Hiking Torrey Pines State Park in San Diego County

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Travel / North America / Hiking Torrey Pines State Park in San Diego County

I had a chance to head down to San Diego this weekend to attend a college friends’ wedding. This quick jaunt also gave me the opportunity to meet up with other old friends and do a quick outing. Fortunately, another friend from the college days showed up as well and we decided to take a […]

Filed Under: North America by admin August 22, 2011, 12:06 pm

I had a chance to head down to San Diego this weekend to attend a college friends’ wedding. This quick jaunt also gave me the opportunity to meet up with other old friends and do a quick outing. Fortunately, another friend from the college days showed up as well and we decided to take a hike on the trails hugging the north San Diego coast in a wild stretch of coastline at Torrey Pines State Park. As a California state park, it is not overly huge, like Big Sur, and covers an area of 2,000 acres and is criss-crossed by 8 miles of hiking trails. The park is sandwiched between the ocean on the west side, and the ritzy communities of Del Mar and La Jolla in San Diego County.

The name Torrey Pines does refer to the extremely rare pine tree that only grows in this region and on Santa Rosa island off the coast of Santa Barbara just over 100 miles up the coast.

Sandstone Cliffs of Torrey Pines State Park

Some Trails in Torrey Pines State Park

There is no single trail in the park that is longer than 1.3 miles. And so, any hiker who wants to get in a decent hike has to string a number of trails together to get over the 4 or 5 mile marker to make it a decent excursion. What does help is that there are quite a few hills from the parking lot around the visitor center lodge down to the ocean beach and then back up the 300 vertical feet of rock to the vehicle again. Still, for active hikers there is not much of a challenge in the hike itself. However, we didn’t come here to slug through a difficult hike. The real treasure is the beautiful views of the surrounding area and the ocean. My friend and I spent a good 3 hours going up and down, in and out, of all the different trails that the park had to offer: the Guy Fleming, Parry Grove, Beach, Razor Point, and Broken Hill trails.

Torrey Pines Trail Map

I was told by my friend who live in this area that we got pretty lucky with the weather. On many occasions, there is a lot of cloud coverage obscuring the views from the park trails out onto the open ocean. However, on this particular day, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and visibility was as good as one could hope for.

All in all, this is a pretty nice place for an outing, especially if the visibility is good. There are no places to purchase food or drink in the park, so pack some water and snacks in your backpack before you arrive. It also costs $10 to get into the park, but I don’t have a problem with that since these parks use the money to sustain themselves and keep it accessible for visitors. Click here for the link directly to the official Torrey Pines State Park website.

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I've always felt that a life full of experiences is far more valuable than a life full of material goods. I have yet to come out of one of these experiences poorer than when I first went into it.

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