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How To Navigate Your Way Around Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Even on your staycation you can stay active. Plan a hike at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla.

When you live in San Diego, it is easy to enjoy the great outdoors all yearlong. It doesn’t get too hot or too cool for a day of hiking. And La Jollans are lucky to have 12 miles of trails at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in North La Jolla.

The ocean views are amazing from the trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and the trails go from flat and easy to more challenging and steep trails that descends more than 300 feet.

If you find street parking near the entrance to Torrey Pines State Reserve at 12600 North Torrey Pines Rd, you will save yourself $10 in parking fees. Think of it this way, you came here to hike – get walking. However, if you want to avoid the intense incline up the hill towards the Visitor’s Center and the start of most trailheads, drive in and pay the fee.

From the Visitor’s Center you can get a map (or click on it to the right and print), use restrooms, and even take a guided nature walk. The guided nature walks are available on weekends and holidays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Learn interesting facts about the park – did you know that the Torrey Pine is the rarest pine tree in the U.S.?

A must see on a visit is the Guy Fleming Trail. This trail is the park’s most popular trail. It is 0.7 miles loop trail with great view points, a walk through a grove of Torrey Pines and is relatively flat. You could do this trail in flip-flops, but we recommend a pair of sneakers for support and comfort.

Next up is the Beach Trail. This 0.75 trail starts near the restrooms across from the Visitor’s Center and trails down to the beach with great views. You have two choices once you reach the surf–walk back along the beach below the picturesque cliffs of Torrey Pines or return the way you came in. At the bottom of this trail, there is also an excellent opportunity to explore the tide pools atop Flat Rock during low tide.

Probably the most picturesque is Razor Point Trail, a 0.7-mile out-and-back trail with numerous switchbacks and dramatic view at the end (Razor Point). This trail splits from the Beach Trail about 200 yards below the trailhead by the restrooms.

The shortest and flattest trail is the Discovery Trail, a 0.5-mile loop trail, which is wheelchair accessible. It is off of the Visitor’s Center and offers view to both the east and west.

There are several other trails and an opportunity to link some of these hikes together into a really good workout.

If you haven’t been to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve or you haven’t been in a long time, here is all the information you will need:

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset
  • Fees: If you drive in, the fee to park is $10 per day or you can purchase an $85 Torrey Pines Association membership and have parking for a full year.
  • Pets: No dogs allowed.
  • Trail use: No bicycles allowed.
  • Food: No food is served in the park and no food or drink, besides water, is allowed in the park.
  • Rules: No smoking. Stay on trails. Do not collect pinecones, pick wildflowers or disturb the wildlife or natural landscape.
  • Tips: Bring binoculars to look for red-tailed hawk in the sky, mule deer in the brush and dolphins off in the surf. Bring sunblock and a comfy pair of shoes. Make sure children stay on the trails and with adults at all times–some trail drop-offs are quite steep. Always check with a ranger for trail closures after rains.

Read about , the  at Birch Aquarium and other Staycation Guide activities.

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