Scripps Canyon is one of the most unique and top rated dives in Southern California. Steep walls drop from 70ft down to past 120ft, and are teeming with marine life. Access is quite difficult, but well worth the effort. The canyon has three different branches; North Branch, Sumner Branch and South Branch. In certain sections you can swim across blue water to go from one wall to another. A dive at scripps is always breathtaking and can awe even the veteran diver. There are many cracks and crevices filled with various Reef Fish, Eels, Nudibranchs and tons of other Sea Creatures! Difficulty Level 9/10
Interests: California Morays, many species of Rockfish, Swell Sharks, Wolf Eels, and many Nudibranchs species are found at Scripps. There are also schooling fish, large amounts of electic invertebrates, and pelagic visitors such as Salps and Jellyfish.Entry & Exits: Access is from 3 methods - boat, a long walk from Scripp's pier, or a private parking area. most people swim out to the Scripps buoy and descend down the buoy. The Seaducers Club has access to the private parking area, this is the recommended way to go. Entry/exit is at a sandy beach.
Suggestions: You must bring a powerful dive light, even during the day; It can get extremely dark in the canyon and it will always be dark in the large cracks and crevices. Look inside the various cracks, caves and crevices to find Nudibranchs, Fish, Sharks, and Eels. Look for D. Spaldingi and Macfarland's Chromodorid Nudibranchs from 90-120ft. Wolf Eels might be found from 110-130ft if you are lucky.
Best time to Dive: Any time is ok due to the depths, but perform an environmental assessment before you gear up; Apply prudent judgement applicable to the scope of your training before diving this location.
Visibility: 15 - 35ft
Warnings: The climb back to the parking area can be strenuous. Divers should be comfortable doing a surface swim. The walls at Scripps are very steep, complete and total control of your buoyancy is required to dive this site.
Depth recommendations: 70 - 100ft is where most of the points of interest are for this site. 100 ft is recommended maximum depth for this dive site.
Safety: Use of a Float, Flag, Anchor and Descent line are required for Beach Diving. Cell Phone, Oxygen Kit and First Aid Kit are always recommended.