Named after the endangered Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) that is endemic to the area, the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is also an important habitat for many other wildlife and vegetation species.
Ellen Browning Scripps was instrumental in the preservation of this area. The City of San Diego had set some land aside, but she funded the construction of the Torrey Pines Lodge (now used as a visitor center) and bequeathed the area to San Diego in 1932 with the request “that care be taken to preserve the natural beauty of the area”.
Today, eight trails throughout the park offer a variety of difficulty levels and types of scenery. From these trails, visitors can observe not only the Pinus torreyana, but also the unique geology of the ravine and cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Beach access is possible as well, connecting the reserve to the Torrey Pines State Beach.
Park at either the South Beach and Reserve Entrance or up at the visitor center. Entry fee varies from $10 to $15 depending on the season and day of week. Limited free parking is available along North Torrey Pines Road, but parking here requires an extra trek alongside the road, and you may decide your time is better spent in the gorgeous reserve. Note that due to the sensitive ecology, no dogs are allowed in the reserve, not even in a vehicle.