When people ask us what cities we’ve lived in, it’s definitely San Diego. Although we didn’t like being at the beach as much as we should, it was nice to be a stone’s throw away.
Of all the areas we hiked in around town, this was easily one of our favorite spots, so you get the best of the best! The Torrey Pines hiking trails are all relatively easy, short, and offer you stunning coastal views from various vantage points. In addition, you can walk among one of the rarest pine trees in the world. You can also combine many walks if you want to explore the area throughout the day.
EASY WALKS IN SAN DIEGO WITH COASTAL VIEWS-TORREY PINES HIKE
WALKING THE BEACH TRAIL (0.75 MILES)
Our first hike was the beach trail at Torrey Pines South because Esther loves the water. As the name suggests, this path will take you 300 meters from the beach. As soon as we saw the sign for the path, we left the paved road and continued to follow the signs. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see Red Butte, and there are other diversion trails as well. You can hike to Razor Point or Yucca Point for additional viewpoints.
Since it was already dark, we immediately went to the beach. After the descent we followed the beach to the parking lot. It was high and there were times when we thought we might not have a beach to walk on anymore, but everything went well.
It was a relaxing walk and next time we look forward to exploring some of the other trails.
BROKEN HILL TRAIL (1 MI / 1.6 KM)
The Broken Hill Trail is the longest hiking trail in Torrey Pines
SAIGON TRAIL FORMERLY HO CHI MINH TRAIL (0.7 MILES)
This is an unofficial trail that runs through the Torrey Pines State Nature Preserve. It is not well maintained and was only traded by surfers who went to Black’s Beach. This involves a bit of scrambling and is not one of the easiest hikes in San Diego.
NORTHEAST EXTENSION OF TORREY PINES STATE PRESERVE
The Reserve also has a Northeastern Extension. The difference between Torrey Pines North and South is that the North is much less crowded and has fewer hiking trails that are less maintained. This gives it a more outdoor feel compared to a tourist destination.
- Mar Scenic Trail (0.5 miles) – a hike that follows a seasonal stream.
- Daughters of the American Revolution Trail (dar) (0.5 mile) – enjoy views of the swamp to the main reserve and ocean.
- Margaret Fleming Nature Trail (0.75 miles – – hike through coastal sage scrub.
- Red Ridge Loop Trail (0.5 miles) – discover the lagoon, the main reserve and unique formations.
ABOUT THE TORREY PINE TREE
The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is a rare and endangered pine species that grows only in the Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, on Santa Rosa Island, and in other coastal areas of California.
DIRECTIONS, HOURS AND COSTS
We went to the Torrey Pines in the evening to catch the sunset. After parking our car, we headed to Torrey Pines Park Rd. Along this paved road you will find well marked trailheads and you will also see the visitor center (Lodge) on your left.
The Reserve is open from 07: 15 until sunset, 365 days a year. The sunset is around 17h in winter and 20h in summer. The Lodge (visitor center) opens at 9 am all year round. It closes at 18: 00 in summer and at 16: 00 in winter.
Parking and costs
There are two parking spaces near the Reserve. The South Beach parking lot is the most popular and the fee also gives you access to the top of the mesa. Rates vary depending on the season. The high season usually runs from spring break to the end of September, and the low season begins in October and goes through the spring break.