arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Black’s Beach

Some of the best waves in San Diego, but not for the faint of heart

Photo By Aaron Chang

Black's Beach Basics

With arguably some of San Diego’s best waves, Black’s Beach can be found in the vicinity of the University of California San Diego campus, at the southern end of Torrey Pines State Beach and north of La Jolla Shores. Stately eight-figure mansions and state-of-the-art medical research labs now line the bluffs where pastures and the Black family horse farm once lay. Hence the name, Black's Beach.

Black’s is famous among surfers for big winter swells, however it is better known to the rest of the world as San Diego's nude beach. Although nudism is unlawful in San Diego, it has persisted at Black’s for decades with the only real deterrent being the hike to get there. The nudists (or 'nakes' as surfers call them) tend to hang out north of the Glider Port Trail, while surfers head south to the main peaks. For the most part, surfers and nakes are the only people motivated enough to make the hike to Black’s, so if these aren't your motives, you might want to think about heading to La Jolla Shores instead.

Where to Go

Black’s Beach can be difficult to access due to its location beneath the Torrey Pines bluffs. There are four access routes to Black’s Beach:

  • Torrey Pines Glider Port Trail:
    The most popular route to Black’s Beach begins at the Torrey Pines Glider Port. The city of San Diego posted a “Do Not Use” sign there, as the Torrey Pines cliffs are unstable, so proceed at your own risk. Visitors are advised to stay on the designated trail since many people have gotten stuck or even fallen to their deaths on the cliffs.
  • Torrey Pines State Park:
    Well-maintained and clearly marked trails run from the top of the mesa to the beach.
  • Torrey Pines State Beach:
    If the tide is low, a 2-mile walk south from the parking lot at the base of Torrey Pines State Reserve will get you to Black’s Beach. The route is blocked at high tides.
  • La Jolla Shores:
    If the tide is low, a 3-mile walk north from La Jolla Shores beach, past Scripps Pier, will get you to Black’s Beach. The route is blocked at high tides.


  • Torrey Pines State Beach offers day use parking from 8 am until sunset daily. Fees are paid at the South Beach kiosk where there is a small parking lot, as well as the parking lots at the top of the mesa within the park. Free parking is available along the southbound shoulder of Hwy 101. If accessing the beach via the Glider Port Trail, there is a large dirt parking lot with free parking.

Bathrooms and Showers

  • To the north, bathroom and shower facilities are found at the north end of Torrey Pines State Beach, near the Penasquitos Lagoon and at the parking lot at the top of the mesa at the State Park. There are additional facilities at the park entrance and headquarters. To the south, restrooms and shower facilities are available at La Jolla Shores Beach.


  • There is no permanent lifeguard supervision anywhere below the bluffs at Torrey Pines. Lifeguards and park rangers sporadically patrol the beaches, but it is a swim-at-your-own-risk zone and a zone that can be risky indeed, especially with its notoriously powerful surf and strong currents.

Popular Activities

  • Surfing, sunbathing and swimming. You might also encounter a beach volleyball game being played in the buff.

Directions to Black’s Beach

  • From the 5 FWY exit Carmel Valley Road west to Torrey Pines Road south (aka Pacific Coast Highway).

Black’s Beach

What to Love

  • Big winter swells!

What to Know

  • The sea cliffs from Torrey Pines State Park southward to Black's rise precipitously from the beach to heights of 300 feet and have been the site of countless accidents and rescues.
  • The Beach Trail in the State Park, and the Glider Port Trail are the ONLY maintained routes (even these are difficult and dangerous); DO NOT attempt to follow any unmarked trails or pioneer new ones.
  • Beachgoers are warned to avoid setting up beach sites too close to the cliffs as landslides can occur, with tragic results.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Deals just for you


10% Off any Adventure with Everyday California
Valid: Apr 12, 2023 - ongoing

This offer allows 10% off any activity that Everyday California offers. Promotion Code: EDCA10 must be used at checkout. We look forward to having you out on the water soon.


50% OFF Any Tour and Rental Weekdays

Bike & Kayak Tours Inc La Jolla
Valid: Mar 8 - ongoing

50% off before 10am and after 4pm weekdays, and 20% off on weekends.  Offer expirese December 31st 2023


Honeymoon on Us

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Valid: Apr 5 - Jun 30, 2023

say "I DO" at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and receive 500,000 Hilton Honors Points or $2,500 towards your honeymoon at any Hilton worldwide.

Related Articles and Features

What's Nearby

Where to Stay

Areas of Interest

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up





Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish