Blacks Beach

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There are a few ways to get to Blacks Beach. The most popular route is via the Torrey Pines Glider Port, be sure to stay on the designated trail as the cliffs can be unstable. The other route is a paved access road on the south end that is much closer to the surf, in the La Jolla Farms community.
Discover everything there is to love about Blacks Beach in Torrey Pines State Reserve. This unique beach has a lot to offer visitors to the San Diego area.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Bring your Surfboard and Maybe Your Swimsuit to Beautiful Blacks Beach
Blacks Beach
Overview
Save on Gear
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Get There & Parking
Featured Activity
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Beaches

Highlights

Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking
Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking

Overview

Surfer on the Back Side of Wave at Blacks BeachSurfers at Blacks Beach Near Sunset

Blacks Beach is a stretch of coastline at the south end of Torrey Pines State Reserve. It is known principally for two characteristics: having some of the best surfing in California and having a clothing-optional section.

The beach is broken into two sections. The north side is part of the state park and the south side is part of the city of San Diego. Although not the official boundary, the Gliderport trail that leads to the beach serves as a marker for most people.

Surfer Getting Ready to Go Out at Blacks Beach
Surfer Getting Ready to Go Out at Blacks Beach

The south side of the beach is adjacent to La Jolla Farms. There are numerous mansions above the cliffs overlooking the beach at this end.

It is located close to the University of California at San Diego campus. This makes Blacks Beach a popular destination for students, especially surfers.

The name of the beach comes from the Black family that owned a horse farm overlooking the beach in the past. That land is where the La Jolla Farms community is now built.

Blacks Beach has a supportive community thanks to the shared interests of the regulars. A group known as the Blacks Beach Bares volunteer to help maintain the beach.

This is a unique beach in the San Diego area. There is a lot to love about Blacks Beach, especially if you are feeling adventurous.

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La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla is home to some of the world's best beaches for surfing, and with your Go Pass, you can enjoy this experience. Whether you are a rookie or a pro, get a full day Surf Board rental. The waters are perfect for those learning.
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Local Tips
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Things to Do

Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding
Running
Running
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing

Why Locals and Travelers Head to Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach is one of the best beaches in the San Diego area. It not only attracts local residents but is a must-visit location for many travelers despite its secluded location.

Two Surfers in a Barrel at Blacks Beach
Two Surfers in a Barrel at Blacks Beach

Incredible Surfing

Blacks Beach is also known for world class surfing. Typically, the southern end of the beach has the best surf. Nonetheless, on busy days, you will see people taking their boards out along the entire stretch.

Blacks Beach is a beach break but there is a deep underwater canyon just past the surf zone that creates these large powerful waves with beautiful peaks. The surfing stays consistent throughout the year, but winter is the best time to catch truly amazing waves.

When the surf is at its best, it is very challenging and ideal only for very experienced surfers. Less experienced surfers may find some easier waves towards the state park side of the beach. Even if the waves are outside of your comfort zone, it is always fun to watch some of the incredible surfing.

Local Tips
Did you know?
The surf at Blacks Beach is because there is a submarine canyon just outside the surf zone. This makes the waves form quickly and strongly when the swell releases energy at the top of the canyon into the form of the perfect waves at Blacks Beach.

Nude Beach at the Northern Portion of Blacks Beach
Nude Beach at the Northern Portion of Blacks Beach

Swimsuit Optional

Perhaps the second most famous characteristic of Blacks Beach is that it is clothing optional. Only the part of the beach within Torrey Pines State Reserve allows beachgoers to strip down; the section in the city of San Diego requires clothing like most other beaches.

There is a broad mix of all sorts of people taking advantage of these freer beach rules. Also, many people report the community as being very judgment-free. This section is well-defined, making it hard to accidentally end up on the wrong side of the beach.

As one of the most famous swimsuit-optional beaches in the country, Blacks Beach attracts tourists who want to experience a more carefree beach experience. Of course, this isn’t for everyone. You can always decide to stay in the city section or just choose not to partake.

