Distance: 8 to 10 Miles
difficulty: Ranges from easy to medium
Estimated time: 3 Hours
Thank you for reading our hiking series on Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Out of all the hikes this hike might be the most tiring hike that we do. This hike starts in the northern section of the park. You can park near the intersection of Carmel Valley Road and Mc Gonigle Road for free or park on Mc Gonigle Road (North Beach parking lot) and you will have to pay a fee to park. Please keep in mind that you need tons of water for this hike. Make sure to bring two to three water bottles with you or have your camelback topped off. This is one of our longer hikes at an estimated distance between 8 to 10 Miles. This hike will take around three (3) hours if you take all of the trail options.
Please keep in mind that we do these hikes every week. This is our go to hike on the days when the ocean tides do not cooperate with us. However, this is a great hike regardless of the tide levels. From Mc Gonigle Road walk past the pay to park area and underneath the bridge by were the lagoon enters into the ocean. Walk up the ramp towards North Torrey Pines Road. When you hit the top of the ramp head south on North Torrey Pines Road towards the south beach paid lot. Once you have reached the south beach paid lot you will walk up the paved road. That is Torrey Pines Park Road which was the only road back in the day going from San Diego to Los Angeles. Now that you are halfway up the hill just past the first parking spaces on the right side of the hill you will have an option. For those who will skip this option you will continue heading up the hill to the mesa and main parking area.
OPTION TO EXTEND HIKE TAKE GUY FLEMING TRAIL
If you are not in a hurry and would like to extend your hike/workout we HIGHLY suggest you take the Guy Fleming Trail. The Guy Fleming Trail (.7 mile loop) is the easiest and one of the most beautiful trails at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This hike has diverse scenery, ocean vistas, sandstone formations and spring wildflowers. You might see Grey Whales if you are taking this hike during the winter and you may see bottlenose dolphins year round. When you get on the trail you will have an option to go left or right. Take the trail on the right. You will get to walk under a grove of Torrey Pine Trees for which the area was named. Once you get past the small grove of Torrey Pines you will see one of the most beautiful views that the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has to offer. That view is the same as the photo above that got you to read this additional trail option. As you continue on your hike you will reach a viewpoint with amazing views of La Jolla.
Here is one more photo from the view-point on Guy Fleming trail.
If you decided to take the The Guy Fleming Trail you will have walked for about 2.7 miles once you reach the mesa and parking area. Once you have finished the loop, head back to the road and continue to climb your way to the top of the mesa.
OPTION TO EXTEND HIKE TAKE PARRY GROVE TRAIL
The Parry Grove Trail has just reopened to the public after being closed for the past 5 and ½ years. The closure was caused by drought and a bark beetle infestation. This trail is very beautiful and easy minus the first portion. You will have to descend down a steep set of rock stairs about 118 stairs to be exact. This will kill your legs on the way up but it is totally worth it. You will get to see amazing views of the pacific ocean, Torrey Pines, and a sea of beautiful wildflowers. We have included a photo gallery to show you what this hike looks like.
If you decided to take the The Perry Grove Trail you will have walked for about 3.2 miles once you reach the mesa and parking area.
You are now at the mesa. Depending on which hike you have taken, you will be sitting at 2 miles or 3.2 miles. Now we recommend taking the Beach Trail down from the main parking area. You will have another option about 200 yards down the trail. We recommend taking the Razor Point Trail.
By choosing Razor Point Trail you will have added an extra .7 of a mile onto your hike. You will see amazing views of the gorge and badlands. When you have hit the end of the Razor Point Trail head left and back onto the Beach Trail. Continue down the beach trail until you hit the stairs going down to the beach. Walk down the stairs and onto the beach.
Once you have hit the beach take a breather and enjoy the view. Now you will be hiking back up the hill. Once you have reached the top of the stairs take a right turn instead of hiking the same way that you came down the hill. The trail leading to the right is called Broken Hill trail. This is the longest trail at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This trail will give you a great workout since it is almost all uphill. You will have beautiful views of the pacific ocean and La Jolla. You will also see tons of wildflowers when they are blooming.
When you are almost at the top of the trail you will hit a fork in the road. You will have the option to go left on the North Fork Trail which adds an extra .2 of a mile and if you go right the South Fork Trial which adds an extra .3 of a mile. The South Fork Trail runs right along the North Course of famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Now that you are exhausted and have reached the top of the hill you get the easiest part of the hike. At this point in your hike you will have hiked for close to 6 miles. You will take a left at the top of the hill and walk down Torrey Pines Park Road. As you continue walking down the road about a half mile you will hit the reserved parking area. You will walk past the parking area and down the hill on Torrey Pines Park Road. Once you have reached the south parking lot you will walk north along North Torrey Pines Road. You will then see the ramp that you walked up when you began the hike. Go down the ramp and underneath the bridge by were the lagoon enters into the ocean. Walk through the north parking area on Mc Gonigle Road and you are back to Carmel Valley Road where you parked. You will be exhausted once you reach the cars and will be ready for a nap.
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