Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

San Clemente Island - San Clemente Island CA

San Clemente Island is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in San Clemente Island, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 4.20 out of 5 from 20 scuba divers.

This Island has some of the best California diving there is. Beautiful thick kelp forests filled with ocean creatures. Pyramid cove is a great dive site.

Located just 60 miles west of San Diego, this 18 mile long island is the jewel of the southern Channel Islands!

Sunlit shallows and vertical walls of San Clemente’s leeward side are an excellent place for beginners to acclimate themselves and for more adventurous to explore walls and deep pinnacles.

The world-famous Pyramid Cove is an absolute diver’s Mecca. The cove, which encompasses four miles of the southern end of San Clemente, has dozens of dive locations with extremely diverse underwater terrain. The canyons , arches, walls, and redwood-like kelp forests have earned this area the distinction of being rated among the best dive destinations in the world! You could spend a week here and not hit all of the amazing dive sites.

For the adventurous, San Clemente’s windswept backside is the place to observe nature as it was. Due to the prevailing wind and the open-ocean sell, we rarely get to dive this area. But when Mother Nature allows us to venture up the windward-side we feel blessed. Pristine kelp forests, abrupt walls, huge fish, crevices packed with spiny lobster...absolutely more life than can be viewed in one dive, or one trip for that matter.

San Clemente’s far west end offers more magic. The Coral Garden and Purple Boilers, carpeted with beautiful purple hydrocoral, are a photographer’s dream. Castle Rock’s shallow water caves and kelp forest offer unparalleled exploration possibilities. Northwest Harbor, with its calm water and small sea lion rookery is the place to come face-to-face with a sea lion.

San Clemente offers something for everyone. Beginners to advanced divers will enjoy the same dive sites.

Dive Site Map

Click to Load Map


Hawkeye54 - 1/27/2014 9:49 AM
I visited this island aboard the Truth Aquatics vessel, The "Truth" on 18Jan2014. First site we dropped hook was called "Little Flower" and it was a nice, rocky pinnacle resting on a shelf where depth ranged from 20’ to about 100’ just past the ledge. Thick kelp and plenty of fish to see Also found a nudibranch and many juvenile lobsters. (Not many keepers but plenty to look at)

The second site we visited was "Pyramid Cove", where the kelp was a little more dense and we found a harbor seal pup to play with (more like he found us, and was SOOOOOOOO cute!) He kept coming back to check us out and was most interested in our fins. There were fish and lobster here, too, but not as prolific as I noticed at the first site. Overall, great dives and by the way, visibility was pegged at about 50’-70’ while water temps were in the mid 50’s at both sites.
Brian_V - 8/29/2013 4:13 PM
Rating Added: 3
....the nicest of the channel islands IMHO, everything is bigger around this island compared to Catalina.
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/02/2009 6:56 PM

From my log; This site is Windowpane Pinnacle at San Clemente, beautiful dive with assorted kelp, this is the first time I’d seen balboa kelp, the bottom is covered in what looks like silver and purple plants, lot’s of Garibaldi, Sculpin, Bluebanded Goby’s which look more like orange and purple and something that looks like a Scorpionfish, I need to get a west coast fish ID book!

Same island, different dive; The site is China Point on San Clemente, a lot of kelps I’ve never seen before, lot’s of Garabaldi and a Sea Lion was checking Paul out but he never saw it, Chrism had a 300? pound black sea bass following him around.