Be a Good Citizen and Protect the Beauty of the Reserve
While the scenery is stunningly beautiful, the ecosystem at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is extremely fragile. The climate is essentially semi-arid (or you can say semi-desert with an occasional ocean breeze). This fragile environment is the home of our nation’s rarest pine tree – Pinus torreyana. All plants grow very slowly in the hot and dry environment, and once a habitat is destroyed, it takes years for it to recover. Fire, erosion, and in particular, off-trail hiking can damage sensitive natural features beyond repair. To help preserve natural features of the Reserve, please observe these basic rules:
- Stay on officially designated trails. Cutting across switchbacks and between trails, going into closed areas, and climbing cliffs are activities that cause severe environmental damage and can be dangerous. These activities are prohibited.
- No food or drink (except for water) is allowed anywhere in the Reserve, including the parking lots and paved roads. Picnics are permitted on the beach only. BBQ fires are permitted at the beach in your own BBQ at least six inches above the sand. No fire pits are available. No alcohol is allowed. There is no place in the park to buy food or drinks, Hikers are advised to bring and carry drinking water on the trails – especially in the summertime.
- Please adopt a “Pack it in-pack it out” policy starting from the beach parking lot. There are no trash cans in the upper Reserve. There are no trash cans along the beach. Trash and recycling bins or dumpsters are available in the beach area and parking lots.
- There is no overnight camping or sleeping. The Reserve is a day-use only park .
- All smoking and fires are prohibited in the Reserve. However BBQs may be used (see above). Receptacles are available for dumping hot coals.
- Dogs, horses and other pets are prohibited from the Reserve and from the beach.
- No bicycles, motorcycles, or any other vehicles except baby strollers and wheelchairs are permitted on any trail.
- All natural or historic features are protected by state law. Do not collect pine cones. Do not pick wildflowers. They must be left to produce seed to grow new plants and as food for animals. Leave plants, animals, and rocks for the next visitor to enjoy.
- Park only in designated parking lots. Stopping on road shoulders is not permitted.
- Keep small children with an adult at all times. Rattlesnakes are present year round on warm days. The sandstone cliffs erode easily and are very unstable.