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San Diego, California

Exploring the Cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve

2 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Douglas Hall

Towering cliffs and beautiful turquoise waters? Torrey Pines has that and more, from wildlife, wildflowers and a species of trees to be scarcely found. You won't be disappointed with this one!

I'm stoked for those of you to find this adventure! Torrey Pines is home to a species of tree that is one of the most rare native pines in the United States.

Below I have directions on how to get to the trail head as well as the parking lot to park for the hike. There is a charge to get into the park, other than a few free spots just outside the park that fill up early in the morning. The fees are quite strange, Monday through Thursday is $10-$12, Friday through Sunday is $12-$20. Major Holidays will be in the upper range, but the prices I listed are from low-high season.

Directions to the trail head:

From the Del Mar Heights Rd exit off of the 5 freeway you are going to head west. So that means if you are heading South on the 5 freeway take a right. If you are heading North on the 5 freeway take a left. After you are on Del Mar Heights Rd take a left onto Camino Del Mar. This road will turn into N Torrey Pines Rd, taking this road for a beautiful stretch right along the coastline make a right onto Torrey Pines Park Rd. This will dead end into the booth at which you will be paying. Take this road past the big parking lots, unless you want to hike straight up asphalt for a decent distance. You will see a parking lot on your left once get to the top of the hill, you want to pass this one and take a right at the next parking lot shortly after. Park here, the trail head leaves from this parking lot right next to the sign I have pictured above.

Trail Description:

This trail is gorgeous, if you are trying to find that perfect San Diego style beach with towering cliffs, good waves and some fun rocks to go on this has to be the one you check out! Anyways, once you start on the trail make sure you use the restroom at the parking lot (just a bunch of port-o-potties) as there aren't any others. This trail is roughly 3/4 of a mile in one direction but it is a quick descent to the beach so bring water and some athletic shoes because on the way up there is a good amount of elevation gain! There are also many other trails to several points that don't add a ton of length onto the overall distance. You are going to take the trail in the picture I have above. Once you get on that trail just stay on it all the way to the coast, there are several off shoots to other points so be sure to follow the signs to stay on the Beach Trail. The other trails that come off of the beach trail are for several points along the cliffs that are also gorgeous and only top your trail off to be about 5 miles. If you stay on the Beach Trail be sure to add about a half of a mile of exploring on the beach as it is beautiful and you don't want to miss it's beauty.

There are many surprises on this trail that are hard to find, also be aware of snakes and wildlife. In the hotter times of the year there are plenty of snakes so keep your eyes peeled and enjoy the beauty that Torrey Pines has to offer. This is my favorite beach adventure in Southern California.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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