Quantcast
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

Torrey Pines Extension

Familiar to most people around Del Mar but unknown to many 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 State Reserve. The extension area offers some distinct advantages for hikers. Its narrow, seldom-trodden pathways offer a sense of peacefulness and isolation. The Torrey pines clinging to the stark, eroded sandstone bluffs here are larger and more robust than many of those that inhabit the main reserve. You’ll find three kinds of sage (white sage, black sage, and coastal sagebrush), all exuding resinous fragrances that are the essence of wild San Diego. Bowers of wild cucumber vines affixed to the larger shrubs have set forth their spiny, heavy-hanging fruits. Bright yellow encelia and sea-dahlia bloomed a month or two ago but are fading now.

To get to the reserve extension, exit Interstate 5 at Carmel Valley Road. Drive 1.1 miles west to Del Mar Scenic Parkway on the right. Proceed to the end of that street, where curbside parking is available and where the trail system begins.

Straight ahead on the trail, there’s a split. Take either the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail “A” to the right, which goes up a sage-filled basin sparsely dotted with Torrey pine trees, or the Trail “B” to the left, leading straight to the Mar Scenic Trail and Mar Scenic Drive to the north. The latter route gives you access to the superb D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Trail. It 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 twisted Torrey pines.

If you climb upward toward the eastern side of the reserve extension, you’ll eventually come to a sandstone ridge capped with reddish rock. This is part of the Linda Vista Formation, which is the common cap-rock of many of San Diego’s coastal mesas.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Torrey Pines Extension

Discover the obscure Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension in Del Mar.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 18 miles

Hiking length: 1 to 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Wall of Moms MAGA?

Non-profit expands efforts to include stopping flow of drugs to kids

Familiar to most people around Del Mar but unknown to many 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 State Reserve. The extension area offers some distinct advantages for hikers. Its narrow, seldom-trodden pathways offer a sense of peacefulness and isolation. The Torrey pines clinging to the stark, eroded sandstone bluffs here are larger and more robust than many of those that inhabit the main reserve. You’ll find three kinds of sage (white sage, black sage, and coastal sagebrush), all exuding resinous fragrances that are the essence of wild San Diego. Bowers of wild cucumber vines affixed to the larger shrubs have set forth their spiny, heavy-hanging fruits. Bright yellow encelia and sea-dahlia bloomed a month or two ago but are fading now.

To get to the reserve extension, exit Interstate 5 at Carmel Valley Road. Drive 1.1 miles west to Del Mar Scenic Parkway on the right. Proceed to the end of that street, where curbside parking is available and where the trail system begins.

Straight ahead on the trail, there’s a split. Take either the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail “A” to the right, which goes up a sage-filled basin sparsely dotted with Torrey pine trees, or the Trail “B” to the left, leading straight to the Mar Scenic Trail and Mar Scenic Drive to the north. The latter route gives you access to the superb D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Trail. It 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 twisted Torrey pines.

If you climb upward toward the eastern side of the reserve extension, you’ll eventually come to a sandstone ridge capped with reddish rock. This is part of the Linda Vista Formation, which is the common cap-rock of many of San Diego’s coastal mesas.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Torrey Pines Extension

Discover the obscure Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension in Del Mar.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 18 miles

Hiking length: 1 to 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tacos Lily: good enough for Anthony Bourdain!

I raise my Tecate to the Master.
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Comments
1

I wish thing things would remain secret. Torrey Pines is like Disneyland now. I pick up 10 times as much trash and I used to.

July 16, 2008

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close