Thirdeyemom

An afternoon at Torrey Pines

One of the highlights of our family trip to San Diego was our visit to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Located along the rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean between La Jolla and Del Mar lies a treasure: The 2,000- acre Torrey Pines Reserve, one of the wildest stretches of land along the Southern California coast. Named after the nation’s rare pine tree, the Pinus torreyana, this beautiful wilderness area offers several hikes affording spectacular panoramic views of the aquamarine ocean and craggy cliffs leading down to a vast, unspoiled beach. It is also home to several kinds of birds and waterfowl as well as magnificent, colorful wildflowers in the spring.

We headed to the park just as the midday sun was lowering, opting to drive our car up Torrey Pines Park Road to the Visitor Center on top and park there. You can also park your car at the bottom of the reserve near the South Beach entrance and walk up the road to the top of the bluffs- a distance of a little over a mile – but with children it was easier to park on top.

Torrey Pines Reserve San Diego CA

Driving up the paved road to the top of the Coastal Bluffs at Torrey Pines Reserve.

There is a nice visitor center with trail maps near the parking area on top, and on the weekends and holidays the reserve offers guided nature walks as well. Torrey Pines has over 8 miles of trails with many options depending on how far you want to go. You can hike the short half mile Razor Point trail to a gorgeous overlook of a gorge, badlands and wildflowers, or do what we did, simply find your way down to the beach.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

View from atop the high, coastal bluffs.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

The Torrey Pine is one of the rarest native pines in the United States.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

I was mesmerized by the tranquility and beauty of Torrey Pines. The windswept trails meandered along the bluffs affording magnificent panoramic views of the expansive sea. I kept stopping to take photos along the way and before I knew if my kids were halfway down to the beach!

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CATorrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CAFinally I caught up with them to at least get a few family shots. But as soon as we were finished off they raced with my husband trailing not far behind.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CAI don’t think I could blame them. They had never felt the ocean waves across their bare feet. It was a first.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Yellow wildflowers lined the trail.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

They were long gone by the time I reached the stairs leading down to the beach. Shoes and socks off, knee-high in the water and waves splashing their face.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

Soaked wet and full of sand, we gathered them reluctantly to head back to the hotel. Had we known how much they would love it here we would have packed a picnic dinner. What a beautiful place!

Torrey Pines Reserve San Diego CA

My son Max enjoying the gorgeous beach at Torrey Pines Reserve.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve San Diego CA

The only downfall about parking the car on the top meant I had to hike back up the bluffs and drive it back down to the beach where I fetched my husband and two sandy and wet kids. It was worth it though.

For more information, please visit www.torreypine.org

Torrey Pines State Reserve Photo credit: www.torreypine.org

Torrey Pines State Reserve Photo credit: http://www.torreypine.org

18 comments

  1. You are so sweet to let us tag along on this outing! i loved the shadow image on the beach.

    I remember the first time my nephew saw and experienced the pacific from his vantage point of his wheel chair. It was quite sobering. He said that it made him wish he could get up and walk into the surf….

  2. maamej

    Wow, first time at the beach fur the kids – no wonder they were in a hurry. Looks like a wonderful walk. The cactus flower is lovely.

  3. i have flown glider an sailplanes an remote control gliders there an hangliders an hanglider trikes also, jest south of where u were at off the hill at torrey pines gliderport! 🙂 grew up there landed in da’ mountains for now but sure miss da place kewl u walked down 🙂 love that place i do grew up there ,,splendid one to u an urs frum da Q

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