P and I have been talking about going on a hike forever at Torrey Pines State Reserve, and we finally made it on the very last day in May. Though it was not the sunniest of days, it was actually perfect hiking weather…but not the greatest for picture taking. This was such a lovely hike. The breeze from the ocean was so refreshing and it was not overly crowded. I enjoyed this so much more than our Cowles Mountain hike. We did three of the six trails available at the reserve. We parked at the South Beach entrance lot, which was $15 to park. From there it is a bit of a walk (about 10-15 minutes) uphill to get to the trails. You can drive up the road to the trails where they do have limited parking. We went around 10:30 am on a Sunday, and we did see a few open spots at the top when we arrived and when we were leaving (about 2+hours later). We had opted not to drive up since we were not sure how small the top parking area was. I think it is worth the drive up to check if you are not interested in the extra steps. The three trails we completed were:
High Point (100 yards)
This is not so much a trail as some steps to an overlook. I feel it is a bit overstated to call it a trail. We decided we could pop up the 100 yards to see what the view was all about. Nothing too spectacular, but worth the 5 minutes to get up there. On a clearer day it would offer a nicer view of the ocean.
Parry Grove Trail (½ mile loop)
This was my favorite of the three we tried. It was nice and secluded, with not too many other hikers. I loved it. You got to see a lot of change in landscape and vegetation along the trail. Nice views of trees, grassland, and ocean. You get a bit of a workout with the steps upon entering and exiting the trail, otherwise it is a fairly leisurely walk. This is a bit more of a trail, whereas the Guy Fleming is wider and flatter.
Guy Fleming Trail (⅔ mile loop)
This trail was more crowded than the Parry Grove trail, and less secluded. It was a very easy walk. We actually went left to start the loop instead of right, which afforded us a bit more privacy walking, since it seemed most people opted to start the trail using the right-hand entrance. Also starting on the left-side meant you ended on the shader side, which is nice as you build-up heat from walking. This trail had a some really nice ocean views and you get to walk through a large section of the “Torrey” Pines.
Overall, I highly recommend Torrey Pines State Reserve for a hike. I think the Guy Fleming Trail would be perfect for for a very leisurely walk to get a view of the ocean and landscape if you are on a trip to San Diego. The trails are well maintained and easily marked, they also provide printed maps at the top. We will certainly be going back to check the other three trails off our hiking list.
Do you have any hiking adventures on your summer bucket list?
Also, I shared some of my favorite San Diego food picks for Kristin’s Global Food Series! Go have a look!