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Monday, May 16, 2011

Torrey Pines to La Jolla Shores

Start of Hike: Carmel Valley
End of Hike: La Jolla Shores
Detour: Going Up Torrey Pines State Reserve and Up Torrey Pines Gliderport.
Total Distance: 15- 16 miles round trip ( including the detours- otherwise it will just be about 14 miles round trip )

LookingNorth from Torrey Pines Gliderport ( a place that reminds me of our TSS mini-reunion), Saturday, 5/14/11
start of our hike: is at the other side of the farther cliff you see North, at Carmel Valley

Change in Elevation: up 350 ft at Torrey Pines State Reserve, up 375 ft at Torrey Pines Gliderport
Best Times to hike: All year.
Possible Sightings: dolphins, seals, sea lions, various sea birds, and carpeting wildflowers during spring. 
 Some Details of Our Hike: 
It was such a beautiful day Saturday. The day did not start with blue sky and sparkling blue waters like in the picture above, but it progressed so beautifully. 
our walk in the morning 
We started our walk with some feeling of drizzles because the fogs were too low. What was so beautiful in our walk was that for several miles, we felt like we were in a deserted island, with the beach all to ourselves. Because the day started foggy and chilly ( in the 50s), not to mention windy, we hardly saw anyone except the flying pelicans,
Pelican In Flight
sea gulls, egrets,
 sandpipers, and other wildlife. About 3 miles of beach line here is actually really quiet even in the summer, because sharp cliffs face the shoreline and cut off the sights and sounds of civilization and most beachcombers prefer beach that is next to parking lot.
These Sharp Cliffs Shuts the World of Civilization Above
Thanks to these cliffs, we do not have to go to a far away island to experience a peaceful and quiet beach, all we needed is to burn calories by kicking our feet. About 1.5 miles from La Jolla Shores is a rocky tidepool area,
where not only the slippery rocks slowed us down, but also the tidepool sightings such as crabs, anemone, shells, and small fishes. After the tidepool area, we again enjoyed walking on fine, clean sand and with the civilization opening to us. Before reaching La Jolla Shores, we passed Scripps Pier, the pier that supports the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 
below Scripps Pier
It was still a tad gray when we reached La Jolla Shores. We stopped for lunch at The Shores Restaurant which is in La Jolla Shores Hotel.
My lunch- Crispy skin Pacific sea bass with ginger carrot ravioli 
( this picture was taken by my cell phone since I was too shy to expose our huge camera to take picture of food)
While waiting for lunch, the world became different, the gray sky was slowly turning blue, and that blueness was reflected on the water.
Kayaks at La Jolla Shores ( took this picture while waiting for our lunch)
When we head back North to Torrey Pines after lunch, the fogs and grayness gave way to the sun turning everything blue. The blue sky and sparkling blue water was so tempting to be viewed from above the cliffs. We decided to extend our hike up to Torrey Pines Gliderport to enjoy the beautiful world of blue above the cliffs. 
Me @ Torrey Pines Gliderport
It meant hiking 375 ft up on its very steep slopes.  Above the cliffs was beautiful, as it always is, whether the sky is blue or gray. 
Tandem Hangliders and Pelicans
After taking in the beauty above the cliffs, we again went down to the beach to continue our walk North. When we reached Torrey Pines State Reserve, we took the trail up to the cliffs again, hoping for some late blooming wildflowers.
Sand Verbena
There were not a lot of wildflowers up the cliffs compared to the previous years and compared to the trail that connects Torrey Pines to Del Mar. There were a lot of preparation in the Reserve for the "Arts in the Pines" Festival. After the reserve, we went down the cliffs again to go back to where we parked at Carmel Valley Road, which is closer to North Torrey Pines State Beach. We started our walk 9:30 am, and we got back to our car at 3:30 pm! A beautiful day, 350 + 375 ft climb, 16 miles of walking, about 6 miles on a beach that was all our own, I could not ask for more!


  1. wow! whew, still catching my breath here...that was one grand walk along the beach!!!!

  2. So many fantastic images of the beach and the life surrounding it.

  3. What an incredible trip you took, Betchai! Fantastic photos, and I love the one with you doing one foot balance :-)

  4. The beach looks fabulous and the foods looks very good.

  5. The shots were all beautiful. Thanks for sharing !

  6. catching my breath with Kulasa. i shall do my signature weeeeeeeeeeeeee shout! honestly, if my memory is not that bad (yet) that shout is from Kulasa too. ;)

  7. I am so glad i found your site. Fantastic photos - thank you!!

  8. San Diego's coastal shores are the best for tide pooling. These undersea creatures are so huge and colorful.

  9. thank you all for your inspiring words.

    @Zen, it is indeed a grand walk, but only doable at low tide, otherwise, dangerous at high tide because we may get pushed by hard waves to the cliffs. so we cannot take leisurely walk, we have to speed up and almost run with heavy backpack to not catch the high tide.

    @Icy, love that picture too :)

    @Che, oh, did not know Zen started it, thanks for that long shout :)

    @Ebie, I think for SoCal, but because we are too civilized, so many go to tidepools, that it is not as rich compared to Olympic in WA and Redwood Coast in NorCal. but yeah, love San Diego, because it has everything though may not just be as beautiful as others but it is its total package that I love :)

  10. That's an incredible adventure!!! Thank you for taking me with you...Love the magnificent beach...it's like being actually there...

  11. I've lived and worked in San Diego/La Jolla for over 5 years and these shots bring it to life like I've never seen with the naked eye.Thanks for nice post.




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