A few weeks before our trip to San Jacinto, I spent a wonderfully cloudy (apparently there are some people in San Diego who do not like May Gray and June Gloom, our famous late spring coastal fog phenomena, but I love them!) Saturday afternoon exploring some of the trails at Torrey Pines state reserve. I’d been to the park before, but only walked along the beach, so this was my first time exploring the sandstone cliffs that overlook the ocean.
There are quite a few trails on top of the cliffs, and I wanted to hike them all but chose just two loops since I only had a few hours to spare. The first hike I chose was the Guy Fleming trail, which was enthusiastically described on the web site. At 0.7 miles with only minor ups and downs it’s a quick walk, but there are so many opportunities to stop and take a closer look along the way! I was happy to see that there were so many wildflowers blooming in mid-May, and I stopped to take a lot of pictures as I made my way along the trail.
After finishing my Guy Fleming loop, I walked up to the top of the hill and took the three-mile Beach Trail/Razor Point Trail/Broken Hill Trail combo.The trail to razor point itself was closed for maintenance, which was kind of disappointing, but I still had fun walking through the incredible sandstone formations and enjoying the flowers along the way.
I thought my tiny blue butterfly might be an El Segundo Blue butterfly, (as found by a Google search on “tiny blue butterfly“), which is on the national endangered species list and has only started increasing in population in the last few years according to the articles I found online, but there were no references to the El Segundo blue as far south as Torrey Pines, and this article burst my bubble by saying “Some populations found on the immediate coast, as at Point Loma, strongly resemble the ESB in appearance. This pattern is in all likelihood a convergence and does not represent monophyly with the ESB (Mattoni, l989)“, and then I was sad, and also still not entirely sure what kind of butterfly I saw. But at least I got a good picture, even if my dreams of finding a new population of endagered species are dashed for the moment.
It’s certainly not the most hardcore hiking destination in San Diego, but the trails at Torrey Pines are definitely worth the trip, especially when the flowers are blooming. I took about two hours to hike about four miles, with lots of stops for scenery gazing and picture taking.