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This Torrey Pines hike takes you to the best of the park - rare Torrey Pines, ocean views, and unique geology. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of those once in a lifetime destinations, I highly recommend this hike!
3.3 miles (5.3 km)
Ocean views, rare pines, unique geology
Torrey Pines Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is in La Jolla, about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego.
The hike hits all of the overlooks in Torrey Pines Park, then heads down to the beach. From the beach, it climbs back up and to the trailhead.
The hike meanders down to the ocean, then climbs back up to Torrey Pines Park Rd.
Interactive Map Torrey Pines Hike Map Downloads
If you have GPS device (
I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.
Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up
a good topo map too. Gear for the Torrey Pines Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award. I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life. On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews Also, I'd recommend just taking a look around the Gear is dirt cheap there, including day-to-day clothing, fitness gear, and camping gear. And don't forget to get a lifetime REI Outlet. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Torrey Pines Hike Directions What to Expect The Torrey Pine is the rarest pine tree in the United States and is an endangered species. You can only see them here and on the Channel Islands. As you’re hiking Torrey Pines, remember that the environment is fragile, so please stay on the trail. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is very popular, get here early to beat the crowds. If it’s after 8am, you might have a hard time finding a parking space. To park, drive up past the entrance gate, go up the hill, and enter the first parking area on your right, just past the visitors center on the left. The Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve Visitors Center, in the parking lot across from the hike lot, is worth a look. Turn by Turn Directions After entering the park gate, drive up the narrow road to the visitors center. The parking area for the hike is up the hill on the right. Before starting the Torrey Pines hike, check out the hike board for any closures or park information. At about 0.1 miles, the trail forks, hike to the right. At about 0.2 miles, the trail splits. Hike to right to check out the nice ocean and park view. There’s a fence at the overlook and you’ll see a trail below, don’t hike down there. Turn back and hike to the last fork. Hike up the trail to Red Butte, which has some nice views of the entire park Check out Red Butte, and then hike down the other side as the trail continues. At about 0.3 miles, hike to the right. here’s a switchback, keep hiking straight (the left trail cuts off the switchback and ends up in the same place). At 0.5 miles, hike to the right and walk down to Razor Point Overlook. Soak in the ocean views at Razor Point, then hike back the way you came. Hike to the right back at the trail junction. The ocean views are great as you continue. At 0.9 miles, hike to the right on the trail to Yucca Point Overview. Yucca Point Overlook has some nice ocean views, take it in, turn around and hike back. Back at the intersection, hike to the right. You’ll see a sign for the Beach Trail, hike straight on the Beach Trail. At about 1.3 miles, head right and hike down through the little slot canyon to the beach. The trail to the beach heads through the sandstone cliffs. Explore the beach and then head back to the last trail junction. Back the trail junction, hike to the right up the stairs. You’ll climb up for a while on the trail. At about 2 miles, hike to the right at the fork. After that it’s a quick right to Broken Hill Overlook trail. Hike straight down the trail to Broken Hill Overlook. This overlook has the least crowds and might be the most spectacular. We saved the best for last. Hike back to the junction and make the right. As the trail climbs up, you’ll see the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course off to the right. At about 2.7 miles, you’ll reach the old San Diego to Los Angeles road. Hike to the left to walk back to the parking lot. The old road goes along the ridge int he park. To your right will be nice views of northern San Diego. There are interesting information placards along the way. Eventually you’ll reach the end of the hike at parking lot where you started on the left. A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
The Cowles Mountain hike brings you to the highest point in San Diego, with views from Mexico to Orange County. It’s a tough little climb, and there are a few routes to the top. This hiking route is the most scenic, has the best parking situation, and the least crowds. It’s a great, safe beginners hike, and a must-do if you’re in San Diego.
If you are not a hiking pro, this is where to start. Learning how to hike safely can mean the difference between a fun day outdoors or the hike from hell. This article will get you hiking in the right direction.
I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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