January 2023 Activity: Sunset at Broken Hill

Please join us for a sunset photography session at Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This location provides an opportunity to take stunning sunset photos over the Pacific Ocean with the eroding sandstone bluffs and local flora as a foreground. There is no location like this in Southern California. Weather projections are for partly cloudy skies that evening, so conditions could be very favorable for this unique photo.

As usual, this is not a Sierra Club outing. No Sierra Club Certified Outing Leader will be present. You may join, leave and participate at your pleasure on the scheduled date, at your own risk. The details of this activity are provided below. As usual, this in-the-field gathering is open to the public.

We will be meeting at the South Fork Trailhead and hiking to the trail terminus at Broken Hill. The round trip hike from the trailhead is two miles, not including the walking/hiking distance necessary to access the trail to Broken Hill.


  • Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023
  • Time and Location: Meet at the South Fork Trailhead at Torrey Pines State Beach at 3:30 p.m.
    This location is on the southeast side of the park, at the paved roadway/trail (Google Maps location).
    The hike to Broken Hill takes about 20 minutes from here.
  • Sunset: 5:18 p.m.

Parking, oh my!

Torrey Pines is one of the most popular State Parks in San Diego. As a result of this, Torrey Pines is very busy year-round. It can be challenging to find parking at Torrey Pines State Beach, so allow sufficient time to park and walk to the meet up spot from your parking location.

Park wherever you can find a spot…

  • Where it is permitted at businesses on North Torrey Pines Road
  • At the paid South Beach Lot at the bottom of the hill, or in the Upper Lot. The parking fee is demand-based and varies between $12 and $25 for day use; or use your valid annual California State Parks Vehicle Day Use Pass.
  • In the diagonal on-street parking at Torrey Pines Beach (no fee, but the parking here is very impacted).

Upper Lot and street parking on Torrey Pines Road are closest to the meeting point. You need to include additional time for your walk to our meet-up location in your plans.

Precautions and Physical Requirements

Broken Hill is an approximate two mile round trip hike on mostly flat trails. Dependent upon where you park, the walk to the meet up location at the trailhead may be longer than the hike to Broken Hill.

The site where we’ll be photographing from is a large sandstone bluff that can be sandy, uneven, steep and possibly a slip hazard. Moderate leg strength and balance is required to negotiate the terrain. Arm and upper body strength is required to carry a tripod and camera backpack to the photo location. There will likely be other photographers at the site so a little kindness, goodwill and patience will help at this location.

Equipment and Gear Required

  • Camera with fully charged battery and memory card
  • Wide to Medium Focal Length Lens (e.g. full frame: ~16-35 mm or 24-70 mm; crop: ~10-24mm, or 17-55 mm.)
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Shoes with good traction
  • Warm, comfortable clothing for late afternoon hiking
  • Headlamp or flashlight for the walk back to your car, after sunset

Come join in on the fun and make an epic photo on January 28. We look forward to seeing you there!

This activity is being organized by Mark Ochenduszko. If you have any questions, simply leave a comment below and we will answer as soon as possible.

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