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San Onofre State Beach: Bluffs Beach Trail

EASY 10 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

San Onofre State Beach: Bluffs Beach Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.1 miles 290 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips


trail running




wild flowers

The Cristianitos Fault is a major earthquake fault line located less than one mile from the San Onofre nuclear power plant. This hike takes you on a 3 mile loop through San Onofre State Beach to the site of the fault line. Along the way, you'll see the Monterey Formation, which holds most of the oil and gas deposits known in the LA basin and off the coast, as well as the abrupt end of the San Mateo formation at the fault line.

13 days ago

The area and views are beautiful. Extremely secluded, and there are neat structures made out driftwood on the beach. The portion of the trail from Trail 1 that goes along the beach is all (well, mostly) rocks... dinosaur egg sized rocks. We tried to make it across them, then attempted to walk in the surf barefoot, to end up getting a wave up to our waist. Super amusing, and very beautiful, but we just turned back and explored the beachy part at the bottom of trail 1. Fun, but not what we expected.

18 days ago

had an awesome day!!!

18 days ago

absolutely recommend!!

4 months ago

I actually hike/walked from the north end of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. There is a Vernal Pool Restoration Area there. The loop is .66 miles; however, I did a lot of side trails, circles and figure 8's to make this a 5.16 mile hike in 1hr 28min. All flat, very easy, and great views!

7 months ago

Went to Bluffs Beach last year for the first time. Can't remember if I too trail 4 or 6 down but I loved it! Lots of rocks on the beach entering the water. Take swimming shoes!

cross country skiing
1 year ago

2 years ago

Easy hike with nice views. Very short.

3 years ago

Pristine beach and interesting bluffs deserve 5 stars but the nuclear power plant is too massive to ignore.

nature trips
4 years ago

Great Beach I take trail #6 and make a left at the beach and get some sun.
I see people here complaining about the hike. The 5.4 mile loop in description is to make a loop from trail 6 to the beach and up trail 1 and back to your car. I think thats what this loop is.....

5 years ago

Beautiful very beautiful! But not much of a hike, more like an access way to the beach. Found a nice little nook in the cliffs on the beach laid out for hours and not one soul passed us. Very secluded.