The Lake O'Neill Campgrounds offer campsites with water, electricity, sewer hookups and tent camping. Fishing is permitted year-round (the lake is stocked and bait is sold at both facility offices).
Lake O'Neill Recreation Park
Type of site
$25 - $30
$20 - $25
$10 - $15
$8 per person
The Department of Defense (DoD) Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) system is a web-based tool that collects feedback on services provided by various organizations throughout the Department of Defense (DoD). Click the ICE logo to submit your evaluation on this campground directly to the responsible department.
Mar 27 - Apr 4, 2018
19 Oct-2 Nov 2016
Aug 18 - Sept 1, 2016
July 6, 2015 - July 23, 2015
I submitted an ICE review but it never got posted so here is that same review: We have never visited a recreational park that more closely resembles a trailer park than Camp Pendleton's Lake O'Neill Recreation Park. This park in no way passes for a recreational vehicle park. It is mainly a permanent personnel residence with little to offer visitors. There are few full hookups, so reservations for a site with sewer must be made long in advance. We had reservations for a full hookup site the third week of our stay; however, a double booking error left us in our less than desirable site. Our assigned back-in site was made even less desirable because it was 10 ft too small to contain our 40 ft motorhome. A curb at the back of the motorhome forced us to park at an angle in the diagonal parking space. A knowledgeable scheduler would have assigned us a site without such an elevated curb. During our stay we noticed several “better” sites, including full hook-up sites vacant for 2, 3 or 4 days, then someone would be in the site for a couple days and it would be vacant again for a short while. It was disclosed that when reservations are made the individuals making the reservation are allowed to choose their own RV space. This is definitely not good for many vacationers wanting to spend a week or two at the facility. An example is, caller #1 requests site number 1 for 3 nights beginning on a Friday night. Caller #2 requests site #2 for four nights beginning on Monday night. Caller #3 wishes to stay for a week but there are no sites available. Had the scheduler made the site assignment, caller #1 would be followed by caller #2 in site #1, and then caller #3 would have had a site for 1 week. The win in this situation is more revenue for MCCS. The scheduling of site spaces should be by the staff at the campground and not the person requesting the reservation. Our stay was cut short by 15 days because we were frustrated by overbooking and the possibility of having to move from site to site, even though our reservation for full service was confirmed the first week of May 2015. This is another loss of revenue for MCCS. We have traveled to 46 of the 48 contiguous States and stayed at military facilities whenever we could and we have never had problems of scheduling reservations as we experienced at Lake O'Neill Recreation Park. Secondary to this failing is treatment of the veterans who choose to live among the active duty personnel at the park on a full time basis. These folks play musical trailer every 15 days, often moving to the site adjacent to the one they were occupying. This practice is illogical and demeaning to our veterans. Some of these are participants of the Wounded Warrior Project adjacent to the park. A better solution would be to have permanent 3- to 6-month sites for the full-timers and to set aside spaces for casual visitors. For convenience to all occupants, install more sewer sites. There is ample space at the park to have sewer lines for at least 15 new and or existing sites. Additional info not in ICE report: While we were there the sites were approximately 90% full. This is an enormous amount of revenue from RV's. However not much of that money is being returned for any upgrades to the RV park area. We do not like posting negative reviews but feel this information need to be identified.
April 17, 2015
I drove through the area to check it out one afternoon while staying at Fidler's Cove and subsequently Adimaral Baker. To me, Lake O'Neill doesn't compare favorably the other 2 above. As a matter of fact I was very disappointed. The grass around the pull through site was brown (I understand they have a drought) and not mowed. At the north end of the back in sites near the lake I saw what appeared to be unmovable trailers with an accumulation of "stuff" to put it mildly! On the plus side, I saw what appeared to be fairly new electrical standions with both 30 and 50 amp service. Another plus was seeing a lot of Dads setting up tents with their young children and "going fishin". It was a Friday about 15:00. I'm glad to see that! We stayed there about 10 yrs ago and I thought it had gone down hill. Hopefully my perception is not the norm.
23 April 2013
Nice campground anda good value but should be several $ less for dry camping. Currently $12 for a dry spot. Central dump station and you can take water on any where. Have been here a number of times but never wrote a review. Clean and well maintained. About 15 miles in from the ocean but ocean front at camp Del Mar will run you about $45 or so per night. Lake Oneil approx 4 miles to main side campen with PX, bowling and movie and fast food. Nice lake with fishing allowed but catch and release. Marines run PT through the area about 0600 so you don't have to set your alarm. 45 miles to San Diego and 80 to Los Angeles.
