View Our Webfilms! A Lively Way To Get To Know The Reserve

Torrey Pines Association produced a series of webfilms to highlight the natural history and conservation efforts at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. We invite you to explore Torrey Pines through these short videos and learn  about the people and events that have sustained it. All of these films were created by Jim Karnik as part of his commitment to conservation and preservation of the wild places of Southern California.


The Big Bloom 2017

Join Torrey Pines docent, Margaret Fillius, as we explore the Guy Fleming trail and experience the spectacular wildflower bloom of 2017. After 6 years of drought, which have stressed many plants and trees in the reserve, it is wonderful to see the landscape once again covered in a carpet of color.

Beetle Attack

Beetle Attack! Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve from Jim Karnik Films on Vimeo.


 Let The River Flow

Not only have we lost 90% of our wetlands along the Coast of California, the inlets to lagoons such as Los Peñasquitos Lagoon tend to get blocked by sand and cobble. This creates a stressful situation for plants and animals living in the lagoon and It also creates a health hazard to humans.

Mindfulness Hike

Mindfulness In Nature is an opportunity to clear your mind, refresh your body and dissolve into the heart of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve as Nature begins a new day.


The Danger & Beauty of Torrey Pines Sandstone Cliffs

 Don't step too close! That's the message of geologists, rangers, and your fellow hikers alike when it comes to appreciating the golden cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve up close. Every day we hold our collective breath when we spot hikers going "off trail" to get closer to the tops of the cliffs. Yes, the view of the waves is great, but these edges are crumbling every day, and it's a long long way down to the beach. Likewise, at the base of the cliffs, the temptation is great to park your towel or picnic blanket up against this scenic backdrop. Our film shows you why this is folly: there have been deaths caused by falling rock, and you'll view an extraordinary sequence where a section of cliff falls to the sand in a cloud of dust. Your host is Bob Wohl, the now-retired supervising ranger at the Reserve for almost 20 years.

Playing by the Rules - A Visitor's Guide to Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers beautiful scenery and hiking trails close to the homes and businesses of San Diego, Del Mar, and La Jolla, but bans food and dogs. Ranger Lisa Urbach shows us why these special rules are necessary.

 A Walk through Time

Beyond their stunning beauty, the cliffs of Torrey Pines stand like ramparts in the epic battle between the uplifting land and the restless sea. As storm waves attack the base of the modern cliff, it slowly retreats -- leaving behind a flat terrace that underlies the current beach. The same processes formed another terrace 125,000 years ago, but that ancient beach now sits high on the bluffs as the movement of tectonic plates pushes the land ever higher. Join geologist Wolfgang Berger as he leads us on this tour of geology in action.

Sharing a Love of Nature

The volunteers of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve provide many services to the Reserve and its visitors. While some volunteers work once a year on Earth Day, or monthly as part of Scripps Assist, one core group shows up 365 days a year to greet visitors at the Lodge, lead trail walks, maintain trails, and work on a variety of projects. This dedicated group is the Torrey Pines Docent Society. Organized in 1975, the Docent Society is one of the oldest volunteer groups in the California State Park System and provides thousands of hours of service annually. In this film, the Torrey Pines Association celebrates the myriad activities of the Torrey Pines Docent Society. Find out more about the role of docents at the Reserve, and why they love what they do.

Between Rocks and Waves

Sun, sand, and surf: the same elements that offer rest and relaxation to visitors create a challenge for the organisms that live here. Join marine biologist Brett Lear on a tour of Torrey Pines State Beach and meet some of the creatures that live between the bluffs and the waves.  See how they’ve adapted to hot, dry sand, changing tide levels, and pounding surf. Discover how wrack (seaweed washed ashore) contributes to the coastal ecosytem by providing food and shelter to many animals.

Hidden Treasures of Torrey Pines

After you’ve been to the top of High Point, the end of Broken Hill, or around the loops of Parry Grove and Guy Fleming, perhaps you think you’ve seen all of Torrey Pines: the spring wildflowers, the sandstone cliffs, and the famous trees. There’s plenty more to be seen when you slow down and adjust your focus to the little things. Join Docent Barbara Wallach and find some hidden treasures just a short distance from the Lodge along the Discovery Trail, on an easy walk suitable for all – from toddlers to great-grandparents.

Birds and Bees, Flowers and Seeds

 What’s the buzz about pollination? Pollination is how plants reproduce. Pollen grains must be transferred from the male anther of a flower to a female stigma, usually on a different plant, so that the female can produce offspring: her seeds for the next generation. In this new web film, Interpretive Specialist Diane Greening explores the importance of pollinators and the various ways plants entice them to participate in the dance of propagation.

The Trails of the Torrey Pines Extension

This little-known sector of the Reserve is located on the north side of Los Penasquitos Lagoon and is accessible only via residential neighborhoods. The rewards are great: mature trees, ocean and lagoon views, and much more solitude than you can experience in the main part of the Reserve. Wildflowers and birds are abundant here. Trails are easy to moderate, most with little elevation gain. To get to the main trail head, drive to Torrey Pines Reserve's north parking lot on Carmel Valley Road. Instead of entering the lot, drive up the hill on Del Mar Scenic Parkway. Drive to its end, where you'll find the trail head. 

Trails of Torrey Pines

Whether easy, moderate or challenging, the trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offer natural beauty and peace in the midst of metropolitan San Diego.  Explore this haven from the mesa top through groves of rare Torrey pine trees, wildflowers, and rugged sandstone cliffs down to the unspoiled beach.  Discover how the Torrey Pines Association protects and preserves this island of habitat between La Jolla and Del Mar.

Wildflowers of Torrey Pines

A look at some of the famous wildflowers of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.  These colorful plants survive through scant rainfall and salt-laden winds, but are threatened by off-trail activity that compacts the soil and disperses weed seeds.

Junior Rangers Explore the Torrey Pine

Join the Junior Rangers as they explore the Torrey Pine tree from the bottom up!

A Reserve Under Siege

Led by Darren Smith, we learn that the Reserve is under constant siege by non-native plants and what State Parks and volunteers are doing to turn the tide.

The Historic Torrey Pines Lodge

Join State Parks historian Alex Bevil, historic architect Ione Stiegler, and former ranger Bob Wohl on a stroll through time. With construction of the original coast highway in 1915, Torrey Pines Park became the gateway to San Diego, and Torrey Pines Lodge the focal point, welcoming the newly mobile motoring public with a rest stop complete with food and souvenirs. Designed by noted architects Requa and Jackson and built between 1922-1923, this gracious Pueblo Revival structure was the gift of philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to the people of San Diego. Today with its exhibits on natural history and Museum Shop, the Lodge continues to welcome visitors to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. It embodies the legacy and generosity of Miss Scripps, who wished all could share her vision of “the scenic beauty and educational and recreational value” of Torrey Pines. Preserving this legacy, through a restoration of the Lodge, is our challenge in the 21st century.

Art in the Pines Festival 2010

A glorious springtime day in the Reserve, scores of talented artists, and hundreds of festival goers created a successful benefit for nature education programs in May, 2010.

Torrey Pines Association

P.O. Box 345
La Jolla, CA 92038