance and you'll have to do it as much as 6 months in advance. Our guide to California state parks reservations will show you how.

This is one place where tent campers get the advantage: tent sites 82, 83, 85, 88 and 89 are near the edge of the campground and have the best views of the ocean. RV sites are inland a little and don't have such nice views.

If you're looking for a site with more shade, they are close to the restrooms.

You can have alcoholic beverages in your campsite, but not anywhere else in the park. Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but you can run your generator until 8 p.m. Fires are allowed at the campsites, but not on the beach. You can buy firewood at the camp kiosk.

One downside to the beach's location is the train tracks that run between the campground and the beach. Some people think it's a scenic addition to the ambiance, but it can be noisy. Camp Pendleton military base is also nearby, and you can sometimes hear their artillery practice.

You may also hear freeway noise at night from I-5 which is not far away. People who have camped there suggest getting a site as far west (away from the freeway) as you can.

If you want to get a look at the sites at San Clemente, try this interactive map which has a photo of every site with its number. You can also use Google maps' street view to take a virtual drive through it.

How to Get to San Clemente

San Clemente State Beach
225W. Calafia Ave
San Clemente, CA
Website

The park is just off I-5 near the town of San Clemente.