15-23 April 2012
We always enjoy our stay at Lake O'neill. I do wish they would work more on getting the spaces level. As I have said before, it is quite obvious spaces 52-61 are NOT level. They slope down toward the south. Not too much of a problem for 5th Wheels, but large (35') class A RVs wind up with the front wheels off of the ground. Normally a fairly quiet park, 24/7, except for weekends, dredging of the lake did tend to grind on ones nerves. This is forecast to be completed sometime in July. Really though cannot beat the price for what you get. We will be back again.
3 Nov - 16 Nov 2011
The campground is very quite except for Marines and Navy personnel utilizing the campground roads for their morning PT runs. The campgrounds are without cable TV and they don't offer a week or monthly rate, so staying for more than a week is really more costly than staying in some of the local campgrounds in the civilian sector, and is one thing I wish they would change to remain competitive. The location is great as you are conveniently located to main side (about 5 min drive) where the main exchange is located as well as the theater, bowling ally etc. The commisary is located just inside the main gate off of the I-5, and is about a 10 min drive from the campgrounds. The majority of sites are electric and water only, with full hookups reserved to only about a dozen sites, but a dump is conveniently located toward the front of the park. As we have a fully loaded 5th wheel we haven't used the shower facilities, but the kids have said they were in need of attention when they used the bathrooms near the playgrounds. Lake O'Neil offers a great walking trail around the lake which is especially beautiful in the evenings; however, beware, there was a mountain lion sighted on the trail on 8/11/11.
25 August - 26 August 2011
This place could be a Premier RV site but it needs a little work. If they would pave all of the RV sites and make them all the same size, make more spots to fish and open up the boat/bait center earlier during the fishing season would make this site worth the money. I stay here often because I like to take the boys fishing early in the morning and we can wake up and walk right down to the lake.
Put our RV here to get it ready to go to the beach. Had a FHU site the first time that was a bit of an experience getting backed into. Overall good experience, nice facilities- didn't check out shower facilities. Employees are really nice and very helpful. It was kind of hot as the lake is in a valley so not much ocean breeze but still a good location. Close to the hospital if you have reason to go there. As for directions, I would disagree with the directions listed from southbound I5. Going all the way through the base takes a long time & they've had a lot on construction on Basilone road between the Basilone Gate & Los Pulgas Gate making driving an RV a true experience. Time wise and ease of travel, would suggest going down to the main gate in Oceanside (same exit as given for Northbound I5) rather than driving through. If you want to go through the base some, use the Las Pulgas Gate & you'll miss the road construction. The construction was supposed to be done by 31 August but it isn't close to being done yet & there are some really narrow areas.
We are currently stationed at Camp Pendleton and stayed at Lake O'Neil to try out our new RV. We happened to come when the campground was pretty empty and got a lake front spot (#18) which gave us plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the view. Their is a FANTASTIC park for little kids that is fenced in with tons of shade and slides. We brought our 15 month old baby girl and she just had a blast. This camp site is pretty deep into Camp Pendleton (about 10 minute drive from the closest gate) but it is nice and quiet.
We have stayed here 4 times now and agree with many of the comments about the shower area and sites. It is also a bit of a walk to get to the shower areas from many of the sites. This was our first time staying in one of the full hook-up sites, they are gravel, mostly level. Also, there are many lakefront sites that are at a very steep angle and difficult to level out on. The mini-golf/picnic area across lake was fun and not used much and the trail around the lake is nice, although isolated in some areas.
July 3-4, 2009
It was the 4th of July and the campground was packed! Considering it is in the middle of Camp Pendleton the location is pretty good. The lake is nice, and lots of good trails for a walk. Even some fishing in the lake. There is a new play ground that my kids loved, probably the best we have ever seen. The staff at the registration desk were great, but the campground host is a bit gruff. Then again he probably needs to be. Now for the bad news. The shower/bathroom facilities were a mess, and for all the sites you would think that one shower would not be considered adequate. This campground needs to have the SeaBees pay it a visit, or maybe some engineers to level the sites and build a better bathroom facility. Very few sites have full hook-ups.
