Explore I Want To! - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I was pretty disappointed in the tide pools. I expected much more after having been to Dana Point. I went on a Saturday and there were quite a few people which made it challenging to maneuver around not to mention the sandstone rock was very slippery in areas. Beautiful, unobstructed view of the ocean and the sandstone cliffs are gorgeous. The Bayside trail is simple enough, just watch your footing. Depressions and sand on the wood stairs can cause you to trip and/or slip. Can’t say that I would make the two hour drive to visit again.

Entrance fee of $15 per car and they do have restrictions on dogs. Went here looking for tide pools as reading a few reviews was told this was the place to go but we only found 2 pools with any life besides all the flies around the kelp that had been beached. Dana Point had a lot more sea life to see. If exploring the tide pools and cliff edges be cautious as the rocks are very slippery. We almost slipped and fell and we watched 2 others who did. Nice little walk pretty busy area. We also went up to the visitor center as they have a little museum and souvenir shop. Great views of the bay. We did not go up to the light house. If looking for sea life best to go back down the road just a few miles to Sea World. I do have to say the sand stone cliffs are beautiful but be careful especially if you have little ones as there are no guard rails.

we really enjoyed the tide pools, cactus and knowledgable rangers

Amazing Views along the coast

hiking
3 days ago

Very challenging in spots, but beautiful views and worth it!

Great trail for all ages and abilities. Plan on checking tide levels if you’re looking to take the beach trail back to the parking lot. High tide hit around noon.

Great Hike! There are several side trails you can take, some of which take you straight up the the cliff. Bring a backpack, water, and good hiking shoes, some spots are very slick and you will be hiking on a narrow pathway.

The ocean is my only medication!

If this trail was safe, i would give it the full 5 stars! This is my favorite thing to do in San Diego, but that being said, it’s now pretty trafficked and at points, can be very sketchy/dangerous. It’s amazing terrain, beautiful views when you get towards the water, but some parts of it just aren’t meant for people to be going through. If you’re not experienced or don’t have good balance, I wouldn’t tell you not to do it, just to take caution! I’ve seen kids on this trial many times but they also have a low center of gravity and can fit through the tight spaces like the slot-canyon portion. Again, amazing, but just be cautious! Keep in mind, this is not the only way to get to blacks beach. And pro tip: barefoot is easier in this trail.

Easy Hike and Beautiful Views!

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

Great layout but the dry climate over the past few years has forced all of this once beautiful flowered reserve into hibernation. A few cactus blooms were evident but the rest of the coastal vegetation is mostly dry green or dead brown. The long beach strut concludes at a climbable rock formation extending into the sea, the hill climb up is a good short walk with some new erosion barriers and steps, and the ocean views get better and better at each level. Torrey Pines despite the current sad hiatus of beautiful plant growth remains one of America and California’s most stunning sites.

Short but sweet. Good for an evening outing. Leads right to the picturesque beach.

walking
22 days ago

when it gets too hot to hike the mtns and desert, go urban hiking lol. this was fun and you get to see some little known places around northern central downtown.

So beautiful. Well worth it. It was our first hike we’ve ever done in San Diego. We hiked with our 10 month old in a hiking carrier and there were only a couple spots my husband needed help. Loved it.

We started at the Sorrento Valley Rd Parking lot, crossed over to the North Trail at the Wagon Wheel Crossing and stayed on the North Trail until the Carson's Crossing when we returned back on the South Trail. The waterfall wasn't much of a waterfall due to lack of rain recently, but the area was still pretty. There is a lot of wildlife to see - all kinds of birds (even saw some hummingbirds in the trees at Carson's Crossing), lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and scat from a bunch of different animals that reside in the Preserve. There is some shade, but not much so be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and clothing to shield you from the sun. It is an easy hike with minimal inclines. The trail is a mix of loose sand, packed sand, hard dirt, loose rocks. There are a lot of unmarked trails connecting to the main trails so make sure to bring a map to keep track of where you are. The bathroom at the parking area is a single portable toilet. Signs at the trailhead indicate the area has ticks, but the paths are quite wide in most places and easy to stay on the trail - doesn't hurt to use bug spray just in case. We went midday on a weekday and only saw a few other people (some on bikes and some walking) - however, I can see how this can be a busy trail during peak times.

Gorgeous. Go at low tide and spend plenty of time at the tide pools.

Close to UCSD and beautiful!

great way to spend the day

Fun trail for anyone any day.

Trail is super easy and it is under construction. The pass is closed however if you look hard enough you will find a hidden trail, scale down the edge of the mountain and it leads to a rope, climb down that rope and you have a beautiful beach that is secluded and private and all to yourself. That was the best part!

Fun hike for anyone any age

The views are amazing. I don't think it was a mile.

walking
1 month ago

Great city walk. We followed the map and never stepped off concrete. The bridges were fun and gave you something to count and look forward to along the way. It was a full 6 miles plus. Fairly flat for the most part, I’d consider this an easy walk other than the distance.

hiking
1 month ago

Short hike but well worth it for the views! There are some challenging spots so take your time on the trails. Will be doing this one again.

A lot of fun, for the whole family. I took my 5 kids (ages 12 to 20 months). Carried the little one but the others did fine. Challenging for sure, and safe if you are smart and do not rush or try and blow past people. There are slippery parts, and one part that gets pretty narrow. We left very dirty, but the kids really enjoyed it and felt challenged.

Gets fairly busy, head up early

Great and easy trail when your on the go and want to escape the city life. Park on any side street. There’s a little coffee shop at the start made out of a trailer camper. Enjoy!!

walking
1 month ago

We live close to these tide pools! Absolutely beautiful!

However, this picture is of cabrillo national monument tide pool area that is off limits.

This picture is not of la jolla tide pool area.

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