Point Lobos

Point Lobos

This is one of the nicest dive spots.  It's on the west coast of the Monterey peninsula, but in a relatively sheltered cove.  There are bathrooms and picnic tables.  Entry is via a short concrete ramp - nice, except at low tide where it's a little slippery.

You need reservations to dive here, and you must dive with a buddy (or as a group of 3).  See the Point Lobos website for more details.

You can also kayak dive here.

Dive Areas

You must enter the water at the boat ramp.  Note that the ramp is slippery with algae, particularly at low tide.  Stick to the side of the ramp where you can grab onto the rocks for support, and walk slowly.  A few feet off the end of the ramp, there's a drop-off into 6-10' deep water.

Whaler's Cove

This includes a range of sites, some closer than others:
  • The inside of the cove near where you enter the water.  This is shallow with a sandy bottom.  Visibility is often low, and there's not as much to see as other sites.
  • The near side of the cove.  There's a nice sand channel between the middle reef and the near side.  Head down that and then explore to the left.
  • The middle reef - several ridges of rock near the outside of Whaler's Cove
  • The far side of the cove.  There are some nice slots and caves.  Often more surge than the rest of the cove.
  • Coal Chute - a small inlet to the north side of Whaler's Cove.  Be careful if there's a lot of surge.
  • Granite Point - a pinnacle outside of Whaler's Cove

Bluefish Cove

This is a gorgeous dive site.  Due to the distance from the boat ramp, it's only accessible using kayaks or DPVs.  Depending on tides and conditions, it may be possible to cut across between the rocks rather than going all the way around the outer rocks.

Shore Information

Directions from the Bay Area

  • South on 101 Freeway
  • Exit 336 - 156 West to Monterey Peninsula
  • Continue on Highway 1 South to Monterey Peninsula
  • Stay on Highway 1 through Monterey
  • The freeway will end as you enter Carmel.  Watch your speed!
  • There's a decent shopping center on Rio Road just before you leave Carmel.
  • You'll pass by Monastery Beach.  This is a good spot to meet if you're entering Point Lobos as a group, because there are bathrooms.
  • As you head into the trees, look for the turn to Point Lobos on your right.  Note that a line of cars sometimes backs up onto the highway.
  • At the gate, show your cert card and pay for parking.
  • Whalers Cove is the first right turn after you enter the reserve.  Drive slowly; there are often pedestrians.


Parking is in a dirt lot.  Note that there is a no parking area in front of the bathrooms.  Don't block entry to the large sheds on your left as you drive in; that's where the fire department keeps their zodiac boat for water rescues.


There are bathrooms with flush toilets in a small concrete building to the west of the parking lot.  The floor is usually wet, so it's not the greatest place to change clothes.

Other Notes

There are a number of picnic tables around the parking area.  These are great places to gear up.  Note that due to the large number of visitors, I wouldn't leave anything valuable on them during your dive.

There used to be a hose by the ramp for rinsing gear.  In summer 2015, the hose was removed due to the drought.  So bring your own rinse water.


Click on the map for a larger image.


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