Dec 1, 2008 - Jan 11, 2009
We stayed at one of the full hook-up sites for 30 days and then moved to one of the electric/water only sites for the remaining 11 days we were there. Camp Pendleton is a huge base and Lake O'neill is somewhat isolated from the rest of the base. There are no shopping facilities close by, but you can drive to the exchange and commissary for any needs. I was told by the host that there was a laundromat on rattlesnake road, but I never did find it so we ended up doing our laundry off base. The showers were cleaned every day, but the condition of the floors and the restrooms was obviously not the best. The number of showers was limited and on at least two occasions we had to wait in line. The cost of Lake O'Neill is the same as Admiral Baker in San Diego, but for what you get it is a little out of line. There is golf at the Marine Memorial golf course for those who golf, but while I was there they announced that the club house would be shutting down due to lack of business. The course itself wasn't in the best shape due to the fires they had last fall. Several of the greens were in the process of being replaced due to fire damage. Overall our stay wasn't that bad, and we will probably go back only because of the time restrictions at Admiral Baker and the fact that Admiral Baker stays full most of the time.
January 9, 10, 11, 2009
I arrived and was assigned space 46. After backing in with hookups on driver's side, setting up jacks, hooking up sewer, I started to hookup water and electric. The hookups are behind you not beside you. I was in space 47. I went to office to see if they could just change the paper work, but they said 47 was reserved for someone coming in the next day. The spaces are just alike, so I couldn't see the problem, but I had to move over a space. The staff is friendly, but didn't seem to want to work with me on just changing the paperwork. Full hookups now have 50 amp service. As far as any of the just water/electric sites, I can't say. Didn't go checking them out. I thought the price was high for what you are getting. Effective the 1st of February the prices go up. Full hookup sites: $25 for military; $30 for civilians. W/E sites: $20 for military and $25 civilian. Dry camp: $10 for military and $15 for civilians. Tent sites and group flat rate is $8 per day. This really makes it high for a military campground. The sites are fairly close together, but OK. You have a concrete pad to put your rig on. Mine is a small trailer so no problem and it seems the big rigs fit on the pads OK too. The place is clean and well landscaped. I was talking to my neighbor and he told me he used to work on this base for 18 years and he has never seen a place where everyone on the base is treated so badly. This includes troops, families, employees, campers, etc.. It is like the command has never cared. It is a nice campground, but I would not stay here again, mainly because of the rates. There are others in the area that are about the same price and cheaper.
This place was okay, but not really what we were looking for. As others have stated the tent sites are VERY small and ours was on a slope. The lake is more of a pond and the area is not as visually pleasing as we expected. You need both a CA fishing license and a base license to fish and it is catch and release only. The bathrooms were fine. They were old, but fairly clean and the one shower was always open for use despite the campground being busy. Overall we can't complain too much because the price is right, but we were hoping for a bit more. It was still fun just to be out of the city hanging with family and friends. Just know that if you are looking for more of a secluded outdoor experience this place is not for you. We don't want complete isolation, but not being so close to the neighboring tent that you can hear them snoring and whispering would be nice.
2-6 July 2008
I frequent Lake O'Neill occasionally and have to say the lake and the scenery is beautiful. There are a lot of things to do (fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding etc.) It was a little crowded this last time but still not bad. To piggyback on other reviews the restroom does need a little work, but it is well maintained. It's mostly used by those who are camping in tents so it adds to the joy of "roughing it". The Camp Ground is consistently services. I've noticed the ground keepers driving around checking and changing the trash bags in the trash cans. Most of the staff are friendly and very helpful except one young lady who is fairly new named Shalonda who works at the registration desk. She appears very arrogant and talks to you without making eye contact like she has better things to do. The first time I met her I thought she was having a bad day. But having made several reservations since then I believe that's just her attitude. Besides that I do recommend Lake O'Neill. One more thing! watch out for the mosquitoes.
July 3-6, 20 08
See my review from 2007. I stayed in Section 2 site #5. There is a large tree providing shade to the picnic/fire ring area. There is still only one shower each for men/women and there can be a long wait at times. At least the water is hot. Bathrooms are pretty nasty at the end of the day, but there are lots of porta-potties around that are cleaner. I plan to return later this year.