Runner at Blacks Beach
Runner at Blacks Beach

Secluded Sunning

Due to being fairly difficult to access, Blacks Beach is only frequented by surfers and people who want to enjoy the clothing-optional section. There will often be other people on the beach, but the crowds are very minimal.

People who frequent the beach appreciate the secluded location. However, there is no denying that it requires a hike to reach. If you want some privacy and don’t mind making a trek, this is a great beach to visit.

Reflection of the Water and Cliffs
Reflection of the Water and Cliffs

Beautiful Sand

The beach is an eye-catching stretch of sand. It is a relatively wide area, so you can easily find a reasonable amount of space to stretch out.

If you want to enjoy the day on a quintessential Southern California beach, this one of a great choice. Some of the turns in the cliffs provide a little natural shade. However, for the most part, you will be out in the sun all along the beach.

Popular Activities

Half Day Whale Watching Tour
Half Day Whale Watching Tour
$55 per person
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La Jolla Kayak & Snorkel Tour
La Jolla Kayak & Snorkel Tour
$188 / group up to 2
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Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride
Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride
$35 per person
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Surf Lessons in La Jolla
Surf Lessons in La Jolla
$134 per person
Buy Now

How to Get There & Parking

Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Neighborhood Parking

Parking in the La Jolla Farms Neighborhood for Blacks Beach
Parking in the La Jolla Farms Neighborhood for Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach is at the south end of Torrey Pines State Reserve. It is just west of the Torrey Pines Gliderport. To get there, follow North Torrey Pines Road and turn onto Torrey Pines Scenic Drive.

There is a large, free parking lot near the Gliderport trail. There is also parking further north at Torrey Pines State Beach. The roadside parking is free, and the parking lots are reasonably priced.

To reach the beach, you will need to hike a trail. The two main options are to walk down the beach at low tide from Torrey Pines State Beach and to hike the trail by the Gliderport. If heading on the trail, use caution because the cliffs can be dangerous.

Bikes Going Through Main Gate to Blacks Beach
Bikes Going Through Main Gate to Blacks Beach

There is also a trail to the surfing part of the beach in the La Jolla Farms community. It is hard to find but if you follow the large houses along the beachside cliff and you will find a gate with a service road. This service road will lead to the beach in the section known for surfing.

Featured Activity

La Jolla Surfing Lesson
Surf Lessons in La Jolla
Ride the waves in La Jolla, a premiere surfing destination! This 90-minute lesson is fit for both beginners & intermediate surfers, with a choice of private or public lessons. All necessary equipment is included. Surfs up!
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Know Before You Go & Tips

No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Camping
No Camping
No Glass Containers
No Glass Containers
No Motorized Vehicles
No Motorized Vehicles
No Smoking
No Smoking
No Trash Cans
No Trash Cans

Things to Know

Surfer Walking Down the Trail to Blacks Beach 2
Surfer Walking Down the Trail to Blacks Beach 2

It’s Hard to Reach

This bears repeating. Use caution when trying to access the beach. The trail is reasonably easy to follow but the cliffs are steep.

Lifeguards

There are no permanent lifeguards on Blacks Beach. Some lifeguards and park rangers patrol sporadically. However, do not count on them while going in the water.

Facilities Locations

There are restrooms and showers located to the north near Torrey Pines State Beach. The entire surfing section of Blacks Beach does not have any restrooms or showers.

Dangerous Swimming

Blacks Beach is not a swimming beach. The underwater canyon makes it a great place to surf but a terrible place to swim. The water can be very dangerous for swimmers.

Blacks Beach
is Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Know This:
Clothing Optional
Clothing Optional
This Month's Forecast
51°F / 68°F
Sunny in December
Jan
51°F / 67°F
Sunny in January
Feb
53°F / 68°F
Sunny in February
Mar
56°F / 69°F
Sunny in March

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