Lower Trestles: one of Southern California's finest surf breaks | Photo: Troy Williams/Creative Commons

Welcome to Trestles Beach, one of Southern California's most iconic surf spots.

Located on the outskirts of San Clemente but still belonging to San Diego County, Trestles is part of San Onofre State Beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline surrounded by fauna and flora.

In fact, San Onofre State Beach is a collection of premier surf breaks.

From West to East, you'll find Uppers, Lowers, Middles, The Church, The Point, Old Man's, and Dog Patch, the last spot before the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.

The history of Trestles could not be written without referencing the railway that touches the sand. In the past, wooden trestles held up the railroad track; today, only concrete does that job.

In 1933, Lorrin "Whitney" Harrison and a few friends discovered San Onofre Beach and its surfing potential. Fifteen years later, Duke Kahanamoku visited the place.

The establishment of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in 1942 cut off access to the San Onofre State Beach, but surfers continued to chase the local gems, which broke over cobblestones, creating perfect point break waves.

Some of them were arrested for trespassing; a few others were even shot for attempting to surf in a military zone.

San Onofre State Beach: 2.5 miles of idyllic surf breaks | Photo: Rian Castillo/Creative Commons

The San Onofre State Park

However, in 1971, thanks to President Richard Nixon, the creation of the San Onofre State Park granted people the right to enjoy the 2.5-mile-long sandy beaches.

Established in 1952, the San Onofre Surfing Club has always played a vital role in the development of surfing and wave riding as a healthy way of life. The club is still active today.

More recently, Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) planned to build a 16-mile-long stretch of eight-lane toll roads through San Onofre State Beach.

Fortunately, and after a long battle against business and political interests, a large number of non-governmental organizations and groups of citizens managed to impose a historic status at San Onofre State Beach, protecting it from concrete and urbanization.

Trestles is an A-frame wave with a high shoulder, offering spilling waves on the outside and plunging waves on the inside section.

Thanks to its unique underwater topography and favorable swell window, Lowers is considered by many pro surfers one of the best high-performance waves on the planet.

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