Overview of Back Beach

Back Beach

USA East


Back Beach is a very easy site and should be interesting for all skill levels. Because of the easy of entry and proximity to parking, many come here watch the squid perform their antics during a night dive.

Directions: At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), turn South on SR 127A (Beach Street) to head into Rockport. In .2 miles, Back Beach will be on your left.


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

11/23/2018 Mark Rafferty (Avg: 3.52 Review) - We've been diving here for years and never had any issues. At our last club dive, the police threatened us that we would be charged with Indecent Exposure for changing in and around our cars. They also ticketed Larry for loading/unloading at the ramp.

06/30/2018 Monadnock dive club (Avg: 3.65 Review) - Club dive June 30th 2018. 86 degrees , surface 61, depth 51, 31ft skate, flounder, crabs, striper, lobster, beautiful seaweeds, mosses, and cora type algae' ''good day to dive ''.

08/08/2017 David Masher (Avg: 3.26 Review) - This site is great for beginner divers. The parking is amble and very close. There is a bathroom! The dive itself is somewhat interesting. It is basically a cove with large boulders on the side and sand in the center. Not much current and the visibility is average for this area. The only thing to be aware of is at sunset you can not see the beach well because of the position of the sun. We were happy to have had compass heading back to where we splashed. Worse case scenario is a walk on the beach :-)

04/27/2011 Adam 3 (Avg: 3.86 Review) - Lots of life including lots of lobsters and crabs to the right side. Some fish you see are flounder and skate. I had about 25 feet of visibility. Bathrooms right across the street and meter parking. Overall it was a nice dive.

12/06/2009 Tyler Diver (Avg: 4.15 Review) - Spent a day diving Back beach in early September. The weather was amazing, low 80's with plenty of sunshine. The water was a warm 65 degrees with no surface chop and no current. We dove the left side and saw plenty of lobster, small schools of fish, crabs and some flounder. The plant life was incredibly healthy and the visibility was exceptional. I would definitely return here but bring a few extra tanks and do multiple dive. The only downside was the amount of divers in the water and the serious limits with parking. It would be an interesting night dive.

09/07/2007 Mr. Toniko (Avg: 4.55 Review) - Back Beach was amazing. It was the best diving I've ever done!

08/25/2006 Marke Englert (Avg: 2.93 Review) - My goal here was to take some pictures of fish. My dive partner was Lewie Cheng whom I linked up with up in Boston while in a Dive shop. I took some nice pictures here of some Striped Bass and a wolffish. Nice easy dive for rookie underwater photographers like myself.

10/04/2005 Crashdiver9 (Avg: 3.25 Review) - Just wanted to try a new spot and wound up here because the entry is easy and they have restrooms. Local divers told us to swim out and go left, so we did. Lots of rocks and kelp. Caught a couple lobsters and saw many others. Lots of crabs, which I guess is the norm for this area. Not many fish other than a couple flounders and a single pout. Lots of surge which I personally love to ride. Not a bad dive, though I'm told is really comes alive at night.

03/14/2005 Sharon Hepburn (Avg: 3.13 Review) - Lots of certification classes. I got certified myself here. Not the most interesting of dives. Head for the rocks to the left, of course. Lots of flounder, skate. Usually some stripers to follow you around. The best part about this site is the night diving. The easy in/out make it a good night spot and the cove is bio-luminescent! There are parking meters - keep them fed! Bathrooms are open sometimes, but usually locked when I go.

