Hiking Torrey Pines With The Baby

It gets better. Let’s say that the first 15-20 minutes of hiking Torrey Pines can be a bit of a challenge. And there are a couple of reasons for that.

The main reason is that the trail starts off with a steady incline. And if you’re not in the best condition like myself, this could be a bit of a challenge. 

Clearly, I’m happy

Additionally, if you plan on carrying something or someone (like your baby), it gets even harder!

However, once you’re at the top, you can embrace the beautiful scenic view of what Torrey Pines offers. 

Table of Contents

How to Get To The Torrey Pines Trail

There are two routes to take when it comes to this hike: 

The Front Route: As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a 15-20 minute steady incline which then you’ll be able to take different trails and viewpoints.

The Back Route:  You can start the backside where you go along the beach first. And from there, you can walk up a long set of stairs and reach the top of the hike. I always get this anxiety when walking along the beach, as if the rocks will start tumbling down.  

If you’re a parent carrying a baby or hiking with a kid, then it doesn’t matter which route you take. You’re going to have to go up either way through a steady incline or set of stairs.

Oh, there’s also a third route. You can cheat and drive your car up to the top of the Torrey Pines hike and park (there’s a fee) at one of the lots. 

Unless you’re hiking somewhere like Mount Baldy, you don’t really need anything special for this hike. 

Gear Recommendations in General

  1. Wear something comfortable. Depending on the season, of course, but I do think Torrey Pines is the perfect hike during the Summer time as it’s right on the beach.
  2. Hiking Shoes. I’d recommend wearing some hiking shoes as some areas can be a bit rocky. 
  3. Hydration/Water Bottle. Always stay hydrated when you’re hiking. We didn’t see any vending machines at the start of the hike or at the top of the hike!
  4. Bring Snacks. Depending on how long you’re hiking, it might be great for you to munch on something. Trail Mix and a Granola bar would be more than enough for this hike. Or you can be that person who would bring a full plate meal from the infamous San Diego restaurant Phil’s BBQ and make everyone jealous. No please don’t do that; you might attract the wildlife.
  5. Repellent spray. I swear bugs love my damn skin, and I keep forgetting to add repellent spray. There were a lot of them on this hike.
  1. Wear a carrier for the baby. For us, we used two different carriers.
    • For the Mother – Mommy used the BK – Burger King for short. Just kidding, the Baby K’tan. Once she had put Quinn inside, she was knocked out. Perhaps Quinn was indeed uncomfortable when she was with me after all?

    • For the Father – I used the ergo baby for our little Quinn. It felt comfortable for me, and from what I can tell, it looked comfortable on the baby as well. Unless she could magically verbally tell me at 5 months old, “Dad, I’m in extreme agony from this carrier; get me off of this damn thing,” but that wasn’t the case.

  2. Diaper Bag. The diaper bag is where you can have all your essentials for the baby. A Diaper pad, extra clothes, diapers, wipes, an extra bottle, and, most importantly, disposable bags (thank goodness) are some of the items you’ll want inside the diaper bag. If you’re a parent and want to smell the beautiful nature, then make sure you have a disposable bag for the used diapers.

Nevertheless, I think it’s still important to have all the essential hiking gear for your baby regardless of how easy the hike is. You never know what you’re going to come across.

Different Trails & Viewpoints

There are different trails for you to take once you’re at the actual hiking area of Torrey Pines. We didn’t go to all of them, but we can share our experiences on the trails that we did.

Guy Fleming Trail

The North Grove Guy Fleming Trail gave us one of the best views during the hike. As you go through this trail, you’ll pass by several gardens with different plants. And once you go to the end of this trail, you’ll stop by a viewpoint giving you a view of the ocean.

If you’re short on time, or your baby is giving you a hard time, you can always turn back and go down the same route you came from. I can honestly say that this trail will give you the view that you need to see from Torrey Pines. In other words, you won’t miss much if you continue to go through the entire loop.

Razor Point Trail

As you go down the trail (assuming you went through the front route), you’ll pass by what’s known as Razor Point. The great part about this trail is that you’ll see eroding cliffs which reminds me of the Grand Canyon a little bit.

Beach Trail

The Beach Trail is the backside of the end of the entire trail. Again, you can start off your hike by taking the Beach Trail first. But keep in mind that you will be walking through more than 100 stairs. And depending on the weather, the terrain could be a bit challenging.

I guess the question for you is, do you want to go up 100 stairs or go down 100 stairs? What do your legs feel like?

Mommy getting ready to go through the beach trail at Torrey Pines

Parking Information

If you’re lucky, you can park along the beach, which is free, but you’ll have to walk a little further than usual. But if you go through the entrance where there’s a park ranger, you’ll pay around $15 or so. I think the price varies depending on the season, day, or inflation!

I want to say that you get more privacy if you go with the paid parking route. As a parent, this is great as you can feed your newborn in the car without any bystanders near you. Additionally, I felt more comfortable preparing for our hike with the baby by being in the paid parking lot.

I also don’t feel rushed when leaving the parking lot as well. Usually, with free parking spots, you have impatient vultures ready to chew your head off if you take your sweet time. And as a parent, we need to ensure our baby is secured safely in their car seat, among other things. That alone takes time.

Average Completion Time for The Hike

The average time to complete the Torrey Pines trail would be about an hour. Since we love taking so many pictures of our little one, it took us about two hours.

If you want something a little bit longer, you may want to try Potato Chip Rock instead. 

I don’t know if we would suggest Potato Chip Rock from a safety perspective if you have a newborn baby. It could be a bit scary, especially if you’re trying to be on top of the rock for an Instagram photo.

Length of The Torrey Pines Trail

This trail is an actual loop, around 2.3 miles from the front route to the back side and vice versa. 

Wildlife You May Encounter

I’d recommend staying on the trail as much as possible. But even then, while we were on the trail, we saw a live snack passing through. There are all sorts of Wildlife animals at Torrey Pines, but nothing too extreme like a Kodiak bear. 

Overall Hiking Experience at Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines Hike is a landmark destination if you’re a regular in San Diego. Heck, even if you’re going to San Diego for the first time and love the outdoors, this is a trail worth hiking. 

Remember that there are a ton of people whenever there’s a popular hike in Southern California. 

And so, I don’t think this is the best hiking “spot” if you want more peace and alone time with nature.

Nevertheless, this is a somewhat easy hike (minus the beginning) where parents can have a nice little workout with their newborn.

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

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