Hiking Torrey Pines State Reserve’s Beach Trail.

Hiking to the beach from trailhead in Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Hiking to the beach from a trailhead in Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Today is National Trails Day, so it seems the perfect time to blog about one hike I took recently at Torrey Pines State Reserve! The hike was down the Beach Trail, which is one of the most popular hikes in this beautiful place. The coming photos demonstrate why!

The 3/4 mile downhill Beach Trail begins at the edge of a small parking lot near the Torrey Pines State Reserve’s historic lodge, which serves as the visitor center. On this spring day, many small flowers were blooming along the trail, and lots of hikers were enjoying the sunshine as well. Should you ever go hiking here, make sure you wear good shoes because it can be a bit steep in places and the sand often makes slippery footing.

Hikers take beautiful trail through coastal chaparral.
Hikers take beautiful trail through coastal chaparral.
People enjoy vistas from atop sandstone formation.
People enjoy vistas from atop sandstone formation.
Endangered Torrey pine seen beyond fork in the trail.
Endangered Torrey pine can be seen beyond fork in the trail.

You can observe many more examples of the endangered Torrey pine tree in the north part of the reserve. See my post about the Guy Fleming Trail!

The blue Pacific Ocean comes into view!
The blue Pacific Ocean comes into view!
Typical scenery along trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Typical rugged scenery along trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The Beach Trail is often covered in fine sand.
The Beach Trail is often covered in fine sand.
Now we're getting really close to our destination!
Now we’re getting really close to our destination!

It gets much steeper as one approaches the ocean. You can see La Jolla way off in the hazy distance.

Erosion of layered sandstone creates unusual, fluid forms.
Erosion of layered sandstone creates unusual, fluid forms.
Flat Rock can be seen on Torrey Pines State Beach.
Flat Rock can be seen below on Torrey Pines State Beach.
Steps head steeply down from cliffs.
Steps head steeply down from cliffs.
Hikers arrive at the beach!
Hikers arrive at the beach!

The transition from the reserve to the beach seems very sudden as you hike down from the cliffs. Suddenly you hear the surf and see many sea birds. It’s an amazing experience!

Down on the sand.
Down on the sand.
People walk north along Torrey Pines State Beach.
People walk north along Torrey Pines State Beach.

A walk north along the beach about a mile or so brings one back to the main Torrey Pines State Reserve parking lot by the Pacific Coast Highway. If you’d like to enjoy a relatively easy nature hike, I’d highly recommend this one! (Going uphill is more difficult!)

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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