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Monastery Beach North - Carmel CA

Monastery Beach North is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Carmel, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 4.18 out of 5 from 17 scuba divers. The maximum depth is over 150ft/46m. The average visibility is 31-35ft/9-11m.

This is an easy-access site toward the Southern end of Carmel River State Beach. Come here when the main beach, just to the South, is packed. Because this shoreline is wide open to the Pacific swells, you should consider yourself an advanced diver before negotiating the entry.

Head South on Highway 1 out of Carmel. Just as you start to see the first roadside beach, you’re there!

This place is awesome. I got certified here in 1980. If you disrespect the site it will put you down hard. However, choose your day wisely and this site is incredible. 40+ foot viz this day. Flat seas. Shore break was less than a foot. The kelp barely moved while I was down there. Got to spend some time in the shallows and it was great. Max depth on this one was 60 feet. Had a local seal diving with me which is not unusual. Many people I talk to think this dive site is a diver killer. It can be, but there is no reason for it if you use your head and pick your day. There have been several times where I roll up to the beach and decide I’ll pass. By far my favorite dive spot in Monterrey.

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CAAdventureGurl - 12/29/2016 9:41 PM
Rating Added: 5
This is by far my most favorite site in the world.

The water is always clear and visibility is great. There is a variety of kelp and you can find so many different vertebrates and invertebrates. The colors are fantastic and the topography is stunning. There are sheer walls for a fantastic wall dive and some fun coves that swish you back and forth with extra surge.

It’s an advanced dive, due to the depth and the steep entry/exit. As a short person, I’ve only managed to walk out maybe 40% of the time, despite my experience (the waves create a steep 1-2ft stair-step on the beach, which require very precise timing to land high enough while standing - especially when short).
MC - 6/01/2014 11:12 PM
Rating Added: 5
The edge of the continental shelf always makes for an interesting dive.
Otis24 - 4/02/2014 7:47 AM
Rating Added: 4
This is my second favorite dive site in Monterey after Monastery Beach South. I’ve been here on several occasions. This is the one place in Monterey you can dive deep from the shore. You can go as deep as you want although there isn’t a lot to see down deep.

I like to surface swim out to the rock about 125 yards from shore and descend there. You can either follow the bottom down deep or go around the rock.
egunnison - 3/24/2014 2:12 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/23/2014. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
Enjoyed this site the day before so we went back since we didn’t want to wait in line at Lobos. Surf was much calmer today, very easy entry and exit...still some surge but very easy. Swam with a harbor seal towards the end of the dive, still plenty of schooling fish. Hit some great boulders and walls in ~70 fsw.
egunnison - 3/24/2014 2:01 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/22/2014. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
Great dive. The entry was a little easier to negotiate than the southern site and we followed the kelp line out a ways before dropping into about 35 fsw. Swam through the kelp and rock formations, bottoming out at 78 fsw before heading back in. Lots of schooling fish hanging in the kelp.