Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Hiking

Great hiking near downtown San Diego

  • Photo: Espen Oldeman Lund

  • Photo: Maria Oldeman Lund

  • Photo: Espen Oldeman Lund

  • Photo: Espen Oldeman Lund

  • Photo: Maria Oldeman Lund

Essential info

  • Season: January–December
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 3.7 kilometers (loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 100 meters
  • Duration: 1.5–2.5 hours

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About Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Just north of San Diego, you'll find the small Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The reserve is situated along the coast and it is a perfect place for some family-friendly hiking. The great views of the ocean coupled with spending some time at the beach itself make this a great afternoon adventure. 

The reserve features high broken cliffs and deep ravines on headlands overlooking the ocean. There are multiple trails in the area, so you can easily add other trails to this adventure to make it longer. 

Getting there

The park has two different parking lots. Make sure you go to the South Beach parking lot and not the North Beach parking lot, as that one is further away from the trailhead. Parking costs $15 Monday to Thursday and $20 during weekends. Arrive early in the day, as parking fills up quickly. 

If there is still space you can drive on the road leading to the top of the hill near the beach, where the upper parking lot is located. Ask about the availability when paying the parking fee. 

Trail description

If you park at the parking lot down near the beach, you will first need to hike of up the hill. There is a trail that goes along the road and up the hill, all the way to the upper parking lot.

From the upper parking lot, follow the signs toward Razor Point. The trails descend slowly until you take a right at the first trail junction and continues to the lookout. From here you have great views down towards Razor Point and Yucca Point and as well as the beautiful beach below. 

Continue downwards until you reach the trail junction, where you can choose to go to Razor Point, Yucca Point or continue on the Beach Trail. Both Razor Point and Yucca Point offer fantastic views of the beach and are well worth a visit.


Continue downwards the Beach Trail, that takes you all the way down to the beach. The last section is quite steep despite a ladder that takes you the last steps down to the beach.

Follow the beach back to the parking lot. Be aware of waves coming in on high tide,  so you keep yourself dry. 

Facts

  • No drinks (except water) or food are allowed in the reserve above the beach
  • Dogs are not permitted in the reserve
  • More information about the reserve can be found at torreypine.org

Amenities

  • Restrooms can be found at the beach parking lot or at the upper parking lot

Map

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