Bike to San Onofre State Park

Difficulty: Intermediate

Distance: 28 miles

Ride Type: Paved 

Topography: Flat / Rolling

Start Location: Oceanside Pier

Route Description

As the neighbor to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Oceanside is a proud supporter of military personnel and their families. Camp Pendleton contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California with wildlife and habitat protection a top concern for all who live, work and train on base.

Additionally, we are lucky to have this resource available to us so that cyclists can experience this beautiful natural terrain as well as have the opportunity to watch military training’s including beach landings and maneuvers.

Bike to San Onofre State Beach

This route has limited vehicle traffic, but be cautious of military vehicles of all types on the road.

The difficulty level is ranked at intermediate due to the distance from Oceanside and the rolling hills that are included along this route.

Important: Please note that all visitors to the base, including cyclists, must apply for base access and receive approval before admittance will be granted onto base. Approval can take approximately 7 days. Review Camp Pendleton’s Base Access Procedures. Additionally, a valid photo ID and helmet are required by all riders for entry onto Camp Pendleton. While on base, ride single file, stay on the designated route and strictly observe stop signs and red lights.

Step-by-Step Bike Route Directions

  • From Oceanside Pier, go north on N. Pacific
  • Turn right onto Harbor Drive South
  • Continue up the hill and veer right to continue onto Harbor Drive
  • Cross under I-5 and to continue on Vandergrift Boulevard (Harbor Drive becomes Vandergrift Boulevard) (carefully merge right through traffic to the shoulder)
  • Enter Camp Pendleton through the Main Gate (valid photo ID and helmet required)
  • Continue on Vandergrift and turn left (at the bottom of the hill) onto Stuart Mesa Road
  • Continue on Stuart Mesa Road and turn left onto Los Pulgas Road
  • Exit the base through the Las Pulgas guard station and cross under the railroad tracks
  • Turn right onto Old Pacific Highway Bike Trail
  • Continue on Old Pacific Highway Trail to San Onofre State Beach. The park is approximately 3 miles long and has a few open restrooms and kiosk at the north end to collect auto parking fees (no charge for cyclists)
  • Return to the Oceanside Pier by retracing your route

Interest Points Along the Route

Oceanside Harbor
Oceanside Harbor is one of the most picturesque locations in Oceanside; offering wide sandy beaches, a Cape Cod-style Harbor Village and a variety of recreational activities such as stand-up paddling, kayaking, boat rentals and boat charters. Visitors are invited to explore the Harbor for unique shopping and dining experiences.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the largest West Coast expeditionary training facility for many active and reserve Marine, Army and Navy units. Camp Pendleton contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California.

Santa Margarita Ranch House National Historic Site
The Santa Margarita Ranch House is a complex that includes the Santa Margarita Ranch House, the Ranch House Chapel and the Bunkhouse Museum. Historic artifacts at the complex document pre-history through Mission and Rancho periods, the 1942 purchase of Camp Pendleton and reflect the WWII and the Korean War. See website link for tour information.

San Onofre State Beach
The San Onofre State Beach is approximately 3 miles long and is a popular California Beach for visitors to take in the scenic views and participate in recreational activities such as surfing, kayaking and swimming. The park has many restrooms and a kiosk at the north end to collect auto parking fees (no charge for cyclists).

Published: September 25, 2020

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