Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of San Diego’s most scenic attractions. There are many hiking opportunities, but for a great short hike with maximum view nothing can beat Guy Fleming Trail. This is our guide to Torrey Pines Guy Fleming Trail.
Starting Point: 0.5 miles from Torrey Pines lower South Beach Lot or 0.2 miles from visitor center parking lot
Length: .78 miles
Elevation: about 50 foot gain and loss
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has paid parking. The parking fee varies by year but ranges from $10 to $20 per vehicle (more in summer and on weekends). There is a smaller parking area with room for about 10 vehicles at the top of the hill by Guy Fleming Trail. There is also an upper level parking lot by the visitor’s center. It is a short, mostly flat one-third mile hike from the visitor’s center to Guy Fleming. There is a lower parking lot that provides access to the beach. From this parking lot, you can hike up a fairly steep trail to Guy Fleming (half a mile each way with 300-foot elevation gain). Just note that on busy days the upper lots can fill up.
Guy Fleming Trail is a three-quarter of a mile loop trail. You can go to your left or your right. We almost always go to the right and do the loop counter-clockwise. The trail is mostly flat but can be fairly rough. However, this is an easy trail that can be done in 15-minutes or less.
The first part of the trail will take you past the rare Torrey Pine trees of the area. You will see some information about Guy Fleming. Fleming was a naturalist who was key in preserving the Torrey Pines area in the 1920s. As the sign says “Guy Fleming is to Torrey Pines what John Muir was to the High Sierra.”
Assuming you went to the right you will come to the North Overlook. This overlook sits several hundred feet above Torrey Pines State Beach and the Penasquitos Lagoon. Beyond the lagoon the cliffs rise to the north as Torrey Pines gives way to the town of Del Mar.
The trail continues south along the bluff until you come to the South Overlook. The South Overlook provides a view of the rest of Torrey Pines Reserve. You also get a nice view to the south where the land sticks out in the La Jolla Cove area.
From the South Overlook, Guy Fleming Trail heads back inland. It is a short distance back to where you started. From this point you are probably ready for more trails. You can turn right at the trailhead and head a short distance up the road to the steeper Parry Grove Trail. Or you can continue past Parry Grove to the visitor center which provides access to several hiking options.
To see our overview of hikes, beaches and other activities in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve go here.