Scripps Canyon is one of the most unique dives in southern california. Steep walls drop from 80ft down to past 200ft, and are teeming with life. Access is difficult, but worth the effort. The diver will be rewarded with prolific amount of marine life. The canyon has different branches, called south branch, north branch, and sumner branches. In certain sections you can swim across blue water to go from one wall to another. A dive at scripps is always a real treat. There are many cracks and crevices filled with fish, eels, and nudibranchs. Click on Map to enlarge
Maps are not to be used for boaters or navigational purposes.
Interests: Morays, many species of rockfish, swell sharks, wolf eels, and many nudibranch species are found at scripps. There are also schooling fish, large amounts of electic invertebrates, and pelagic visitors such as salps and jellyfish.
Entry & Exits: Access is from 3 methods - boat, a long walk from scripp's pier, or a private parking area. most people swim out to the scripps buoy and descend down the buoy. The seadeucers club has access to the private parking area, this is the recommended way to go. Entry/exit is at a sandy beach.
Suggestions: You must bring a strong light, even in the day, because it can get dark in the canyon, and it will always be dark in the large cracks and crevices. Look inside the various cracks, caves and crevices to find nudibranchs, fish, sharks, and eels. Look for D. spaldingi and Macfarland's chromodorid nudibrachs from 90-120ft. Wolf eels might be found from 110-130ft if you are lucky.
Best time to Dive: Any time is ok due to the depths. Scripps is also popular as a night dive. Check Conditions
Warnings: The climb back to the parking area can be strenuous. Divers should be comfortable doing a surface swim. The walls at scripps are very steep, so a diver should have complete control of their buoyancy, and be prepared to drop their weight belt if they start plummeting towards the depths. Watch your deco as it is very easy to go into deco here. If using nitrox pay careful attention to your MOD. The first time diving here you need to go with someone who has dove scripps before.
Depth Recomendations:70-130ft is where most of the points of interest are for this site. 60 ft is Recomended maximum depth for novice beach divers .
100 ft is Recommended maximum for advanced beach divers. 130 ft is Maximum Depth for recreational divers.
Safety: Use of float, flag, anchor and descent line is required for beach diving. Cell phone and oxygen first aid kit should be avalible.
Click here to see Scott's Scripps Canyon Photos
Directions: Click on map for GOOGLE MAP directions
Mapping and photography by Scott Gietler.