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Scripps Coastal Reserve

San Diego Metro Area, California

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Scripps Coastal Reserve

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  • Entrance to the reserve.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • A short walk from the gated entrance brings you to the loop.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Bush sunflower in abundance.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Bush sunflower in abundance.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Rattlesnake on the trail ahead.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Great views over the Pacific.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Great views over the Pacific.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Great views over the Pacific.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Great views over the Pacific.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Iron concretions in the uppermost Pleistocene Linda Vista Sandstone layer.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Path back toward the entrance.- Scripps Coastal Reserve
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Scripps Coastal Reserve
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Relatively quiet. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
No parking. Rattlesnakes.
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Region:
San Diego Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.50 mi (0.80 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
370.00 ft (112.78 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Although primarily used as a teaching reserve for the University of California San Diego, Scripps Reserve is also open to the public. Students and non-students alike can learn much along this short half-mile loop through the reserve's nearly 1,000 acres. The landscape ranges from coastal bluff and canyon to mesa top, sandy beach, rocky intertidal, submerged coastal plain, and deep submarine canyon. Only the coastal bluff and mesa top are accessible along the trail; the rest is home to many rare and sensitive species and is therefore off-limits. Dogs are understandably not allowed. The coastal ocean and intertidal areas are part of the San Diego-Scripps State Marine Conservation Area.

A visit in spring will provide the best timing to view the blooming of the plentiful Bush sunflower, which covers large swaths of the reserve in a bright yellow.

Several viewpoints provide cross-section vistas of a few geological layers. Most notable are the Del Mar Formation (greyish), Torrey Sandstone (yellow), Ardath Shale (grey-green), and Scripps Formation (pale yellow-brown). Along the pathways, keep an eye out for the marble-sized iron concretion balls from the topmost reddish Linda Vista Sandstone layer.

Rattlesnakes can be present any time of year. Make sure to stay on the trails and keep alert to them.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(50 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
17 Members
Who's Done It
16 Members
Submission by
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140 Adventures Explored
80 Adventures Published

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