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Leo Carrillo State Beach is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located at Mulholland Hwy & Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265. This dive site has an average rating of 3.64 out of 5 from 14 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 36-40ft/11-12m. The average visibility is 16-20ft/5-6m.

On some days the vis here can be awesome. There is lots of kelp, lots of marine life. It’s a good camp and dive location, but get your reservations in early.

The park is located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1.)

The park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beach combing. The beach also has tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds. The park also features back-country hiking.

Nature walks and campfire programs are offered and a small visitor center has interpretive displays. During the summer, children’s programs are available. The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist, served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and was instrumental in the
state’s acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon.

Leo Carillo can surprise you with almost anything. From sharks to large rays to halibut, this site is a top choice when conditions are right. This site is also popular for night dives and lobster hunting, due to easy parking at night on PCH. Leo Carillo actually covers a wide area, and covers south Leo, sequit point, and north Leo. Healthy kelp beds are found in all 3 places.

Interests: Schools of perch fill the kelp forest, and occasionally large bat rays will lay in the sand between the kelp areas. A Soupfin shark may even swim through the outer kelp beds. Lobsters, cabezon, sheep crabs, kelpfish, and octopus can be found in as little as 10ft depth. Nudibranchs and gorgonians start becoming more coming in the outer reefs past 30ft, after the kelp stops. Blacksmith and barred sand bass will also roam this area. Look for large halibut in the sand past 30ft, and mantis shrimp at 50 or 60ft if you can swim that far out. Don’t be surprised in a harbor seal or sea lion accompanies you on your dive. In the fall school of stinging box jellies can pass by, but they are not deadly like their Australian cousins.

Entry & Exits: Entry is fairly sandy with a few rocky areas. Enter between lifeguard station #2 and #3, walking down the stairs into the little cove just to the left of sequit point and lifeguard tower #3. Swim out for a just a minute, and the reef starts on your right.

Suggestions: Vis is best during the late summer or fall when the south swell is low. The reef and kelp forest is packed with life from 15-20ft depth.

Best time to Dive: During small south swells and high tide. Avoid after rainstorms.

Visibility: 10-25ft

Warnings: Divers should be comfortable walking up and down stairs in gear. Watch out for hidden rocks when entering the water at this site. Beware of cars speeding by when gearing up.

Depth Recommendations: 12-38ft is where most of the points of interest are for this site.

Safety: Use of float, flag, anchor and descent line is required for beach diving. Cell phone and oxygen first aid kit should be available.

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Jenparr - 4/10/2015 1:07 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/8/2015. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
barbiezken - 6/04/2014 2:15 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/15/2013. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
Clam Chowder Dive, shot 2 Barred Perch
freedvr - 5/27/2014 2:02 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/24/2014. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
scubazigy - 8/23/2013 12:51 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/21/2013. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
Great dive at Leo again! Had a seal following and interacting with me the whole time. We played hide and seek through the kelp, it followed me almost all the way to the shore as well! Truly amazing experience. Leo continues to impress me.
hcdiveteambrian - 8/26/2013 12:48 PM
It’s a bad ass place for sure.
scubazigy - 8/20/2013 12:32 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/16/2013. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
Great dive, plenty of life had another seal dive buddy:)
Hammerhead_Ed - 8/19/2013 9:54 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/3/2013. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m.
Hammerhead_Ed - 8/19/2013 9:53 PM
I went scuba diving here on 1/1/2009. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m.
Iggy23 - 12/02/2012 9:49 AM
Rating Added: 4
Leo is always a good dive when conditions allow. The North Beach hold the best diving IMHO
hcdiveteambrian - 11/19/2012 6:25 PM
Rating Added: 3
the place is pretty cool year round. the reef is shallow and is long up and down the beach, short swim out. and if your "buddy" gets lost they wont complain there is plenty to do while diving solo!