A visit home is never complete without a visit to Scripps Coastal Reserve, a stunning biodiversity trail set on the 350-foot towering ocean-front cliffs on La Jolla's northern end. This well-kept secret arguably has one of the most beautiful views in all of San Diego county. I first discovered this hidden gem while working at UCSD where my coworkers sometime ventured out to the cliffs during our one-hour lunch break on beautiful, sunny days. With that being said, I grew up in San Diego, never knowing about this secret location.
To get here, you just have to find the trail entrance just off of La Jolla Farms Road near the UCSD campus. There are parking spots directly on La Jolla Farms Road and you will see the gated entrance to the trail just off the main road. Likely, you will see other people heading out to the same location who will be able to point you on your way. By the way, as a side note, driving on La Jolla Farms Road is an event in of itself where you will see some of the most beautiful homes and most exclusive areas that San Diego has to offer its residents.
This protected reserve has a short trail which would only take you about 20 minutes to walk in full, from end to end. Though I didn't snap any pictures of the trail itself, it is composed of trees, brush and sweeping views. And maybe a critter or two, which is always reason for excitement. After just a few minutes, you find yourself arriving at the cliff's edge which looks out to La Jolla Cove on the left, down toward Black's Beach in front of you and out towards Torrey Pines Reserve on your right, another popular hiking area.
Though this location is most stunning on a sunny day, you really can't go wrong with any kind of weather. It's a first-class seat, directly in front of the Pacific Ocean. From this perch on the bluff, you can watch surfers down below, action going on at the beach and even paragliders gliding by so closely that you can shout out to them and have them hear you.
I have heard that the huge mansion on the neighboring cliff seen below belongs to the UC Regents. In fact, this specific trail, the Scripps Coastal Reserve, is technically property of UC San Diego. Not a bad location to have a house, huh?
And as you can see in the pictures below, the paragliders come quite close to the trail's cliffs and it is an event in itself to sit there comfortably whiling watching them flying back and forth before your eyes.
As I mentioned, it's much more beautiful on a sunny day when the sea is sparkling with the sun's reflection. But regardless, on an overcast day (which you will inevitably get lots of in coastal La Jolla) it still begs for beautiful photos.
I always try to bring family and friends here who are in San Diego for a visit. They are always impressed with the beautiful views at this undiscovered location which seems to have the best of San Diego's Pacific Ocean views.
Close by is the Torrey Pines Gliderport, where I had a chance to stop by just after my visit to the Scripps Coastal Reserve. Look out for a post coming soon. As I also mentioned, the Torrey Pines Reserve hiking trails are also a hop, skip and a jump away and I hope to be able to visit there in my limited time left in San Diego. For more information on the Scripps Coastal Reserve, check out their website here.