La Jolla Vacations, Hotels & Lodging

Black’s Beach in La Jolla/Del Mar

Picture of Black's Beach Below Torrey Pines Cliffs Black's Beach Beneath Cliffs © Ben Hulley

An amazing slice of coastline, located directly below the sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Black’s Beach has been a La Jolla/Del Mar icon for decades. Black’s Beach is technically a misnomer though, as the beach is officially known as Torrey Pines City Beach and is under the jurisdiction of the City of San Diego. Ask any local, however, about the best place to surf, watch the whales in winter, or sunbathe amidst the warm sand of Southern California, and the answer will undoubtedly be Black’s Beach.

The natural scenery of Black’s Beach is part of its attraction. The cliffs jut precipitously out of the coastline toward the sky, and the hiking trail that leads down to the beach from the Reserve are some of the most challenging in the area. The trail is steep with little chaparral, and on occasion is subject to slides and instability. However the State and City of San Diego do an outstanding job of repairing this highly utilized access point, and for the athletically minded visitor, the trail from the Reserve can be the fastest way to get to Black’s Beach.

Other visitors enter from the north, through Torrey Pines State Beach, a distinctly separate beach that is set apart from Black’s Beach by cliff formations that reach from the bluffs to the water line at extremely high tide. This access point can be the easiest way to reach Black’s Beach, however and many visitors plan their entrance to coincide with the tides so they can walk casually and leisurely along the sandy shore.

The allure of Black’s Beach is legendary. In addition to extremely powerful surf drawing worldwide champions and novices alike, the scenery of Black’s is breathtaking. The beach is virtually ensconced by the rock formations and bluffs that rise nearly 300 feet from the sea, creating a quiet and secluded area to enjoy the water. Although not officially sanctioned, many beachgoers at Black’s enjoy this seclusion by removing their clothes and frolicking nude through the waves. To many Black’s Beach is considered a nude beach, however there are signs that recommend specific areas for sunbathing and the atmosphere at Black’s is one of cooperation and understanding.

There are several areas of beach that are beyond the line of sight of sunbathers, and visitors are likely to see families splashing in the waves are just as they are the occasional nude surfer. There are no lifeguards, restrooms or showers at Black’s Beach, however and access can be limited during periods of excessively high tide. Access from Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve can be affected by trail conditions as well, making Black’s Beach a destination that is often uncrowded and worth waiting for.

Directions To Black’s Beach.

Exit Interstate 5 at Carmel Valley Road, heading west to Torrey Pines Road (Pacific Coast Highway or Highway 101). Enter Torrey Pine State Beach and park in the paved lot. Walk south from Torrey Pines State Beach approximately one mile, aware that tidal conditions make it difficult to access Black’s Beach during high tide.

More Information.

City of San Diego Black's Beach

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