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Scripps Trail

A portion of the Scripps Coastal Meander

With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego coastline from La Jolla Cove to Torrey Pines State Beach, the Coastal Meander Trail on the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, is a unique recreational amenity in the state’s network of publicly accessible trails.

The newest section of trail features a sensitively designed pathway and boardwalk traversing a coastal terrace 150 to 200 feet above the beach, re-vegetated with drought-tolerant native plant species.

The trailhead is at the top of Biological Grade, across from the old NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Look for the “Coastal Trail Access” sign on the west side of La Jolla Shores Dr. (just below the “S” curve).  

The Scripps Coastal Meander is a strand in the network of braided pedestrian trails that make up the 1,200-mile California Coastal Trail. Portions of the trail have sign posts marked with the iconic blue and white CCT emblem, but much of the trail does not have signs.

It is possible to hike from the Coastal Meander to the Scripps upper mesa and back down to the beach (Blacks/Torrey Pines Beach), a distance of approximately 1.75 miles. Follow the mapped routes on this page, or just follow the sidewalk along La Jolla Shores Drive to walk up the hill to La Jolla Farms Rd. (residential street on your left just before the traffic signal at N. Torrey Pines Rd.) From La Jolla Farms, one can access the Scripps Coastal Reserve Biodiversity Trail (half mile looped trail atop a dramatic coastal bluff) and the blacktop road to Black’s Beach, owned and maintained by UC San Diego (emergency vehicle access only).

Downloading a detailed map

You can view or follow a detailed map of the trail's path using what's called a KML file.

  1. Download Google Earth for your mobile devices:
    • Link to Google Earth for iOS
    • Google Earth for Android
  2. Tap on the trail KML file link below
  3. You will be prompted to Open in "Google Earth" (iOS) or manually open the downloaded file (Android).
California Coastal Trail logo

Trail posts bearing this blue and white California Coastal Trail emblem mark much, but not all, of the trail.