By Dave Schwab
If you’re up for an easy scenic traipse through the heart of La Jolla that showcases its natural wonders take the Coast Walk between La Jolla Cove and la Jolla Shores.
Beginning on one end at the Cave Store at 1325 Coast Blvd., the chain-link fenced, dirt path cresting the bluffs is heavily trod by locals and tourists alike: people walking their dogs, families spending quality time together or individuals just taking in the prime ocean views.
Just below The Cave Store is a wooden staircase picking its way down the cliffside to a promontory with a viewing platform offering views of sea caves scooped by the surf out of the rock and sandstone bluffs.
Wildlife abundant everywhere along the walk includes barking sea lions and elephant seals, winged pelican “squadrons” flying in formation and an array of sea birds.
As you continue further north along the craggy coastline to La Jolla Shores, you’ll glimpse plenty of two-legged wildlife — omnipresent surfers, swimmers and kayakers in their colorful craft all communing with mighty Neptune.
All along the path there are plenty of benches, stone and wood, to take a break, or just spend time hanging out enjoying the views.
Hikers are greeted by a profusion of wildflowers and huge stands of cacti as well as La Jolla’s iconic tree, the Torrey pine. Native only to La Jolla and Santa Rosa Island off the Santa Barbara Coast, a large stand of the rare Torrey pines are preserved in a state park of the same name just five miles north up the coast.
Best of all, Coast Walk is just a stone’s throw from the Village where you can continue your walk.