Monterey State Beach

California North, USA West
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Difficulty
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Viz (last reported 60364h ago)
Max Depth
40ft (unconfirmed)

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Monterey State Beach

Monterey State Beach (also called Del Monte, named after the adjacent road) is a perfect place for new divers. Restrooms, showers, and picnic areas make this a great place to spend the day. You may want to dive this site on a weekday, or arrive very early on a weekend. The parking can be almost impossible otherwise. Be prepared to spot octopus and flounder! From Highway 1 in Monterey, take the Camino Aguajito exit North. You'll see the Park at the intersection of Del Monte Ave.

Monterey State Beach Tide Chart and Surf Report (Beta)

Tuesday
4:01 AM / 0.496ft
Tuesday
12:03 PM / 3.649ft
Tuesday
2:46 PM / 3.501ft
Tuesday
8:47 PM / 4.747ft
Wednesday
5:02 AM / 0.570ft
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(11)
Zentacle
Zentacle
Sep 21, 2021, 1:05 AM
scuba
The entry is sandy and without rocks. It's perfect for beginners or checking out new gear. There are a few sunken boats and the remains of an old pier at the site. This is a 'full service' beach, so there are plenty of activities for the non-divers in your group. This is a good place to drop off your gear if you need to find parking elsewhere.
Thaddeus Pappazisis
Thaddeus Pappazisis
Dec 7, 2014, 12:00 AM
scuba
Go to this site for the boat wreck as there is not much swimming life. The wreck is neat & has a variety of perch but not much else as there aren't many rocks or kelp for fish to hide in. The site does however have an interesting array of other life at the sea floor. Thousands of sand dollars, a hundred or so sea slugs, a big star fish here, a big sea anemone there. Overall it was an enjoyable dive as it was very different from the other popular sites in Monterey. Visibility was great (about 20' or so) and surf was very tame to non-existent.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jeff Christensen
Jeff Christensen
Jul 24, 2011, 12:00 AM
scuba
Chose this site for its easy entry and to look for some halibut. Did a long surface swim to the yellow buoy and descended into 25' with 5'-8' visibility. Made our way out to 45'. Saw a small sunken row boat at 42' about 150 yds east of the end of Wharf #2. Never saw any halibut of legal size.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Matt 5873
Matt 5873
Jul 14, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
My friend and I checked out the half-track and yacht wrecks and were pleasantly surprised by both the sea life and vegetation around the wrecks. The dive back to shore was also enjoyable as we saw sand dollars, an octopus, and a ray. I would recommend this dive. The shore entry is easy, the swim out to the wrecks isn't bad [300 yards], and the yacht is easy to find by the buoy attached to it.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Tom Eloph
Tom Eloph
Jan 3, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
Easy, sandy bottom dive. Stays shallow for quite a while, but in 25' of water you can dive the sunken sailboat.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Brian Xavier
Brian Xavier
Apr 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
Monterey State Beach has good parking and facilities. Bring quarters for parking at pier. Sand bottom- low vis dive. Saw some very big sea stars and some nice snails. Also found a nice Scubapro jet fin- size large. Nice slow beginning dive.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Owen DeLong
Owen DeLong
Feb 13, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
Commonly known as "Del Monte Beach" by locals, this is a decent beginner site and a good place for Rescue classes. If you want any real depth, you need to swim out to the concrete anchorages or beyond (a healthy surface swim). The anchorages are in about 25 feet. Conditions are about the same year round.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jesse Rorabaugh
Jesse Rorabaugh
Jul 26, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
I went here because I heard it was one of the best places to hunt halibut. After spending two hours free diving here, I am really not sure if that is true or not. Either I don't have the experience to be able to see one when I swim over it, or they are not here any more. The site did have a charm of its own. I had never seen as extensive of a sand dollar bed, and there were dozens of small crabs, and a single large spider crab. As for fish, there is almost nothing. Near park street, at some debris that is marked by kelp in the summer I found some small fish, and at one point a huge school of thousands of baitfish swam around me.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jun 24, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
The dive here is not so much the in-shore part but the two "wrecks" (a yacht and half-track) about 400yds out, the kelp gives them away in the spring/summer months. A long surface swim is needed but they are only in about 30 ft of water. The wildlife is very good, probably since the site has rarely been visited by divers. The current can be strong but the underwater trip back to the beach is pretty good with beds of Sand Dollars and Starfish scattered everywhere. Need to get in early for a parking spot.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Aug 4, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
We dove here with a class. This beach is much less dove than the nearby Breakwater. I was surprised at the life we saw in the sea grass and below the large floats out from the beach. I wouldn't write this off as not worth a look. Very easy beach entry, depth of 15-35 feet, very little boat traffic, although it is a big kayak entry and exit. Great for beginners.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Ben Burnsed, Jr.
Ben Burnsed, Jr.
Aug 18, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was my first time snorkeling (I did not scuba), great place to get used to the equipment and the extremely cold water! However there was little sea life around, possibly due to the number of people up and down the beach. I found a few sand dollars and crabs (at least I think they were crabs!) but the only plant life was stuff that had broken off at sea and was being dragged by the current. Also saw a scuba class of about 3-4 people out there as well. Good place to swim though...see my review of Breakwater Cove for a nearby and more fulfilling snorkel dive.
Originally posted on shorediving.com