Torrey Pines State Park / Reserve – 8 Great Miles of Coastal Hiking Trails in San Diego

 

Torrey Pines State Park | Torrey Pines State Reserve
Great Hiking Trails and Views in La Jolla San Diego

A look at some of the hiking trails and views at Torrey Pines State Park

A look at some of the hiking trails and views at Torrey Pines State Park

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a fabulous place to get out and hike and enjoy some of the best scenic views in San Diego and Southern California. The trails start on the beach and run through some of the cliffs and wooded areas which encompass some of San Diego’s early history.

If you are looking for a great place to go out walking or hiking you will love this nature preserve right off the Highway 5 and Carmel Valley Road in San Diego.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located within San Diego city limits and yet remains one of the wildest stretches of land on our Southern California coast! Because of the efforts and foresight of the people in this area, 2000 acres of land are as they were before San Diego was developed -with the chaparral plant community, the rare and elegant Torrey pine trees, miles of unspoiled beaches, and a lagoon that is vital to migrating seabirds. One can imagine what California must have looked like to the early settlers, or to the Spanish explorers, or even to the first California residents here, the Kumeyaay people.

There are 8 miles of trails, a visitor center, and guided nature walks on weekends and holidays.

Torrey Pines is visited by travelers from all over the world and by local residents who come daily to rest at the stunning overlooks, walk a peaceful trail, or exercise in a clean, beautiful environment. Spend some time at this web site, then come spend some time at beautiful Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Special care has been taken to preserve it and keep it for now and forever.
Trail status:  

Generally open.  The Beach Trail is NOT closed, but the little trail that goes up over the rocks opposite Flat Rock is closed off due to a rockslide. But you can walk south past Flat Rock at low tide (or you could walk through the water with your shoes off) to get to the beach south of Flat Rock.  

The entrance to Torrey Pines State Park / Reserve

The entrance to Torrey Pines State Park / Reserve

Due to trail construction, the Rim Canyon Trail and the “Tunnel Trail” (the trail below Red Butte on the east side) are currently closed. Visitors will still be able to go up to Red Butte and down to Razor Point.  Also, Red Butte & Razor Point trails are accessible from the Beach Trail.   Walking from the west, upper parking lot, take the left fork and continue on the Beach Trail. Details available at the Visitor Center.

 

The Guy Fleming Trail is closed for repairs except for the north side of the trail from the trailhead to the North Overlook. You can still hike a portion of the Guy Fleming. Turn right at the Trail entry and continue to the North Overlook. Then turn around and retrace your steps.

 

A staircase going from the beach to the hiking trails

A staircase going from the beach to the hiking trails

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a wilderness island in an urban sea. This fragile environment is the home of our nation’s rarest pine tree – Pinus torreyana. Once this tree covered a larger area. It now grows only here and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast near Santa Barbara.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a day-use park only. There is no overnight camping facility. Picnics are permitted on the beach only. No food or drinks (other than water) are permitted in the Reserve (i.e., the mesa above the beach and the Extension).

There is no place in the park to buy food or drinks. Hikers are advised to bring and carry drinking water on the trails – especially in the summertime.

The entrance to one of the hiking trails

The entrance to one of the hiking trails

Location
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, California, north of San Diego. From Hwy 5, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles till you reach the Coast Highway 101. Turn left and proceed along the beach for about a mile. The park entrance is on your right just before the highway begins to climb the Torrey Pines grade.

12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego CA 92037

GPS:  32.92183,  -117.2497 

Phone (858) 755-2063        

Some of the early history of the Torrey Pines Reserve

Some of the early history of the Torrey Pines Reserve

 

Fees
There is a parking fee for any car entering Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

General: $10 (everyday)

Senior (62+): $9
Disabled:$5 (with qualified Dept Parks Recreation pass)

Bus with 10-24 people: $50 all days
Bus with 25+ people: $100 all days
Annual pass: $125   State Park Online Payment
 

If there is no staff person in the kiosk at the park entrance, the parking fee can be paid at Visitor Center at the top of the mesa. No reservations or permits are required.

The entrance to the Torrey Pines Visitor Center

The entrance to the Torrey Pines Visitor Center

 

 

Operating Hours
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is open daily at 8 AM. Closing time is approximately at sunset. Sunset varies from 4 PM in the winter to 8 PM in the summer. See San Diego Sunset Time for approximate closing time. Actual closing time is posted each day at the Reserve entrances and parking lots.

The Visitor Center hours are daily 9 AM to 6 PM during summer daylight saving time and 10 AM to 4 PM during winter standard time.

Interpretive Services & Guided Nature Walks

 Be sure to visit the museum at the Visitor Center to see the exhibits of the natural and cultural history of the Reserve. Weekends and holidays there are interpretive nature walks at 10 AM and at 2 PM. Check at the Visitor Center for other programs which may be offered. Requests for group interpretive and educational programs should be made two weeks in advance.

A look inside the Torrey Pines State park Visitors Center

A look inside the Torrey Pines State park Visitors Center

 

 

Rules
Fire, erosion and off-trail hiking can damage fragile natural features beyond repair. To help preserve natural features, and for your own safety, you must observe these basic rules:

Stay on officially designated trails. Cutting across switchbacks and between trails, going into closed areas, and climbing cliffs are activities that cause severe environmental damage and can be dangerous. These activities are prohibited.

All smoking and fires are prohibited in the Reserve. Smoking is permitted at the beach.

No picnics are allowed in the Reserve. You may picnic on the beach. Do not take food or drink (except for water) on any trail except to carry them to the beach. Fires are permitted at the beach in your own BBQ. No fire pits are available. No alcohol is allowed.

Dogs and horses are prohibited from the Reserve and from the beach.

No bicycles. motorcycles. or any other vehicles except baby strollers and wheelchairs are permitted on any trail.

All natural or historic features are protected by state law. Do not collect pine cones. Do not pick wildflowers. They must be left to produce seed to grow new plants and as food for animals. Leave plants, animals, and rocks for the next visitor to enjoy.

Park only in designated parking lots. Stopping on road shoulders is not permitted.

Keep small children with an adult at all times. The cliffs and canyons can be dangerous places.

Views of Del Mar and the Highway 101 from one of the trails

Views of Del Mar and the Highway 101 from one of the trails

 

 

 

A massive collapse of the cliff walls along the Torrey Pines State Beach

A massive collapse of the cliff walls along the Torrey Pines State Beach

For more photos and videos of the Torrey Pines State Park and Reserve visit:
http://www.socalbeachmag.net/placestovisit/torreypinesstatepark.html

www.torreypine.org


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