Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
San Diego Hike Report: Torrey Pines Reserve
Old 06-03-2015, 04:33 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 731
San Diego Hike Report: Torrey Pines Reserve

I hope folks will find these useful, informative, or at the very least an entertaining diversion.

Name: Torrey Pines State Beach/Preserve

Location: Torrey Pines State Beach just south of Del Mar along the Coast 101 Highway

Description: Torrey Pines State Beach is a combination of coastal beach and the actual preserve for the Torrey Pines up on the summit with an extensive trail system weaving along the cliff formations. There is also a trail that leads from the cliffs down to the beach.

Difficulty: Medium (there is a huff-n-puff walk up the paved road from the lower parking lot to the top of the cliffs, going up about 7/8's of a mile with an elevation gain of 850 ft)

Experience: This is one of my favorite hikes to take which I have done several times as it takes one to the beach, offers a good cardio workout, then affords some glorious vistas and views of the San Diego coastal area.

You access the lower parking area off of North Torrey Pines Road either from the North coming from Del Mar or Carmel Valley, or from the South out of La Jolla.

I prefer to come via Carmel Valley Road and along the Los Penasquitos Lagoon and the two lane road as it slows the pace down and sets the mood for a relaxing time.

As you come down the Del Mar bridge there is an area of public unmetered 'free' parking spaces. These are not actually 'in' the State Park, but just outside.

But these fill up fast - even during weekdays. And people end up cruising or stopping in the hopes they can catch someone else just about to leave.

If you go past the public spaces, you can turn into the actual State run Preserve area - which has an Entrance Station run by Rangers and a $12/day fee.

Usually there are spaces open throughout the day because, well, it's $12/day. But if you have kids or a group - sometimes well worth it to avoid spending time trawling for one of the 'free' spots.

Sometimes at the height of the summer season this lot will fill up. When this happens, there is a second fee access area across the Lagoon - not as close to the beach, but within walking distance.

I'm fortunate in that DW and I bought a lifetime pass a couple of years ago. I just hang the pass from the rearview mirror and in I go.

Lot's of options on what to do once you are in. There is an access road to the top of the park with even more parking, but you won't be at beach level.

My favorite routine is to park at the bottom and walk the access road up as part of my workout. It gives a great cardio workout if you walk at a brisk pace - definitely breathing hard if you go the 7/8 mile non-stop to the top.

At the top there is a Lodge which has been converted to a type of Natural History Museum of local plants and animals and gift store.

Further on and across the street to the west/cliff side, there is a big Trail Map of all the different trails. I typically take the Beach Trail down to the beach, then along the ocean back to the parking lot in one big loop of about 2.75 miles.

The weather today was glorious! Clear, cool, nice ocean breeze - great for a brisk walk up and then along the beach.

The trails are well maintained and offer some fantastic views

The Beach Trail winds its way for about 3/4 mile from the top to the beach.

Once at the bottom, you can look South (left) towards La Jolla, which you can walk if the tide is right

But I go back North (right) and along the beach back to the lower parking lot along the cliffs.

You can walk this loop in under 1 hr, but I stopped at several points just to enjoy the experience and take some pics. There are benches at various points so you can just sit.

This time of year is perfect: a weekday, the local schools are still in session and it is still before the Del Mar Fair starts (which starts this Friday June 5). So easy parking (paid or pass), not too many people on the trails, and as you saw from the beach picture, not too many people on the beach.

You do need to watch the time of day to visit to make sure the tide is low or at least going out, because at high tide there can be little or NO beach at all.

I got there about 11am - tide just going out so by the time I hiked to the top then down the Beach Trail - perfect beach access.

After my hike it was about 1pm - perfect time to head up to Del Mar - the poor w*rking folks are back in their offices and the traffic not bad at all.

Lots of choices for lunch, but I opted to try the Del Mar Liquor and Deli Mart just past 11th avenue. Found a parking spot no problem, went in, ordered a hot pastrami sandwich and was on my way!

ER Rating: 5/5 - the stars aligned today for a great day

BBQ-Nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-03-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lsbcal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 4,827
Great write up, thanks. We are heading down to La Jolla in a few days. So very timely.

Lsbcal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 08:21 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 146
This is one of my favorite hiking areas too. It's perfect during warmer months when we don't want to go too far inland.

Unfortunately, I didn't get outdoors at all today and had no idea it was such a nice day without the usual June gloom. One more reason I'm looking forward to retirement next year.
cathy63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 08:36 PM   #4
rodi's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,741
I love that park. My BFF was married on one of the bluffs 25 years ago. Gorgeous setting.

I've been going there since I was a kid on school field trips. I remember a teacher almost getting stuck in "Fat Mans Misery". I haven't been to TP state park in a few years. Thanks for the reminder.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 09:32 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 391
Back a lifetime or so ago I use to hang out with the glider pilots up on top of Torrey. They still soaring around up there?
stepford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 09:47 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 731
Originally Posted by stepford View Post
Back a lifetime or so ago I use to hang out with the glider pilots up on top of Torrey. They still soaring around up there?
South of Torrey Pines St Park is the Torrey Pines Glider Port across from UCSD....still there...saw some paragliders today.
BBQ-Nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 10:24 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
fidler4's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 179
Going to be camping just north of there at San Elijo State Beach in a couple of weeks. Beautiful area. I am taking my road bike with me and am going to ride south past Torrey Pines to La Jolla.
fidler4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 06:41 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 300
we used to live in the condos across from the park entrance. Was a great walk and bike ride.
jabbahop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 07:44 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 216
I've run up and over Torrey Pines twice via the La Jolla Half Marathon, and biked it once via the MS SoCal Century. Have talked the entire family into running the La Jolla Half together in 2016, because I want them to experience the thrill of making it to the top and then experiencing the joy of the recovery run down the other side. Fun stuff!
ElizabethT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 10:27 AM   #10
MBAustin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,353
Timely post - DS is headed out to SD on vacation this weekend and was looking for some ideas of things to do during the week. Thanks!
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 11:40 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 10,693
This is a nice place to hike for sure. We explored some of the reserve's trails back in 2012, when we were staying at the adjoining lodge.

FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
San Diego Hike Report: Dust Devil Nature Trail BBQ-Nut Other topics 3 06-01-2015 05:54 PM
Cheap San Diego real estate! Nords Other topics 3 11-12-2005 11:17 PM
Nevermind, I'm staying in San Diego laurence Life after FIRE 51 08-14-2005 08:52 AM
San Diego Housing Prices riskadverse FIRE and Money 2 06-28-2005 06:28 PM
LAX to San Diego Hotels/Motels gwix98 Other topics 5 06-12-2005 08:49 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.