Alexis in California PT 1: 4th of July Hike at Torrey Pines

On July 4th 2017, I woke in a strange bed in a new city. After passing through 3 states in 40 hours on no sleep, I had finally gotten some rest and was ready to kick off our plans for San Diego, California.

We had a lot of options to choose from, but suspecting that the beaches would be packed with families for Independence Day, we decided to start our adventuring with a hiking trip.

Almost There

2 Torrey Pines California from the Dash.jpg

The drive to Torrey Pines Nature Reserve was beautiful. But unfortunately, with all the free parking spots taken, we were so close, but oh so very far away. We had to drive about two miles up the road, make a U-Turn, and try again.

Still no luck.

Always the impatient one, I grabbed my shades, jumped out of the car, and walked ahead as the lookout. Turns out we could have parked in the lot provided by the reserve all along for $20 – so in we went.

3 Torrey Pines State Reserve Map.jpg

We wanted to be as far away from the overcrowded beach and its nearby trails, as possible. So instead of parking by the entrance, we drove up the winding road to the very end.

On the Trails

4 Selfie Alexis Chateau California.jpg
I wore my bathing suit, just in case!

Once we had mapped out our routes, it was time to get started. Torrey Pines was an immediate favourite, and probably the most beautiful trail I’ve hiked this year. The landscape had a lot to do with that.

In Jamaica, and just about every other beach location I’ve ever been to, the area closest to the beach is a mix of lush vegetation and marshes. And my experiences with the desert in Colorado and Vegas showed no large bodies of water around for miles.

Needless to say, the very idea that I was in the desert overlooking the Pacific Ocean was a whole new experience.

The Wildlife

There was another big difference, as well. While the Nevada desert was almost entirely bare of plant life, the California desert was not. Much to my surprise, there were a lot of trees, flowers, and patches of grass.


There were so many flowers, in fact, that they attracted the bees.


Ericson seemed to be attracting quite a few of them, himself. He damn near trampled me, trying to get out of their way, while Tristan snickered in the background!

7 Torrey Pines Ericson Quero Tristan Obryan Hiking.jpg

Thankfully, we didn’t run into the more dangerous wildlife that called Torrey Pines home.

16 Torrey Pines Rattlesnake Sign.jpg

And just in case any hikers felt adventurous enough to go looking for these hissing trail-buddies, the reserve had metal rails along the trail, and warned us that it would cost a pretty penny to go a-wandering.

31 Torrey Pines Protected Reserve.jpg

Heading to the Beach

After we had explored all the different routes on our side of the mountain, we decided to try the final trail: the beach trail. But that’s a post for another day, specifically Friday morning next week.

9 Torrey Pines Beach.jpg

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my brief re-cap of my first trek into the California desert. We’ll pick this up on Torrey Pines Beach, same time next week.

Stay tuned!

Have you ever hiked in the desert, or tried a a beach trail before? Then share your amazing stories with me in the comments below!

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

My trip to California was sponsored by Alexis Chateau PR and booked by our in-house travel agents. Is there a country or city you’ve always dreamed of seeing with your own eyes? Then stop dreaming, and start traveling.

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35 thoughts on “Alexis in California PT 1: 4th of July Hike at Torrey Pines

  1. You are very brave to go hiking where there are rattlesnakes within 10 miles of the trail. The warning sign alone would be enough to scare me off!

    Loved the photos of the plants. I was surprised at the variety.

    1. Haha, I don’t know about brave. I’m just determined. Sometimes when you want to do something you just have to suck it up and face the consequences.

      We had plenty of other people on the trail the snake could bite instead of me, anyway 😂 Being alone on an empty trail would have been much scarier.

      I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there, but what I saw definitely blew my mind.

      Do you go hiking, as well?

      1. I do like hiking, but I’m not one for extremes, such as narrow cliffs. Hiking is one of the best ways to experience an area, to get a close-up view. But sometimes life gets in the way, so a person can always enjoy vicariously though blogs like yours. 🙂

      1. Haha, it’s definitely rgotten pretty hot in the south. I suppose there is heat when devils are running rampant in the country 😂

        Congrats on the new truck!

    1. We didn’t see any rattlesnakes, thankfully. And the trail was so busy with foot traffic that no wise snake would have dared approach us. I’m sure I would have died haha

      1. We’re going to travel along the Cherokee Natl. Forest and Great Smoky Mts. Nat. Park beginning around Johnson City TN and toward Pigeon Forge, TN. It looks so beautiful there. Have you hiked these regions? We know Georgia is real familiar for you and can’t wait to explore there with your recommendations.

      2. I’ve never gone hiking in Tennessee before. Only been there for business trips, and on my way to other states.

        My team mates have been to Pigeon Forge, however, and they say it was beautiful, though they did encounter some racism there.

  2. My daughter is almost 10 and went hiking with us in Arizona up a few small mountainsides when she was 4 and she still remembers it. There is nothing quite like it! The terrain and always keeping your ears pealed for a rattle 😉. Great photos!

    1. That’s amazing. I’m sure she would love to go hiking again!

      I love hiking in the desert. I’d love to try Utah and get a proper feel for Colorado.

      1. 😁 Certain parts definitely are, the countryside definitely suits a bit of a dramatic stormy sky! I hope you can come over here sometime and see it too! 🙂

      2. I’d really love to visit England next year. Just keeping an eye on politics and its effect on immigrant travel for the time being.

      3. I definitely hope it works out (also worried about politics and its possible effects on travel) – if you do, let me know; I’ll write you the definitive list of places to see! 😊

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