Scripps Coastal Reserve

Scripps Coastal Reserve  

Scripps Coastal Reserve occupies nearly one thousand acres in La Jolla, California, ranging across a complex landscape including mesa top, coastal canyon and bluff, sandy beach, rocky intertidal, submerged coastal plain and deep submarine canyon.  

Hundreds of thousands of people visit annually, so environmental awareness is essential for protecting the rare and sensitive habitats and species. There are two distinct parts to the reserve: the shoreline and marine protected area, and the upland area, commonly referred to as the “Knoll” or “Cliffs.” 

The Knoll

The upland area, commonly referred to as the “Knoll” or “Cliffs,” includes a mesa 400 feet above the beach which is open 8 a.m. to sunset, Black’s Canyon, with a paved, gated road with pedestrian access to Black’s Beach, and Sumner Canyon, which is privately owned, and closed to the public.   

The Shoreline

Comprising coastal ocean and intertidal areas that are now included in the San Diego-Scripps State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA.)

Visit the reserve

All educational and research users and groups should apply to use the reserve as far in advance as possible and should have waivers signed for each individual before the visit. California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife collecting permits are required for collection, experimentation, and hands-on observation.

The reserve is very photogenic!  We welcome submissions to our page by all. However, for close up photos of individuals, we will need a Photo Consent Form (PDF). Please post your images/video on our Facebook page, or contact for other modes.






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