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The Best Torrey Pines Hike

The stunning coastline of Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve with orange cliffs that plunge into the ocean is a popular hiking area just north of San Diego. This cliff side park is home to a series of trails, and below you can see suggestion for the best Torrey Pines hike depending on whether you are heading out for a quick walk, a half day hike, or a morning run.

Below you can find information on the different Torrey Pines hiking trails as well as how to get to Torrey Pines, where to park, and what to expect when you’re there.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the best Torrey Pines Hike and information on the 6 different trails

Best Torrey Pines Hike

Quick Look at the Torrey Pines Park Hikes

  • Guy Flemming Trail – 2/3 mile trail with a diversity of things to see – BEST TRAIL WITH KIDS
  • Parry Grove Trail – 0.5 mile loop with view across the ocean
  • High Point Trail – 100 year trail up steps to a viewpoint
  • Razor Point Trail – 2/3 mile trail to an overlook – BEST OVERLOOK
  • Beach Trail – 3/4 mile trail that descends to the beach – BEST BEACH ACCESS
  • Broken Hill Trail – 1.4 mile trail across the hills that descends to the beach – BEST TRAIL FOR A LONGER HIKE
Best Torrey Pines Hike
Best Torrey Pines Hike

Overview of Torrey Pine Natural Area

Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve includes 1,500 acres of land and is home to the very rare Torrey Pine that is only found here and on the Channel Islands. Torrey Pines is a popular walking destination but is also a reserve meaning the region is targeted for conservation. Please practice leave no trace including staying on trail and packing out your trash. Dogs are also not allowed at Torrey Pines.

Torrey Pines is open from 7:15 to dusk and you can also visit the visitor center between 9-4:30 PST. You can join one of the guided hikes on the weekends at 10 AM. See more about guided hikes on the park’s official site. This site also has information about the history of the region and the many programs available at the park.

Note that the cliffs are unstable and you should not stand directly below the cliffs on the beach as parts of the cliff can fall off the cliffside and can be dangerous. It is recommended that you visit within a few hours of low tide when there is more space on the beach.

Map of the Torrey Pines Hikes

Below you can see a map of the hiking trails in Torrey Pines. Note that the southern part of the park abuts the Torrey Pines Golf Course. You can click on the map below to see more information about the area.

Things to Know about visiting Torrey Pines

How to get to Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines is within the limits of San Diego, but is about located about 25 minutes north of the city and directly north of La Jolla. The easiest way to get to Torrey Pines is to drive you own car. You can also take bus 101 to the Torrey Pines stop and walk just a few minutes.

Where to park to Visit Torrey Pines

You have a few options for parking at Torrey Pines. To park inside the park, you will need to pay the vehicle entrance fee that is between $15-$25. This gets you in the gate and you can park your car in the parking lot right at the center of Torrey Pines with easy access to start of the hiking trails.

You can also pay to get in the park and park your car right at the entrance and walk up from here to the Torrey Pines hiking trails. Note that the parking lot can fill up so you may be required to park at the base of the cliffs near the entrance gate and walk up.

If you want to park for free at Torrey Pines, you can park along the water just north of the Torrey Pines entrance gate. There are a number of parking spots along the road and you can park here for free and walk into the park at no additional cost. You will need to start your walk along the waterfront and then ascend the steep hill to the start of the hiking trails.

Best Torrey Pines Hike: Park along the water and walk up into the park for free
Best Torrey Pines Hike: Park along the water and walk up into the park for free

Does Torrey Pines Cost Money to Enter?

There is a fee to bring your car into Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve between $15-$25, but there is no fee to walk into the park.

What is the best time to hike at Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines is a great destination all year long. The hike can get crowded, especially on the weekends, so try to come early of late in the day.

Best Torrey Pines hike

Details of the Torrey Pines Hiking Trails

There are 6 hiking trails at Torrey Pines. This will help you choose the best Torrey Pines hike for you and the people you are hiking with. Since most of the trails are spread out across the top of the cliffs high above the ocean, you can see other people hiking and get great views from every trail. Truly, you can’t really go wrong when choosing a trail!

If you have enough time, I recommend doing several trails and spending a half day exploring this incredible spot. Most of the trails are easy and short. Make sure to give yourself time at the viewpoint to enjoy the rock formations and we were lucky to see several dozen dolphins in the ocean.

Best Torrey Pines hike

Guy Flemming Trail

This is the first trail we did and is an easy 2/3 mile loop trail with a wide variety of things to see. This makes it a great hike with kids. You can hike the loop in either direction, but you will find interesting rock formations and vegetation and the trail leads to 2 beautiful viewpoints. This trail is a great starting point for your visit and you will see some of the famous Torrey Pines here blown and shaped by the winds.

Parry Grove Trail

This is a 1/2 mile loop that includes a steep set of stairs at the beginning of the hike that descends downhill. After the stairs, the hiking trail is mostly level, but this trail overall is more challenging than the Guy Flemming Trail simply due to the stairs.

The trail has a pretty wildflower garden at the base. We also found this trail slightly less crowded if you are looking for something with less people.

High Point Trail

This is a very short trail (100 yards) that leads to the highest point in the area for a 360 degree view out across the Torrey Pines and the surrounding region on La Jolla and San Diego. This is such a short trail that it is worth doing for the unique perspective.

Razor Point Trail

This 2/3 mile trail also joins the Beach Trail, making it easy to add additional mileage to your hike. The trail winds through the cliff top and stops at several interesting viewpoints. We found the rock formations very interesting on this hike and you can clearly see how nature has worked here and eroded the shoreline over time.

Best Torrey Pines hike

Beach Trail

This 3/4 mile trail splits off from the Razor Point Trail and travels down from the upper cliffs of Torrey Pines to the beach. The walk down to the beach is steep and you will definitely get you heart rate up on the climb back up to the trailhead.

Broken Hill Trail

This 1.4 mile trail has several hiking options and is the most challenging hiking trail in the park with several steep sections and switchbacks. There are several interesting viewpoint and rock formations along the trail and the trail joins the Beach Trail just above Flat Rock.

The Best Torrey Pines Hike with Combine Trails

If you are looking for a longer and more challenging hike, you can link several of these short trails together. Start your hike with the Guy Fleming Trail Loop, then hike down Razor Point Trail to join with the Beach Trail. Hike back up the Broken Hill Trail. This gives you a more ambitious hike and you still get to see some of the best views and interesting hiking trails in the Park.

Best Torrey Pines hike

Other Hiking Trails

There are also several hiking trails in the reserve extension that offer a different walking experience. These trails are in the lower lying reserve and are great for bird watching or escaping the crowds. These trails include:

  • Mar Scenic Trail: 1/2 mile that follows a creek
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Trail: 1/2 mile with views across the marsh to the ocean
  • Margaret Fleming Nature Trail: 3/4 mile through sage
  • Red Ridge Loop Trail: 1/3 mile with views of the lagoon and interesting rock formations.

Looking for information about hiking? Check Out our Hiking Section.

Best Torrey Pines hike

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