This 4.3-mile loop is best hiked counterclockwise, and kickstarts with 650-foot climb promising long-stretch views above Santa Rosa Island, the Pacific Ocean, and nearby Black Mountain. At the corner of Coastal Road and Wreck Road (Waypoint 1), swing south onto Wreck Road. From here, the trail heads away from the beach over a mixed of windswept grasslands and hardy chaparral. Turn east off Wreck (Waypoint 2) after 1.2 miles.
At mile 2.2, pass through Torrey Pines, one of two places in the world where these rare stunted pines grow. Take photos. Descend the Torrey Pines Trail to Coastal Road, turn left, and return to the pier. Overnighters: Camp at Water Canyon campground located off Coastal Road on the Cherry Canyon Trail.
-Mapped by Gail Steele-Moyer