Beach Dive Site: Shores Main Wall, La Jolla, San Diego, CA
If you're looking for a great dive around San Diego, La Jolla Shores Main Wall is one of the most popular dive sites in San Diego. Classes are frequently spotted at this location in the shallow areas (20-35ft). Advanced Divers can follow the La Jolla Submarine Canyon to a depth no greater than 75ft as conditions and the scope of their training permit. Most of the interesting things to see are above 60ft. Good parking, year-round diving and unpredictable marine life make this a favorite among San Diego divers. This site is alternatively known as Vallecitos Point. Difficulty level 6/10.
Click on Map to enlarge
These Maps are not intended to be used as any kind of navigational reference, map or aid.
Interests: Angel Sharks, Halibut, Bat Rays, Guitarfish, Sheep Crabs, Pipefish, Horn Sharks can all be found in the shallows between 20ft and 40ft depth. Beyond 40ft but no greater than 60ft you can find exotic and varied marine life such as Fringeheads, Nudibranchs, Cabezon, Cusk Eels, Sheep Crabs, Octopus, Gobies, Lobsters, Clams, Sheephead, and Rockfish. Squid are present in the winter, and Sea lions occassionally drop in for a visit with divers.
Entry & Exits: Long walk on a Sandy beach & Decently long surface swim.
Suggestions: Enter from the Sandy Beach at Vallecitos Street, apply an appropriate surf entry for current conditions and the scope of your training. Surface swim North and drop down where you feel it is appropriate. Once down, Swim West, then follow the structure north or south. Most divers go north, although going south will bring you to the South Wall, which is dangerously steep and much deeper than the North Wall.
Best time to Dive: La Jolla Shores are fairly protected against all but the largest Northern swells. Perform an environmental assessment and your judgement before gearing up.
Visibility: 20 - 35ft (Sometimes less, depending on conditions)
Warnings: With a somewhat long distance to walk to and from the water, followed by a long surface swim can make this dive tiring for divers not used to walks/swims in their gear. The water in the La Jolla canyon is cooler than at the Islands (53-58) all year round, sometimes as cold as 49 degrees at depth in the late Winter/early Spring, so purchase a Lavacore thermal undergarment or get a Dry Suit! A powerful Dive Light is always recommended, even during the day. Use prudent judgement when Beach Diving, perform an environmental assessment of the area before you gear up.
Depth recommendations: 20 - 60ft is where most of the points of interest are for this site. The maximum depth for this site should not exceed 75ft. Use prudent judgement when planning and executing your dive; Allow for present conditions at the site and keep your dive within the scope of your training.
Safety: Use of Float, Flag, Anchor and Descent Line are required for Beach Diving. Cell Phone, Oxygen Kit and First Aid Kit are always recommended.
Directions: Click on map for GOOGLE MAP directions
Parking is free but can fill up on busy summer weekends. Come early for the best parking right on Vallecitos Street. It's a longer walk from the large parking lot!
Photos of the Shores Main Wall Parking lot, and the walk to the beach.
by Dylan Johnson
Tags: California-dive-charters, Boat-waiver-for-scuba-diving, Best-dive-sites
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