Kayaking in La Jolla, CA

La Jolla California is known for crystal clear water, dramatic sea side cliffs, and its abundant wildlife. The best way to enjoy the gorgeous views and array of sea life is to go on a kayaking adventure.

If you do not own your own kayak don’t despair, there are many tourist companies in the area that you can either rent a kayak from or go on a kayaking tour with. Many of these companies offer kayaking tours through the famed sea caves as well as snorkeling adventures with leopard sharks!

Our Kayak

Brandon and I decided our next fun hobby would be kayaking and we thought that La Jolla would be the perfect place for our kayak’s maiden voyage. Our friend Jacob goes to La Jolla often and went with us to help us navigate kayaking for the first time. We have a 13 foot tandem Brooklyn Kayak. Make sure you have a certified PFD (personal Flotation Device) that is designed for Kayaking. Normal life vests go higher up on the sides and limit your arm movement. This makes it harder to paddle and can cause the undersides of your arms to be rubbed raw. Brandon and I both have Hobie kayaking PFDs.

Kayaking in La Jolla

Kayaking in la Jolla is Beautiful. The clean water is surrounded by sandy cliffs that house California Seal Lions. Next to the sea caves there is a beach cove where sunbathers love to hang out. This is also a great spot to set up if you are planning to snorkel along the cliffside. California Sea Lions often come out and swim with the snorkelers. Be aware that these are wild animals that are protected. Do not touch or feed them.

To launch your kayak you will need to go to La Jolla Shores Beach. There is a kayak and canoe launch area there. You will be launching directly into the ocean and you will need to paddle quickly to get past the waves. Brandon and I both got soaked! Several tourist companies launch from this area. Be careful to avoid them when launching. Some people will fall out of their kayaks when launching , be prepared for this! Make sure all electronics are in waterproof containers.

To Kayak to the cliffside you will need to kayak in an open ocean area. There is a swim lane that passes through the area for triathlon athletes. The area is marked by buoys. Make sure to avoid this area and to watch out for swimmers.

La Jolla Sea Life

You will get to see a lot of wildlife while kayaking in La Jolla. If you are a fan of sharks then you will want o go kayaking during leopard shark breeding season. During this time you are guaranteed to see some swimming underneath your kayak. La Jolla is also one of the best places to see the California Sea Lion.

California Sea Lion: Claifornia Sea Lines are huge marine mammals that call the clear water of La Jolla home. The females can reach 5.5 feet in length the males can reach up to 7.5 feet. Most of the California Seal Lions in La Jolla cove tend to congregate by the sea caves. As you kayak by the sea caves you will see they lounging on the rocky outcropping of the caves.

Leopard Sharks: La Jolla is also known as one of the best places to go snorkeling with Leopard Sharks! Now I know that this can sound intimidating but these beautiful creatures are a once in a lifetime sight to see. The Leopard sharks come to La Jolla in the summer and Fall to be in warmer water while they are gestating their young.

Garibaldi: These Bright orange fish are a staple of La Jolla Shores and are an easy fish to spot as your kayaking overhead.

I hope this inspires you all to go out and visit La Jolla. It is a great place to go see the wildlife and gorgeous sea shores that California has to offer. As always, stay safe and make sure to bring food, water, and your PFD. Happy Travels!

Hiking Cliff Side at Torrey Pines

If you love the beach and warm weather then San Diego is the place for you. San Diego has many attractions including Old Town San Diego, the Harbor, Balboa Park, and the world famous San Diego Zoo. However, what many people don’t know is that there are many beautiful hiking spots in and around San Diego. One of my favorite hikes is in Torrey Pines.

Torry Pines is a state national reserve that includes a beach and dramatic seaside cliffs. To learn more about the reserve, and the current events happening there please visit: https://torreypine.org/. 

Hikers can drive to the visitor center at the Torrey Pines Lodge at the top of the mountain to park, or they can park at the sea side parking lot. Parking fees depend on the season and the time of week that you visit the reserve. Prices range between 12- 20 dollars per vehicle. Please visit the website to find exact pricing for when you visit.

There are many small intertwining trails that one can take, and depending on your preference the trails can be combined to create a loop that hikes down the cliffs and onto the seashore, then continues along the shore until you reach the sea side parking lot and from there you can walk up the mountain alongside the road. This will take you back to the parking lot located at the Torrey Pines Lodge  and Visitor Center.

The Beach Hike

For our hike we started at the trail head labeled “Beach Trail, Razor Point, Red Butte, and Yucca Point”.

We continued walking along this trail until we reached a left hand turn for “Beach, Flat Rock”.

You will follow this trail all the way to the beach. The trail is well maintained and has a nice sandy pathway. Be warned that there can be rattle snakes and that you will see many signs cautioning you to stay on the path to prevent running into one. We went hiking in the mid afternoon and the lighting was perfect for pictures!

After following the trail for awhile you will come to a stair case that will lead you directly onto the beach.

The beach has large pebbles and rocks of a variety of colors. If you go at low tide you can find many of these rocks while walking along the beach. Low and high tide times are on the Torrey Pines National Reserve Website listed earlier in the article. 

After walking along the beach we headed back to the staircase that led back to the hiking trails  located in the cliffs.

As mentioned before some hikers opt to hike the beach all the way back to the beach parking lot and hike up alongside the road instead.We opted to hike back the way we had come so that we could go to each of the look out points located among the cliffs. First we went to “Razor Point Overlook”. Then we went to “Yucca Point”. Yucca Point had the most beautiful views of the cliffs and oceans and this is where I took most of my pictures.

This beautiful tree was located on the trail head leading to Yucca Lookout Point.

We ended by going to “Red Butte”. This was a popular lookout point because it is very close to the parking lot at Torrey Pines Lodge. It was also very crowded and had similar views to the Yucca Point lookout.

Overall the hike was not very long and took us approximately 2 hours. This included stopping frequently to take pictures and taking a break at the beach to watch the waves. There are a lot of people who take the hiking trails so if you are looking for a quiet hike to get away from the city this might not be the trail for you. However, the views are spectacular and I believe it is a great place to get away and take some amazing pictures!

I hope this blog post was helpful, and if you have any questions about the trails feel free to comment below. Happy Travels!

***Disclaimer: I am not responsible for content on external websites listed on this blog post.