Living here in Southern California it’s hard not to be outdoors all the time with the favorable weather. I recently took advantage of this and went hiking with my kiddos at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Torrey Pines is located right at the northern edge of La Jolla. The name is perfect since it’s covered in pine trees but right next to the ocean. So you can also make a trip here a beach day. (We will be making a trip back to do that soon!) Torrey Pines State Reserve is a well known San Diego hiking destination. And after hitting the trails for myself I can see why!
Since it was just me and my kiddos I decided to actually shell out the funds and pay to park. When speaking with the parking attendant he suggested to park near the visitors lodge at the top of the mountain since this was our very first visit. Most hikers park at the bottom lot or in the lots just outside the park. There is limited parking by the lodge but we were able to find a great space. Our first stop after parking was naturally to explore the visitor lodge. The lodge is filled with artifacts and animals(stuffed) that inhabit the area. There is a meet up area right in front of the entrance for a FREE guided tour on weekends and holidays. I hope on our next visit we are able to take advantage of this. We toured around the lodge for a bit and spoke with a very nice worker about the Reserve and the hiking trails. She was able to suggest a perfect trail for me and my two little companions.
The trail recommended to me was Guy Fleming Trail, which was a short walk down hill from the Visitors Lodge. The Ranger suggested the trail since I had my little ones. It is an easier trail that went in a big loop. There wasn’t too many cliff sides to stress over which was nice. My son is pretty good at staying by my side or holding someone’s hand. The trail features a nice look out point where during migration season you can sometimes spot the whales. It’s also just a nice spot to just watch the ocean.
We didn’t happen to spot any whales on our visit but the views were still worth it. A Ranger informed me that the best chance to see the whales migrating is early in the day, usually before and around 10am.
The kids had a blast walking under the Torrey Pines on a section of the trail. These are the pine trees that give Torrey Pines its name. They are the five-needle Torrey pines that are only grow naturally in two places in the entire world! They are rare relics of a woodland coast past.
My little family had a fun little adventure here. I can’t wait to go back and check out some more trails, some without the kids due to their terrain and difficulty. But I would definitely take them back to hike the Guy Fleming trail again or take a nice walk along the coast line. Torrey Pines is really a great family outing.
Have fun adventuring!
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
12600 North Torrey Pines Road,
San Diego CA 92037
Open Daily 7:15am – Sunset (varies 5pm – 8pm)