08/05/2004 Jason NYC (Avg: 3.51 Review) - Besides Folly Cove, this was my favorite site after a weekend visit in Cape Ann for many reasons. No swimmers and very few divers combined with metered parking right across the street from a very easy beach entry, oh, and don't forget public restrooms, made this a real joy to do. We did this dive on a cloud covered Sunday morning so that may have been the reason for the lack of people. Usually it is packed. The parking is right by private homes so keep the noise to a minimum or someone will complain or call the police, understandably. The dive itself is a matter of swimming out a short 50 yards and dropping down to a very healthy boulder and plant field with lots of life like lobster, crab, starfish, stripers, and more. No current and 55 degrees at a max depth of 25ft on August 1st. Visibility was about 15-20 feet on a very calm day. Amazingly good viz so close to shore. This is a newbie's dream dive but will also make the experienced diver very happy with easy conditions all around. A real pleasure to dive with no hassle after a long weekend of climbing up, down, and over hills and boulders to shore dive in lovely Cape Ann. Did I mention bathrooms for you dry suit divers? Don't underestimate this very easy shore dive. Easy doesn't mean boring in this case. In my opinion the underwater view was better than Old Garden Beach but not nearly as good as Folly Cove.

07/14/2004 Michael Stricklen (Avg: 2.21 Review) - Did 2 of my checkout dives here, and as you would expect the site is very welcoming to beginning divers. Saw some lobster, and many crabs. Also a few skate, quite a few flounder, and one striped bass. A lot of checkout dives were going on at the time, and the bottom got stirred up a good bit. Unless you show up pre-7AM parking will be tricky. Make sure you feed the meters as well, as Rockport Police come by every 20 minutes looking for someone to ticket. There's a good number of residences in the area, so don't go drying your first stage off by cracking open your tank. Please be respectful, and try to put yourself in their place. This site is a very easy entry at high tide, and not very difficult at low tide. There's a small strip of sand if you want to bring along any non-divers for some sunning activities.

12/08/2003 Alan Shepard (Avg: 2.96 Review) - Back Beach is very much a beginner's dive site. Not many area dive sites offer the easy parking, entry and exit that Back Beach does. Most area instructors use it for classes, so it can get crowded in-season. Compared to premier area dive sites like Folly Cove or Cathedral Rocks, the marine life is limited. Always bring quarters for the parking meters.

08/31/2003 Emily (Avg: 3.78 Review) - I am still a beginning diver and I love Back Beach. It is very easy to dive. The only real downside is the crowds; the bottom in many places is silty and too many divers will make visibility virtually nothing. But undisturbed, it is a fascinating place to begin diving!

05/19/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 2.88 Review) - Back Beach is one of the easiest shore dives on Cape Ann, and probably the best site to bring non-divers, as there are restrooms, a sandy beach and a short walk to shopping and restaurants in downtown Rockport. It is also extremely popular with dive classes. Weekends in the summer are very crowded with both divers and non-divers, and parking can be very difficult. Because of the crowds, animal life can be sparse at times (especially lobsters), but it is still a very pretty dive, particularly on the left side of the beach along the rocks, where the plant life is most plentiful. You can often find sea ravens, striped bass, skates, flounder and at night, squid. It is an excellent night dive because of the ease of entry (walk right in…) and sheltered beach. Depths are shallow, most of the area below 30' and visibility is typical for New England, ranging from 20+ feet (if you're lucky) to less than 10' at times.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)



Overview at Back Beach 

In the background Back Beach is to the right and Front Beach is to the left.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MS0602


Parking at Back Beach 

Lots of metered parking, so bring your quarters.




Overview at Back Beach 

This is a beautiful cove, with the best diving off to the left.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MS0604


entry at Back Beach 

Mostly sand with a few scattered boulders, entry will be a snap.




Sign at Back Beach 

Hmmmm -- a philosophical statement to ponder while off-gassing.

Last Verification: November, 2003  


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

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.64
Bottom Conditions:  3.43
Reef Conditions:  2.86
Animal Life:  3.21
Plant Life:  3.21
Facilities:  4.00
Solitude 2.29
Roads:  4.14
*Site Average:  3.40

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.93
Beginner Scuba:  4.36
Intermediate Scuba:  3.79
Advanced Scuba:  2.57
Night diving Scuba:  3.64

Number of reviews for this site: 14


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