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Panhe Trail, the path from San Mateo Campground to Trestles Beach

The area is beautiful even in the winter months on a cloudy day.  On this page, trail
pictures taken the afternoon of 1/26/08 as another storm was coming in,
walking from San Mateo Campground to Trestles Beach.

Warning:  Rattlesnakes are found in this area, use caution.  See tips and rattlesnake photo on Safety Page.

San Mateo Campground, 1-26-08

View from the trailhead in San Mateo Campground nearby the ampitheater, looking toward the ocean.

San Mateo Campground, 1-26-08

Walking down the trail towards Trestles, view looking back towards Camp Pendleton, part of San Mateo Campground is visible through the trees.

San Mateo Creek, 1-26-08

Continuing down the trail, getting closer to San Mateo Creek another view looking back toward San Mateo Campground and Camp Pendleton.

San Mateo Campground, 1-26-08

The trail then goes uphill again, looking back from this point a view of San Mateo Campground.

San Mateo Creek, 1-26-08

The trail then swings back along San Mateo Creek.  This creek is home to a number of endangered animals and native plants.  The area around San Mateo Creek is also a sacred Native American site.

San Mateo Creek, 1-26-08

Continuing on, looking towards San Onofre State Beach and Trestles, San Mateo Creek is now more visible. 

San Mateo Creek, 1-26-08

A view of San Mateo Creek looking back toward San Mateo Campground and Camp Pendleton.


View looking towards Trestles, getting closer to the I5 freeway.

Trail to Trestles Beach, 1-26-08

At this point the trail starts to descend down to the I5 Freeway undercrossing.

San Mateo Creek, 1-26-08

The trail is now just above San Mateo Creek.

Trail to Trestles Beach, 1-26-08

The I5 Freeway undercrossing.  Both the abandoned old Highway 101 and I5 were constructed before any coastal protection laws were in place.

Trail to Trestles Beach, 1-26-08

Passing underneath the I5 Freeway, extremely noisy here.  The traffic noise is not heard from San Mateo campground as the freeway is far enough away.  Looking beyond the I5 undercrossing is the old Highway 101 bridge.  Continue to follow the paved pathway beginning at the Trestles Board and Nature Preserve--All Features Protected sign.

Trestles Beach, 1-26-08

Trestles Beach.  View looking back toward the train tracks which gave Trestles Beach its name and toward the lagoon at the mouth of San Mateo Creek.

Trestles Beach, 1-26-08

Trestles Beach, this section is Uppers.  Great surf breaks here.  The famous Trestles surf is formed by the sediment and cobbles moved down the San Mateo Creek into the ocean which formed a reef over the years.  The creek floods about every 50 years, moving rock and sediments out to sea. 

Related Links:

In the news

News Article from LA Weekly, "Last Stand at San Onofre"

A partial list of rare and endangered species that inhabit San Mateo Creek along with links for more info for easy reference. 

Please note
the links below are not a part our our site, copyrighted material!  Thanks!

Pacific Pocket Mouse

Southern Steelhead Trout

Least Bell’s Vireo

California Gnatcatcher

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

California Redlegged Frog

Arroyo Southwestern Toad

Tidewater Goby

Also see:
Panhe Trail spring photos taken on 3/26/08 click here.
Photos of San Mateo Creek Natural Preserve, click here.
San Mateo Campground photos, click here.
San Mateo Campground/Trestles page,
Click here

San Onofre State Beach page listing all areas of the park,
click here
Click here to return to our Great Places to Visit Page.