Educational Programs

The Docent Society offers many educational programs. There are different options for group visits to Torrey Pines, available to specific groups as follows:

  1. Elementary School Grades 2-5: Docent-led Program
  2. K-12 Schools: Self-guided Program
  3. Non-K-12 Schools: College Program
  4. Scouts or Senior Groups

For other non-profit organizations or corporations, fee-based guide nature walks are available. Please refer to the Special Events page.

Information For All Groups

We hope you’re looking forward to visiting Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Torrey Pines is one of only 16 Natural Reserves among California’s 278 State Park units. A special place deserves special consideration. Our primary mission is to protect the animals and rare plants found here; humans are guests in nature’s home.

Please stay on the marked, wide trails. Cutting across switchbacks and going into closed areas causes erosion and damages native plants.

Split up into smaller groups of 10 or fewer while hiking to make the experience more enjoyable for yourselves, our other visitors, and the animals who live here. We recommend 1 adult chaperone for every 8 children.

To keep our animals wild and the Reserve trash-free, there is no food allowed in the upper Reserve, all snacks and lunch must be eaten at the Beach level. There are picnic tables available next to the Beach parking lot. Please leave lunches or snacks on the bus or in backpacks until you reach the beach level.

Everything in the Reserve is protected; do not pick or collect anything. Pine cones and flowers must be left to produce seed to grow new plants and as food for animals.

The Visitor Center – Museum offers exhibits on the natural and cultural history and is staffed by knowledgeable docents who can answer many questions about the area and trails. Children enjoy visiting our Museum which includes many taxidermied animals found in the Reserve. Because the Museum is small, please bring no more than 20 people in at once.

If you plan a beach walk, please check the tide table first. During high tides, there may not be enough room to walk safely between the cliffs and the ocean. Always keep away from the bottom of the cliffs: rock slides can occur at any time.

Restrooms are available at the Beach level entrance and in the west parking lot at the top level, across the street from the Visitor Center. Water fountains are available at the Visitor Center, the restrooms, and on the Guy Fleming Trail.

Dress appropriately: Wear sturdy shoes or sneakers, not sandals. The coast is often much cooler than inland, so bring a warm layer. Hats and sunscreen are always a good idea!

Please contact us immediately if you have any changes in your plans (numbers, times, etc.), or if you need to cancel. If you are running late, please let us know. Visitor Center phone: 858-755-2063

Fees

Parking fees are waived for K-12 educational groups on weekdays, provided a reservation has been made at least three weeks in advance. Approved groups will receive a pass at the entrance kiosk.  If the kiosk is not staffed,  you must contact staff at the Lodge/Ranger HQ, located in the Visitor Center to receive a vehicle pass for your dashboard. Otherwise, all vehicles entering the Reserve must pay the State Park parking fee. No photocopied passes will be accepted.