My friend Casey runs the website Modern Hiker and years ago he wrote a post about hiking in Torrey Pines State Park — a series of hiking trails with dramatic cliffs overlooking the ocean. As soon as I read it, this place officially went on my “must see” list for whenever I next returned to the San Diego area. So when my friend Emily and I were discussing what to do the weekend of my visit, Torrey Pines was the only thing I was certain about.
Ocean views from the car en route:
Approaching the parking lot for Torrey Pines — you can see the cliffs from this view:
We paid to park inside the official gate, but there is free parking along the main road if you can find a spot. Once entering the park, the upper lot was full (that one is closer to the viewpoints) so we had to park down near the beach and began our hike uphill.
After following a paved road for awhile, we hopped on a path that cut towards the ocean.
Viewpoint in the distance… we’ll be there shortly:
There are a number of trails that overlap at various points. Emily and I meandered along most of them — all of the views are pretty, and we know at some point we’ll reach a way to get down to the water. It was nice to just walk without having to overthink which path to take.
Approaching that main viewpoint we could see in the distance a few photos above…
We head closer to the cliffs to better admire them:
Preschool BFFs selfie:
A look down below…
We reach what we think is the end, at which point there is a path to the water:
As soon as we’re level with the ocean, I realize just how far the cliffs tower overhead. It reminds me of the BBC show Broadchurch … which I highly recommend watching, by the way. Excellent TV.
Tide pools are among my favorite things! (As evidenced here and here.) You can find the coolest creatures hiding down there. And since the tide was out, exposing rocks with little crevasses and pools of water, it was prime time to seek out interesting things.
Sea anemone (SPELLING?) in a pool of water among the rocks:
I have no idea what kind of organism this is, but its “tongue” (that pale green thing) was slowly creeping out further and further. If I hadn’t stopped to look closer I just would’ve assumed it was a rock, but it was definitely moving.
After scoping out the tide pools, Em and I walked back to the car along the beach. In my head we were talking in British accents and solving murders a la detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller.
Zara loves someone but ran out of rocks or time to finish this thought:
As the sign below explains, these cliffs erode a little more each year.
So glad to have finally visited Torrey Pines!