Torrey Pines Gliderport

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Torrey Pines Gliderport
Airport typePrivate
OwnerCity of San Diego
Elevation AMSL372 ft / 113 m
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 1,500 457 Asphalt
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Torry Pines Hang Gliding cliff photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Gliderport, August 2014
Torrey Pines Gliderport is located in Northwestern San Diego
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Torrey Pines Gliderport is located in San Diego County, California
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Torrey Pines Gliderport is located in California
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Torrey Pines Gliderport is located in the United States
Torrey Pines Gliderport
LocationTorrey Pines, San Diego, California
Coordinates32°53′23″N 117°14′54″W / 32.88972°N 117.24833°W / 32.88972; -117.24833Coordinates: 32°53′23″N 117°14′54″W / 32.88972°N 117.24833°W / 32.88972; -117.24833
NRHP reference No.93000578[2]
Added to NRHPJuly 12, 1993

The Torrey Pines Gliderport (FAA LID: CA84) is a city-owned private-use glider airport located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States, 11 nautical miles (20 km) northwest of the city's central business district.[1]

It was first established as a soaring site in 1930, and is the home to hang gliding, paragliding, radio-controlled model sailplanes, and full-scale man-carrying sailplanes.[3] It is listed as a National Landmark of Soaring of the National Soaring Museum, a San Diego City Historical Site (#315), and a Model Aviation Landmark of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (#1 in the nation). It is listed on the California Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered by glider enthusiasts of all types to be the "Kitty Hawk of the West."

Full-scale sailplanes are operated by the Associated Glider Clubs of Southern California, only during special permit windows between February and April, while models, hang gliders, and paragliders fly any time the wind permits. The local Flight Director and Concessionaire maintains and enforces safety rules to protect both pilots and spectators.


The Torrey Pines cliffs have featured soaring aircraft since the 1930s, with many famous aviators earning their wings on the strong ocean breezes.

Many aviation pioneers have flown at Torrey Pines. Charles A. Lindbergh flew along the coast from Mt. Soledad to Del Mar in a Bowlus sailplane on February 24, 1930. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, his wife and the first American woman to get a first-class glider license, also flew from here. In 1936, Woody Brown became the first person to launch from the top of the Torrey Pines cliff and come back to land at the same place. Other notables include Hawley Bowlus, Bud Perl, Bill Beuby, John Robinson, Dick Essery, Bill Ivans, Helen Dick, Richard Johnson, Bill Petre and Paul MacCready.

During World War II, the gliderport and its surroundings were transformed into U.S. Army Camp Callan, an anti-aircraft artillery training facility.

The site has been the location of several national and international soaring records since 1946.


Located on the cliffs above Black's Beach, next to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has views of the Pacific Ocean and the city of San Diego. Nearby are the Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course, Torrey Pines State Beach, Torrey Pines State Reserve, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego. The trail to the clothing optional Black's Beach begins on the cliffs just south of the gliderport.


Torrey Pines Gliderport has one runway designated 9/27 with a 1,500 by 30 ft (457 x 9 m) highly eroded asphalt surface.[1] The runway is on property owned by the University of California, San Diego, while the rest of the gliderport is owned by the city of San Diego.

The Torrey Pines Gliderport offers paragliding and hang gliding lessons and tandem flights.

Sandwiches, snacks, and drinks can be purchased from the Cliff Hanger Cafe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for CA84 PDF, effective 2008-09-25.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. ^ Repard, Pauline (2019-03-10). "Two dead as paragliders collide at Torrey Pines in San Diego County". Retrieved 2019-03-10.

External links[edit]