Overview of Stillwater Beach

Stillwater Beach

California North
USA West


Stillwater Beach is found within the Stillwater Cove County Park, and offers possibilities for the beginner through the advanced. The site opens to the Southwest, so it is mostly protected from the Pacific swells.

Directions: Just a couple of miles South of Salt Point State Park, and North of Fort Ross.


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

03/28/2009 Joe Diver (Avg: 3.27 Review) - (No comment)

07/20/2007 Chris LaClair (Avg: 4.22 Review) - Had a really good spear fishing dive on July 19th. Shot my first ling cod. Saw a lot of fish, some seals, and some really good looking abalone farther out. There was a small open cockpit ketch anchored in the kelp with Oregon stickers on it. Kind of weird, but it was anchored pretty securely at the bow and stern so I don't think it was in any danger.

10/23/2006 Josh Tiumalu (Avg: 3.59 Review) - If you are looking for some big abalone and are able to dive deep, this is the place you want to be! Shallow dives are also very nice and will easily produce your limit of abalone. There is a lot of marine life here, so bring your gun. Tank Diving is also fun, as the cove gets fairly deep in the middle and has a lot to look at!

07/07/2005 Jim Christofferson (Avg: 3.19 Review) - I have been diving this cove for years and I still enjoy spending a couple hours free diving around the cove. As far as abalone are concerned the areas inside the cove have been pretty picked over and require some searching to find a legal size ab. I have had more luck in the south side of the cove in finding abs and fish as there is more rock structure and much more kelp. If you can launch a kayak and paddle north outside the cove you can quickly get into some really good abs, but be prepared to dive deep (20+ feet). If you have a little experience ab diving I would drive a little farther north to Salt point as, while the conditions are often much tougher, the abalone are more plentiful.

05/06/2004 Jesse Rorabaugh (Avg: 4.10 Review) - I just went to this area for the second week of abalone season. Conditions were terrible everywhere on the coast, this was the only site diveable. Visibility was less than ten feet but I still managed to get 2 abalone the first day (in less than five foot vis) and three the second in close to ten feet vis. I was amazed how many abalone were here despite how much people dive here. If you can dive 20-30 feet you will have no trouble finding abalone here, on one free dive I remember seeing five legal abalone. Even in ten foot water just off the shore there were quite a few legal ones.

12/18/2003 Jesse Rorabaugh (Avg: 3.59 Review) - I have dove here twice. The first time was my first attempt at abalone diving. This made a good first place to learn as it was reasonably calm that day. Visibility was about 15-20 feet. While there, I was only able to get a single legal abalone in about two hours. I had fun though. I have also learned since then that the south side of the cove seems to be a little more productive than the north side in that respect. The second trip I was attempting to spearfish while free diving. This did not go very well. Conditions were poor, maybe 10 foot visibility, and heavy surge. There were a few large black rockfish, but not very large numbers of them, and they were very skittish. I also was within inches of getting a china rockfish. I did end up going home empty handed. However, my two friends also had about the same luck, neither catching anything. I did notice that the scuba people were picking up large lingcod directly in the center of the cove, in around thirty or forty foot water.

08/17/2003 William L. Boldt (Avg: 3.62 Review) - The shingle beach is an easy entry, and is well protected from surf except on the roughest of days. Visibility is pretty variable, from 5ft. to 30ft. Several wash rocks provide interesting places to free dive around. Lots of invertebrate life for good macro photography. On my last dive there I was able to bag an abalone for dinner, take some good photographs and was visited by a curious harbor seal. A great dive site which I return to again and again.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: CN0801


Entrance at Stillwater Beach 

At the bottom of a sharp curve in the highway, you'll see a one lane road in the shade of the trees heading to the beach. The gate will be closed, but you can drop your equipment off here and park at the top of the hill.

Trail Head

 Map     Sat
GPS: CN0802


Trail Head at Stillwater Beach 

The hike to the beach is short and easy.




Overview at Stillwater Beach 

Take a view from the Northern cliff to see the conditions and the location of the kelp. The entry beach is to the left.




Overview at Stillwater Beach 

This is another overview looking to the right of the above picture.




Overview at Stillwater Beach 

Another overview farther to the right.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CN0806


Entry at Stillwater Beach 

Most of the time, the entry is suitable for dive training.

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Stillwater Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.43
Bottom Conditions:  3.71
Reef Conditions:  3.57
Animal Life:  3.86
Plant Life:  3.29
Facilities:  3.57
Solitude 2.71
Roads:  3.57
*Site Average:  3.65

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  4.29
Beginner Scuba:  3.14
Intermediate Scuba:  3.43
Advanced Scuba:  2.86
Night diving Scuba:  2.86

Number of reviews for this site: 7


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