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Inhale the resinous fragrances that are the essence of wild San Diego

The extension area of Torrey Pines State Reserve at Del Mar offers narrow, seldom-trodden pathways

Familiar to most Del Martians but unknown to most outsiders, the Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension conceals itself amid the coastal bluffs inland from Del Mar and just north of the main Torrey Pines reserve. The extension offers some distinct advantages: its narrow, ill-maintained, and seldom-trodden pathways offer a sense of peacefulness and isolation. The same cannot always be said for the popular trails of the main reserve. There are eroded sandstone formations here, and scattered, hardy Torrey pines that somehow escaped unscathed the ravages of the late-1980s drought.

Sea dahlia and Torrey pine

Here you'll find three kinds of sage (white sage, black sage, and coastal sagebrush), exuding resinous fragrances that are the essence of wild San Diego. Bowers of wild cucumber vines affixed to the larger shrubs have sent forth their spiny, heavy-hanging fruits. Bright yellow encelia and sea-dahlia have bloomed in recent weeks but are fading now.

Of the extension area's many entrances, the dead-end of Del Mar Scenic Parkway (off Carmel Valley Road, 1.1 mile west of Interstate 5) is perhaps the easiest to find. Park near the end of the cul-de-sac and choose either the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail to the right, which goes up a sage-filled basin sparsely dotted with Torrey pine trees, or the Mar Scenic Trail to the left, which leads to the superb DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Trail. The latter trail slants up and then along a linear ridge to the west. From the Torrey-pine-shaded south brow of this ridge, you can look across Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to the bluffs of the main reserve and out to the ocean horizon. West of this ridge, a spur trail descends into an intimate little hollow with picturesque sandstone walls and gnarled Torrey pines.

On the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail you eventually climb toward a ridge capped with reddish rock. This cap is part of the familiar Linda Vista Formation, which is well-represented atop many of San Diego's coastal

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Familiar to most Del Martians but unknown to most outsiders, the Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension conceals itself amid the coastal bluffs inland from Del Mar and just north of the main Torrey Pines reserve. The extension offers some distinct advantages: its narrow, ill-maintained, and seldom-trodden pathways offer a sense of peacefulness and isolation. The same cannot always be said for the popular trails of the main reserve. There are eroded sandstone formations here, and scattered, hardy Torrey pines that somehow escaped unscathed the ravages of the late-1980s drought.

Sea dahlia and Torrey pine

Here you'll find three kinds of sage (white sage, black sage, and coastal sagebrush), exuding resinous fragrances that are the essence of wild San Diego. Bowers of wild cucumber vines affixed to the larger shrubs have sent forth their spiny, heavy-hanging fruits. Bright yellow encelia and sea-dahlia have bloomed in recent weeks but are fading now.

Of the extension area's many entrances, the dead-end of Del Mar Scenic Parkway (off Carmel Valley Road, 1.1 mile west of Interstate 5) is perhaps the easiest to find. Park near the end of the cul-de-sac and choose either the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail to the right, which goes up a sage-filled basin sparsely dotted with Torrey pine trees, or the Mar Scenic Trail to the left, which leads to the superb DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Trail. The latter trail slants up and then along a linear ridge to the west. From the Torrey-pine-shaded south brow of this ridge, you can look across Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to the bluffs of the main reserve and out to the ocean horizon. West of this ridge, a spur trail descends into an intimate little hollow with picturesque sandstone walls and gnarled Torrey pines.

On the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail you eventually climb toward a ridge capped with reddish rock. This cap is part of the familiar Linda Vista Formation, which is well-represented atop many of San Diego's coastal

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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