About Upper Trestles

While the surf media limelight tends to focus itself a quarter-mile south, Upper Trestles steadily grinds out quality cobblestone righthanders that are often equally as impressive as Lowers. And if the river is flowing, Uppers can even offer a short, punchy left into the mouth. But the focus is always on the rights, especially since Uppers draws in a bit more west and northwest energy than its sister to the south.

North of the rivermouth is the outer takeoff zone, which peaks up the biggest but usually sections off once the wave reaches the corner of the cobblestone point. From the corner, which offers the most bowly, rippable waves, rights run through the quasi-cove created by sediment buildup from the San Mateo Creek. And if you pick off the right wave, it's not impossible to go the entire distance -- burning your legs through upwards of 150 yards. It should be noted that the sections are directly affected by sand and cobblestone placement. Big swells and the extreme rains that cause the rivermouth to burst are the main movers and shakers of Uppers' wave quality.

Source: Upper Trestles Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Average to above average

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Hungry, aggressive, competitive, but mostly cordial.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Uppers is a zoo, but every now and then...

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Rippable cobblestone point... what's not to love?

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

If the paddle back after a long right doesn't get your shoulders burning, jockeying for the next good set wave will.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Typically ok but brutal after a big rain.

Additional Information


Car rip-offs, beach backpack rip-offs, getting caught by a speeding train on the trestle, rattlesnakes in the lineup after a rain.


San Onofre State Park; or walk, run, crawl, roll, bike, e-bike, skate, back flip down the trail after parking off the Cristianitos exit.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard


Sand, rivermouth rock

Best Season

Best March-October, but it works year-round and gets good on solid W or WNW swells.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

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