Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Torrey Pines California State Reserve

I wanted to share with you an amazing excursion situated right within San Diego's city limits that will have you thinking you were transported to an entirely different city. Torrey Pines is a large California State Reserve that is every urban-living outdoors person's dream. Located just a short drive away from San Diego's central area, Torrey Pines State Reserve offers everything from hiking to biking to just relaxing by the pristine and peaceful ocean without all of the crowds.

I hope you enjoy reading about this wonderful place as much as I enjoyed visiting! It was definitely one of my favorite places that I've yet to explore in San Diego! If you wish to donate to help keep Torrey Pines in great condition for future visitors, they accept donations through paypal on their website which can be found here (this is completely optional but always appreciated by those who take care of the reserve!).

xo Jessica

Torrey Pines California State Reserve is a nature reserve with miles of unspoiled beaches, hiking trails with picturesque overlooks, and a beautiful lagoon where you can often see a wide variety of migrating seabirds. Located a short drive from San Diego's central areas, Torrey Pines makes you feel like you have driven into a whole different city. Away from all of the traffic and hecticness, Torrey Pines is every nature loving San Diegan's retreat. On any given day you'll find many people from around the world hiking the many trails, biking along the beach, enjoying the sunshine, and taking advantage of the fresh air and quiet.
I went on a Saturday around lunch time and it was quite chilly and very foggy which meant that there were not many people on the trails that day making it abnormally quiet and very peaceful for a hike. I went to Torrey Pines with my two good friends/roommates Lindsey and Jen which made the hike even more enjoyable. We drove from San Diego (which I would definitely recommend since if there are buses that go there, how long it would take to get there) and parked along the beach. Torrey Pines offers parking for $10 but there is street parking available for free all along the beach if you don't mind walking a little bit more. We spent the afternoon in the South Beach & Reserve section so this post will strictly be about that section but I'm sure that the northern section is just as magnificent (although it does sit further back from the ocean).
The first trail that you come to as you head up the road towards the first parking lot (up the hill and away from the ocean) is the Guy Fleming Trail. The Guy Feming Trail is a 0.7 miles long loop and features two points with benches that overlook the ocean. The trail is fairly flat, wide, and well maintained making it more of a casual stroll than a hike which is why anyone can do it, children included. I would definitely recommend at least starting on this trail since it is so short and well maintained making it an easy walk to see the ocean from above.
Since the Parry Grove Trail was still closed for maintenance while I was there, the second trail that we hiked was the Razor Point Trail. The Razor Point Trail is 1.4 miles roundtrip and has a little bit more incline than the Guy Fleming Trail although not enough to make it a difficult hike. This trail was definitely my favorite of the two because towards the end of it there was a large rock formation that you could climb up on to and it has a spectacular view of the ocean and other parts of the Reserve. I would definitely recommend this trail to anyone!
Torrey Pines State Reserve is a wonderful place to go if you're looking to get away from the city side of San Diego. Being such a huge city and huge county means that there is so much more to San Diego than just the downtown area and beaches. Although a lot of these places can only be accessed by car, it is well worth the drive along the coast.

*Dogs are not allowed on the trails*

To learn more about Torrey Pines California State Reserve (visiting hours, weather conditions, closures, volunteer opportunities, trail maps, etc) please see their website!

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