Overview of The Cave

The Cave

California South
USA West


This dive was recommended by a certified Gorilla. We've only included The Cave to show how difficult it can be to access. If you aren't comfortable climbing on sandy rocks, try a kayak dive instead! Located in the heart of La Jolla, this entry accesses some very nice coastline.

Directions: 11 miles North of San Diego, take the Ardath Road exit to the West. In 1.4 miles bear left on Torrey Pines Road. In 0.85 mile, turn right on Prospect Place. In 0.2 miles, bear right down Coast Blvd, and turn right into the parking.


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

09/13/2011 Anonymous (Avg: 4.70 Review) - I love this spot as the shore entry is very easy. The cliff is easy to go down -- find a diagonal route down. If you are on the cliff go north to the edge, step down a level and you can walk around towards the caves. instead of swimming from the cove, go to the shell shop. To the left of the shell shop is a wood railing. Follow it till you see the walkway to the cliff. I have seen guitarfish, moray eels, giant sea snails, leopard sharks, and octopus in the caves and hundreds of sea anemones in the caves, too. Watch out for kayak tours, inexperienced kayakers in caves are dangerous. The nice thing about this spot is that there are no recreational swimmers because of the long swim from the cove and the cliff access only.

09/07/2009 Dustin Meyer (Avg: 3.47 Review) - The Cave(s) at La Jolla was pretty much my favorite SoCal dive yet. I've done a lot of snorkeling in Laguna Beach, which I truly enjoyed, but for me this was on another level. My brother and I swam over from La Jolla Cove, it was max about a quarter mile swim, just pace yourself, you should be fine as the swell is calm. The visibility wasn't good until we actually got to the caves. We noticed some other people entering from the rocks, but it looked slightly treacherous. I'd try it next time but I'd have to find how to get there from the road. As far as what we actually saw - the actual caves were amazing, we were able to swim right into them, some had multiple inlets / outlets. The fish here, as with La Jolla cove, are very used to people. I had about 6 Garibadi floating about a foot under me for quite some time. (They probably though I was going to feed them, like some other people had been. Don't do this, it's prohibited.) There was a lot of kelp and eel grass right outside the caves. On the swim back to La Jolla Cove, I saw a 4 foot leopard shark, and a small octopus. Another snorkeler said he had seen a moray eel. I highly recommend this site, just make sure you go on a good day, and always use caution around the caves and rocks.

04/16/2009 Scuba Diver Girl Stephanie (Avg: 4.09 Review) - We dive here almost every day. The best way to get to this spot to dive is to enter at La Jolla Cove by the lifeguard tower. Head East and you will come to the caves. This area is protected, so please don't hunt, touch, or take anything from this entire area. There are lots of sea lions, horned sharks, and lots of Garibaldi fish. It is only about 15-20 feet deep with a little bit of kelp along the way.

05/08/2005 Blake Hobba (Avg: 3.54 Review) - I recommend diving entering from La Jolla Cove. Great visibility. Many small submerged tunnels throughout caves that are good for free diving. Fun for beginners and advanced divers alike.

07/19/2004 Jim Updike (Avg: 3.44 Review) - If you don't mind a long surface swim, then entry from La Jolla Cove is your best bet. However, if you have a kayak, this is a great dive! Pick a day when the surf is relatively calm and launch from the Marine Room.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: CS1201


Parking at The Cave 

Parking is VERY limited. Unless you just want to drop off your gear, get here early on a weekday outside of tourist season.

Trail Head



Trail Head at The Cave 

This is also a great spot to check out the sights.




Overview at The Cave 

It's a rather steep climb in and out.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CS1204


Entry at The Cave 

For those who are surefooted, and only on a calm day, you can gain entry from this ledge.




aerial at The Cave 
(click photo for details)

Pick your spot!

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  The Cave  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.00
Bottom Conditions:  4.40
Reef Conditions:  4.40
Animal Life:  4.00
Plant Life:  4.20
Facilities:  3.60
Solitude 2.40
Roads:  3.40
*Site Average:  3.85

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  4.60
Beginner Scuba:  4.40
Intermediate Scuba:  4.40
Advanced Scuba:  4.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.80

Number of reviews for this site: 5


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