Gates open at 7:15 am and close at Sunset.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
One of the more common complaints in the summer time at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is the parking. When the South lot fills up, we close the entrance and visitors need to head to North Beach for parking. There is now a flashing light on the top of the kiosk to alert visitors when the gate is closed. With this early alert visitors can choose to head straight to North Beach rather than coming all the way to the South entrance, getting frustrated with the closure and then make poor and unsafe choices about how to get from the right lane to U-turn. Once you know exactly where to look you can even see the light from the top of High Bridge or Carmel Valley Rd.
Torrey Pines is one of the most popular State Parks in San Diego. As a result of this, Torrey Pines becomes very crowded during the summer time. The hours between 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM tend to be the busiest hours of the reserve, so it is best to plan around these times!
Due to extensive damage to the trail, California State Parks will be working in conjunction with the CCC (California Conservation Corps) to repair Broken HIii Trail. During this time, the section of the North Fork trail to the Beach trail wil be closed. Areas that have been washed out will be bridged and the trail surface will be leveled and repaired. These repairs are expected to last for approximately one year. While the beach will not be accessible from these trails, the ADA upgraded South Fork trail to Broken Hill overlook will remain open. We thank you for your cooperation during this critical time.
State Natural Reserves have outstanding or unusual natural or scenic values. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a wilderness island in an urban sea. This fragile environment is the home of our nation's rarest pine tree - Pinus torreyana. Once this tree covered a larger area. It now grows only here and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast near Santa Barbara. The park preserves not only the trees, but also one of the last salt marshes and waterfowl refuges in Southern California. The reserve features high broken cliffs and deep ravines on headlands overlooking the ocean. Hikers can follow trails through stands of wind-sculpted pines. A picturesque, pueblo-style structure that served as a restaurant when it was built in 1923 houses the visitor center, featuring interpretive displays. Picnicking and camping are prohibited in the reserve. The reserve's rich plant community features wildflowers in the spring and visitors can see the California quail gathered in coveys in the early mornings of fall and winter.
Torrey Pines State Beach can also be reached by trail from the Reserve.
Annual Passes are now sold at the entrance kiosk station operated by our concessionaire, LAZ Parking. The entrance kiosk station is open from 8:00am to approximately a 1/2 hour before sunset 365 days a year. For parking information see Torreypine.org/reserveinfo
Torrey Pines prohibits dogs anywhere within the reserve and beach boundaries (even within a vehicle).
The reserve is strictly pack it in pack it out with trash cans and picnic tables at the beach lot. There is no food allowed in the reserve.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, California, north of San Diego. From Hwy 5, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles till you reach the Coast Highway 101. Turn left and proceed along the beach for about a mile. The park entrance is on your right just before the highway begins to climb the Torrey Pines grade, where you can pay to park. You can also enter the park from the North Beach parking lot.
From Hwy 5 going southbound, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles until you reach McGonigle Road. Turn left on McGonigle Road to enter the parking lot where you can self-pay to park and walk to the reserve by walking towards the beach and going underneath the bridge to access a ramp that will lead you to a sidewalk to get to the trails at the Reserve. From Hwy 5 northbound, exit Genesee Ave and turn left. Continue on Genesee Ave, veering to the right onto N. Torrey Pines Road for approximately 4.5 miles. Turn left when you reach the bottom of the grade to enter the park. To access the north end of Torrey Pines State Beach, continue northbound on N. Torrey Pines Road until you reach Carmel Valley Road. Turn right until you reach McGonigle Road then turn right into the parking lot.
To access the trails at the Extension, free public parking is allowed near the trail heads.
Docent-Led Hikes: Every weekend day and nationally-observed holidays at 10:00 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Docent-Led Children’s Program: Offered September through May of the school year: first Tuesday of each month, and each Thursday and Friday, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day weeks. More information on the reservation process is available at: Group Field Trips and Hikes (Torrey Pines Docent Society)
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Available Activities and Facilities at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available