Hiking in San Diego: Torrey Pines

February 08, 2014

I recently returned from a trip that took me to Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California.  While in San Diego, I had the opportunity to hike in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which features rare torrey pine trees as well as dramatic views of cliffs alongside the beach.  It was hazy on the day I visited, but my worries about capturing great images cleared on the sight of these cliffs.  I went in the afternoon on one of the first days in January, starting my hike around 1:45 and returning to my car around 3:30.  I was pleasantly surprised to find ample parking spaces at the visitor center at the top of the hill:  many had parked in the paid lot right by the entrance--or at what appeared to be free parking spots for the beach nearby--and were walking up the hilly road as I drove by.  In search of views of the park's famous "Broken Hill," which appears in many photographs of the park, I took the Razor Point Trail to Red Butte, then the Beach Trail and the Broken Hill Trail.  I also started down a number of other trails that offered spectacular vistas.  I arrived at Broken Hill around 3 PM, and the light on that formation was not optimal at the time.  While Broken Hill itself was in the shade, the viewpoint afforded wide vistas of the reserve that reached out to the cliffs by the beach.  I found the lighting to be best on the two cliffs that one passes on the way down the Beach Trail.  And while Broken Hill was not photogenic when I arrived, I thought that the hike up to it was very much worth my time because of the spectacular views of the ocean and cliffs from that trail.  I was not able to stay until sunset, but as I was leaving many others were headed down to the beach.

I've posted some photographs of Torrey Pines to the California gallery on http://www.photosbychriscoffman.com along with some images from the nearby city of La Jolla.


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