San Diego Tourist Guide

Torrey Pines State Preserve

Torrey PinesTake a walk on the wild side at the scenic and wild Torrey Pines State Preserve. This 2000 acre stretch of coastal bluffs displays the southern California coastline as it once was, long before civilization and development took its toll.

Torrey Pines State Preserve offers views of unspoiled sand beaches below, an inland lagoon and miles of chaparral hiking trails through one of the most unique pine forests in the world.

Torrey Pines State Preserve is named for the rare Torrey Pine that is found only here and on Santa Rosa Island located off the coast of Santa Barbara. This tree is a beautiful and rare treasure that is tough enough to grow in sandy soil and withstand brutal conditions from heat to coastal storms and wind. You’ll fall in love with the Torrey Pine.

Torrey Pines State Preserve is easily accessible off Interstate 5, yet feels miles away from civilization. You’ll see migrating birds, the rare and
beautiful Torrey Pine tree, and come across numerous overlooks for enjoying the scenery. Bring your hiking boots and a pair of binoculars and hit the trails. You’ll find 8 miles of hiking trails to explore this peaceful and stunning preserve. You’ll hike along cliffs so keep your children close at hand.

The trails here range from the easy and wheelchair accessible ½ mile loop Discovery Trail to the 3 mile combination of the Razor Point Trail and Beach Trails. You’ll find dramatic views on the Razor Point Trail including badlands, a gorge and beautiful, but sparse, examples of Torrey Pines.

For the most diverse trail, try the Guy Fleming Trail. This trail is easy and forested. You’ll find ocean views, sandstone formations, wildflowers in the spring, gray whales in the winter and bottlenose dolphins most any time of the year.

The Torrey Pines State Preserve is home to a large variety of plants and animals. The plant communities found here include coastal strand, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, Torrey Pine Woodland, and even salt marsh. You’ll find a huge variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals here. One common animal to the Preserve is one you’ll rarely see, the gray fox. You can expect to see numerous squirrels and rabbits. If you arrive early or stay until dusk, you will see mule deer or coyotes.

Guided tours are led on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM and last for about an hour to an hour and a half. These docent led tours are free and are flexible enough to adjust to the abilities of the group.

You may bring water to quench your thirst but no other food or beverage is permitted. If picnicking or snacking is in your plans, picnic on the beach below either before or after your Preserve visit. The Preserve is open daily from 8:00 AM until sunset. Pedestrians and bicyclists may arrive as early as 7:00 AM. The visitor center opens at 9:00 AM. You may park for $6 on weekdays or $8 on weekends. Senior and disable discounts are also available.

While the Discovery Trail is wheelchair accessible the other trails are not. For beach access, a balloon tire wheelchair is available at the North and South parking lot kiosks.

For more information:
Torrey Pines State Preserve
16500 North Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA 92037

San Diego, California