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The Best Diving in California

Looking for the best diving in California? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around California. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top diving spots in and near California

  • San Diego, California

    Explore La Jolla Cove

    4.8
    La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in San Diego, located on the coast just south of Torrey Pines Natural Reserve. La Jolla Cove is also one of the best spots in San Diego for snorkeling and scuba diving. This calm cove is ecologically protected with many animals making their ho...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore Sunset Cliffs Open Ceiling Cave

    0.5 mi
    Starting from you parking spot on the street you will see it right away. Then look to the right in the small bay--to the right of it you'll see a small place to climb down. There is no rope so be careful when scaling it. Walk south until you hit the reef wall and walk along it until you get aroun...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Exploring Pearl Street Beach's Arch Rock

    4.0
    Pearl Street Beach is a great spot to just chill and watch (and photograph) the sunset with friends and family. Parking for the beach can be found on S. Coast Hwy (the 1) and is meter parking. There is also free, but limited parking available along the smaller streets closer to Pearl Street Beach...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

    5.0
    Partington Cove which is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, is one of Big Sur's hidden gems. It's a very short hike with enough views to show why Big Sur earned the nickname " Little Yosemite." The whole hike can easily be completed in less than an hour, although there are definitely eno...
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  • Colfax, California

    Hike The Historical Stevens Trail

    5.0
    8 mi / 3376 ft gain
    Best known as one of the most popular hiking and biking trails to the North Fork American River, in part because of the easy access from Colfax. However, this is a remote trail, and hikers are advised to bring plenty of fluids as well as carry a whistle. The entire trail is primarily shaded, pa...
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  • Mendocino, California

    Camp at Russian Gulch State Park

    Just two miles north of Mendocino, you'll find this beautiful, well-maintained park that features a little bit of everything. The campsite is situated between a rugged beach and a stunning 36-ft waterfall, giving you plenty of easy and fun options.This park is most well known for the heavily fore...
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  • Avalon, California

    Camp at Catalina's Two Harbors

    4.8
    An island camping escape is a mere 50 minute boat ride away from the southern California coast. If you're feeling generous with your funds, you can also opt for a helicopter ride, leaving out of Long Beach and 15 minutes later landing in Catalina Island.Two Harbors campground is unique with the a...
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  • Malibu, California

    Camp at Thornhill Broome State Beach

    5.0
    Take PCH through Malibu towards Oxnard and the campground will be on your left. There is no day use here and you can drive right to your campsite.During the summer, make reservations or arrive really early to nab a site. Spaces can fill up quickly.There is access to a hiking trail across PCH.
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  • San Diego, California

    Dive La Jolla Shores

    4.5
    While it doesn't get the attention of La Jolla Cove's green fields, the shores are one of the best parts about San Diego.Driving up to the large parking area it's immediately clear you've come to the right place as there's almost always divers suiting up in the early morning. A dive shop down the...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Camp at Steep Ravine Environmental Campground

    Gain access through a private locked gate, and descend about 1 mile down to the bluff's edge. There is only parking for 1 car per site and also several cabins that can be rented.A camp host is on site and there are bathrooms and water spigots throughout the campground. Each site has a fire ring a...
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  • Needles, California

    Cliff Jump at Copper Canyon

    4.5
    There are two ways to get to Copper Canyon--by boat or by hiking in via the California side of the trail alongside the lake. only two ways of getting to Copper Canyon and thats by boat or hiking the California side of the trail alongside the lake. This spot is very popular in the summer.
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  • Jenner, California

    Camp and Dive at Salt Point State Park

    4.7
    Camping at Salt Point Sate Park is a dream. You have your choice of camping by the sea at Gerstle Cove campground, or tucked up into the forest at the Woodside campground…and you can’t go wrong with either choice.The rugged and beautiful coastline here is a popular destination for abalone diving ...
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  • Jenner, California

    Abalone Diving at Salt Point State Park

    5.0
    Jenner is a great spot to head out in calm water with your abalone gear. The dives will be in depths of 10 to 15 ft. of water, with visibility usually in the 5-20 ft. range. Spend a little time doing your homework before entering the water and you'll be able to find easier entry areas.When you he...
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  • Bodega Bay, California

    Camp at Wright's Beach Campground

    / 32 ft gain
    This campground is defined by the scenery: rugged headlands, craggy coastlines, natural arches, and quiet coves.Wright's Beach Campground features primitive camping - basic tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and amazing ocean views. This is a great location for Bay Area campers who want t...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Scuba Dive Shaw’s Cove, Laguna Beach

    Shaw’s Cove is located just 3 minutes North of Laguna Beach’s Main Beach Park and one beach south of Crescent Bay. There’s a dive shop placed conveniently above the cove so if you need to rent equipment, it’s right there. The shop is close enough to walk to the cove, but with 60 pounds of gear, t...
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  • Emma Wood State Beach, California

    Surf Emma Wood State Beach

    3.0
    Park your car along the famous Pacific Coast Highway and watch the waves roll in. Go out surfing, kiteboarding, swimming, or kayaking. Emma Wood State Beach is a fairly exposed beach and reef break that has reliable surf. Summer offers the most-favored conditions for surfing.  Both breaks get cro...
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