Point Lobos SCUBA Diving

Whaler's Cove

Diving at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve (SNR) is now resuming with limited availability. There will only be 10 team spots allowed a day. Due to limited availability, we are allowing only one reservation per team per day.  Reservations are required for dive, kayak and boat launch. They are available online only and must be made in advance. We are not offering the drive-up option at this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging and unprecedented times. For the latest information on how State Parks is increasing accessing to our park units and new visitor guidelines, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

If you have any questions about diving at Point Lobos SNR, please contact Samantha Shackelton at (831) 624-8413 or at Samantha.Shackelton@parks.ca.gov.

If booking multiple reservations, please call to check availability prior to making a reservation at (831) 624-8413.

SCUBA and free diving reservations can be made for Point Lobos State Reserve.
Reservations can be made in advance, as far out as the current month plus two months. Diving as a team of three requires two reservations. You may type "TBD" into the required fields if there isn't going to be a fourth diver, or if you are not sure who your fourth diver will be.

CA State Parks does not rent any kayaks, stand up paddleboards, or dive equipment to park visitors. There are a variety of shops that rent gear to the public in Monterey.

Snorkeling reservations are made in the same way as dive reservations. If you wish to make a snorkeling reservation, use the buttons on the right to make a reservation as if you were a diver, but once the program requests dive certification information select and type "Snorkel". All snorkelers need a buddy in order to enter the water.

 Activity Fees
 Weekend- Holiday Diving/ Snorkeling Reservation or Walkup= $30+ Processing Fee
 Weekday Diving/ Snorkeling with Reservation = $20+ Processing Fee
 Weekday Diving/ Snorkeling- Walkup = $25 per team.
 Kayaking/ Stand-Up Paddleboarding = $10 per Vessel
 Boat Launch Fee = $25 per Boat
 Vehicle Parking Fee =$10 per car

A dive fee, per pair of divers must be paid to CA State Parks when you make your reservation.  A Reserve entry fee of $10 per car and boat launch fee of $25 (if you wish to bring a boat) are paid using the links to the right. Kayaks and Stand-Up Paddleboards are $10 to launch.

Divers at Whaler's CoveUpon arriving at PLSR, each diver must show proof of diver certification. The only acceptable proof is the diver certification card or certificate from a recognized organization such as NAUI, PADI, YMCA, NASDS, SSI, etc. If your C-card does not have a photograph, you will be asked to show your driver's license or other picture ID.

Point Lobos State Reserve provides a special diving experience. Reservations will allow divers to plan ahead.  Fifteen teams of divers are permitted in Point Lobos State Reserve each day. There is also a limit of four teams of Kayakers/ SUPs per day. All requirements and regulations for diving at PLSR remain in effect.


Rules and Regulations

  1. Diving permits are limited to 10 teams per day. Each permit is for a team of two divers. Diving alone is not permitted. All divers must have a partner.

  2. All divers on the team must be present to be registered. A valid diver certification card must be in your possession at the time of registration. If the card does not have a photo on it, you may be asked for other photo identification.

  3. All SCUBA divers must have a device capable of maintaining positive buoyancy.

  4. Divers and boats may enter or exit the water only at the access ramp at Whalers Cove parking lot.

  5. The diving area is limited to Whalers and Bluefish Coves. All other areas of the Reserve are closed to diving. Snorkeling is NOT permitted at China Cove or Gibson Beach.

  6. No dive teams or boats will be permitted to register less than two hours prior to the Reserve's posted closing time. Closing times are subject to change; check with the kiosk for current closure times.

  7. No fishing equipment or collecting tools are permitted in the Reserve. All animals, plants, and natural features in the Reserve are fully protected.

  8. The Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and State laws prohibit you from disturbing or harassing marine mammals. Be cautious in the areas where there are nesting birds, they frighten easily. Please keep your distance!! If you approach seals, otters, whales, or seabirds and notice they are alerting to your presence then you are too close. You need to change your direction and move farther away from the wildlife.

  9. Hand launchable boats are permitted.  Two boats per day are allowed. Only dive boats are permitted to launch at the Whalers boat ramp. Leisure boating or boating with the intentions of fishing outside of the reserve is not permitted. If your boat is on a trailer, the trailer must be parked at the Rat Hill boat parking area (see map). Keep speeds under 5 m.p.h. No Wake!

    Remember, there are areas and beaches that are closed to the public for the protection of the wildlife. Do not come ashore at these locales; including, but not limited to, Headland Cove, Bluefish Cove, and Whalers Cove. Personal watercraft (aka. Jet-Skis) are prohibited in the outlined area on the dive map, but NOAA regulations do allow for the use of Motorized Personal Watercraft (MWPC) within four year-round operating zones, as well as one seasonal zone, within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Please visit the NOAA website at https://montereybay.noaa.gov/resourcepro/resmanissues/mpwc.html for more information. 

Point Lobos Dive Map