Torrey Pines State National Reserve

12600 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla CA 92037
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Watch San Diego's The Midnight Pine play a song live at Torrey Pines.  Click the image below to watch their episode of Sounds Local.

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Torrey Pines State National Reserve is a massive park that features eight miles of trails across several different types of terrain. The park rests just north of San Diego, between the cities of Del Mar and La Jolla. If you are interested in photographing amazing views, exploring rare geology, or hiking a selection of trails that cross mountains, roads, desert, and the beach, then Torrey Pines State National Reserve is definitely worth a visit.

Must See and Must Do at Torrey Pines State National Reserve
The Three-mile Loop: The perfect way to get in a solid hike while seeing the full spectrum of environments that Torey Pines State National Reserve has to offer is the three-mile loop. This extremely scenic combination of trails features the Razor Point Trail, Broken Hill Trail, and Beach Trail to complete a three-mile hike through desert, cliffs, and beach environments. Consult the park's website or on-site maps for directions to specific trails.

Explore, Sightsee, and Photograph: Very few places boast the photographic appeal of Torrey Pines. From unique plants and animals, to rock formations and fossils, the various trails and environments that make up Torrey Pines are extraordinary for sightseeing.

Free Guided Tours: Did you know that Torrey Pines contains some of the first roads built in San Diego? This is but one of many facts you can learn from a certified docent who will guide you on the rich historical and scientific relevance of Torrey Pines State National Reserve. These guided tours are free, and are held every Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Best and Worst Times to Visit Torrey Pines State National Reserve
Torrey Pines State National Reserve is open every day throughout the year, from 7:15 until Sunset. In San Diego, weather is not a major concern, so you can comfortably hike Torrey Pines all year while expecting near-perfect weather. If there is a concern at all, it would be parking. Torrey Pines is huge, but the free parking along the coast fills up fast. Unless you arrive early, expect to pay the $10-12 for close parking.

Admission to Torrey Pines State National Reserve
The only thing you will pay for at Torrey Pines is the right to drive and park your vehicle on the premises. Paying the $10-12 grants use of the parking lot which rests at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the trails of Torrey Pines, in addition to the parking lots at the top of that hill, which provide closer access for those who do not want to hike up the road. Also notable is that trash cans are limited in Torrey Pines, so visitors are expected to be accountable for their own trash when they use the trails.

Wildlife at Torrey Pines State National Reserve
Bobcats, coyotes, rabbits, gophers, and bats are among the mammals that are frequently seen at the Torrey Pines State National Reserve. Reptiles can occasionally be seen on the trails as well, including skinks, lizards, and various types of snakes. In the areas of the park where the ocean is visible, sea life such as dolphins and whales can be seen.

Internet Access at Torrey Pines State National Reserve
Since Torrey Pines Reserve is located on the Pacific Coast surrounded by highly populated cities, cellphone usage will likely be available in some areas. However, no extra internet signal is provided at the park.

Insider Tip for Torrey Pines State National Reserve
When you hike the trails down to the beach, walk the opposite direction of the parking lot and you will reach Black's Beach. The southern part of Black's Beach is managed by San Diego, but the northern end is considered the largest nude beach in the United States.

Author's bio: After a seven year career in the US Navy, Nicholas Napier completed his MBA and settled in California. He's published over 40 articles as the San Diego Fitness Trends Examiner, and regularly contributes as a freelance writer to various companies.