Black's Beach San Diego Photo from Flatrock
North of Black's Beach at foot of Torrey Pines Beach Trail
Torrey Pines Beach - an easily accessible family beach at the northern end, visible from historic 101 highway.
Blacks Beach State Beach - a secluded and "unofficial" clothing optional or nude beach hidden beneath the Torrey Pines cliffs.
Blacks Beach City Beach - a popular surfing spot owned by the city of San Diego just south of Black's Beach State Beach, north of Scripps Pier and popular La Jolla Shores. This beach is officially called Torrey Pines City Beach.
This page will talk about Blacks Beach State Beach.
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Parking: If you are taking The Long Way from the north, there is limited free parking along the west side of North Torrey Pines Road as you head south from Carmel Valley Road, or $10 paid parking in lots on either North Torrey Pines Road or Carmel Valley Road. Or if you are taking The Steep Way, free parking at Torrey Pines Glider Port (2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr.,La Jolla, CA 92037). You can also access it from the south from Blacks Beach City Beach.
Getting There: Long walk or steep trail. Carry everything in and out.
Things to Do: Walking, jogging, sunbathing, surfing, beach volleyball, frisbee - all clothing optional.
Things to See: View of La Jolla coastline, dolphins, whales, watch the hangliders and paragliders soaring along the cliff, sunset over the Pacific Ocean, amazing cliff rescues of people who don't stay on the official trail.
Facilities: None. No restrooms, no showers, no changing rooms, no trash cans.
Services: None. Bring your own food, sunscreen, beach equipment and surfboard. Just remember you get to carry it all back!
High Tide Access: Beach access from the south or north may be limited at high tides. (We couldn't go all the way from north end to Blacks Beach at 3 foot MLLW).
Lifeguard: Lifeguards sporadically patrol the beach but consider it swim-at-own-risk
Dogs: Dogs are prohibited anywhere in this state portion of Blacks Beach San Diego. (They are allowed in the city owned portion of Black's Beach at the south end, but no nudity is permitted there).
Things NOT to Do: No alcohol, no glass containers, no smoking, no littering, no disturbing noise, no beach fires, no overnight sleeping, camping or parking; no gawking, no sexual activity, no photography without permission, and please don't get sunburned in the wrong places
Disability Access: None
Hazards: Strong surf, strong currents, rip currents, steep unstable cliffs - stay back from cliffs as they can slide or large boulders can drop, and sometimes there are gawkers and exhibitionists
Blacks Beach Photos and Pictures - See more photos on this page.
1. Where to sit - single women and couples should sit fairly close to some established groups north of the Gliderport trail. Families should sit near other families so their children can play together. Single men should sit by themselves, not near single women or couples.
2. Boundaries - respect the boundaries and wear clothing outside the boundaries.
3. Respect the privacy of others - at Black's Beach, photos of others without their permission is not appropriate. No sitting too close to others. No gawking.
4. No lewd or sexual activity.
5. Pack out what you pack in.
Additional tips can be found on the Black’s Beach Bares website.
Public nudity is illegal in most areas of California State Parks.
There are recognized locations within the state parks where clothing-optional activities like "skinny dipping" are permitted, unless there is a public complaint, in which case the activity must cease for that day. This makes it unlikely that the complaining party will encounter the "skinny dipper" that day. Clothing-optional activities can resume the next day.
"So long as the activity takes place in a traditionally recognized area it is legal unless and until a complaint from a member of the public is received. Upon such complaint a warning is to be issued, and if not heeded, a violation has occurred". - "Harrison" Memo from CA Department of Parks and Recreation, Jun 14, 1988
Will Blacks Beach remain a clothing optional beach? This secluded one mile section of beach has a long history of clothing-optional or nude beach activity. But if you are like most people and prefer to be dressed in public, then explore the other beaches of San Diego and North County. There are 69 other miles of beaches for everyone else!
The northern end of Blacks Beach San Diego is owned by the California State Park system. This is unofficially the clothing optional or nude beach. It can be accessed from the north by walking south from Torrey Pines State Beach at low tide, from the trail down from the Torrey Pines Glider Port, or the Beach Trail from the Torrey Pines State Reserve. It can also be accessed from the south from Blacks Beach City Beach. See some Blacks Beach pics below for how to get to the beach.
After you pass through a gap called Flatrock (at the point in the photo above, also shown from the other side in the top photo on this page), proceed beyond the steel buoy.
Caution - the cliffs can be unstable and the tide high. You do not want to walk too close to the cliffs, or be caught at high tide. The clothing optional beach runs for a mile between the steep buoy past Flat Rock and ends just south of the trail to the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
Driving Directions: From Interstate 5 take Genesee west. Turn left on Torrey Pines Rd. then right on Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, just before the Salk Institute. Park in the unimproved parking at the end of the street at the Torrey Pines Gliderport above Black's Beach. Watch out for the big pot holes!
On the left side of the Torrey Pines Gliderport are the public portable restrooms (the last ones you'll see). The trail begins at the end of the parking area to the left of where all of the "unstable cliff" signs are located (far left in this photo above).
Warning: do not take any trails down the steep cliffs to Blacks Beach San Diego except this one or you may get stuck on side of the cliff and suffer an expensive and embarrassing rescue, become seriously injured, or even die.
Some beaches are best explored at low tide. Check out the tides and find maps and directions to the popular beaches below.
These are the top beaches in San Diego, listed from north to south:
Blacks Beach (Nude beach)
Blacks Beach (Surfer beach)
These are the top beaches in San Diego’s North County, listed from north to south: