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Overview

Quite possibly the most magical, and definitely the wildest stretch of land in southern California, Torrey Pines State Reserve showcases what San Diego's sprawling coastline once looked like to the Spanish settlers. Home to the United States' rarest pine tree — the Torrey Pine — perched atop steep sandstone cliffs dotted with wildflowers. The landscape draws local hikers and runners as well as a plethora of tourists. And while the eight miles of sunny beachfront trails get busy on warm weekends, the allure of this abundant landscape should not be missed. Nature lovers flock here year round to spot from the clifftops migrating gray whales and ...

Quite possibly the most magical, and definitely the wildest stretch of land in southern California, Torrey Pines State Reserve showcases what San Diego's sprawling coastline once looked like to the Spanish settlers. Home to the United States' rarest pine tree — the Torrey Pine — perched atop steep sandstone cliffs dotted with wildflowers. The landscape draws local hikers and runners as well as a plethora of tourists. And while the eight miles of sunny beachfront trails get busy on warm weekends, the allure of this abundant landscape should not be missed. Nature lovers flock here year round to spot from the clifftops migrating gray whales and seabirds as well as dolphins, seals, sea lions, and crabs. There is a visitor center, but no services here, so beachcombers and hikers tend to plan short visits paired with lunch or dinner in nearby La Jolla. Officially, other than water, there are no food or drinks allowed in the park.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a coastal state park located in the California community of La Jolla, San Diego, California, off North Torrey Pines Road.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, winter, spring