Overview of Morro Rock South

Morro Rock South

California Mid
USA West


If the conditions are not good at Morro Rock North, they'll be good here. This is a relatively easy site to dive, but is a little less interesting than what you'd find on the other side of the rock. You will find kelp beds to explore, and various creatures-of-the-sand.

Directions: Follow the instructions for Morro Rock North, but continue driving on the road on the South side of the Rock.


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

11/25/2009 Mike C (Avg: 3.16 Review) - Dove Coleman beach in Morro Bay, excellent vis 20 + feet. Schools of perch and nudibranches aplenty. Easy walk in walk out.

01/06/2009 Indy (Avg: 2.57 Review) - The dive was very good with very easy entry and exit points. Just be careful of the rocks, there are a few paths down to the water which were only 30 feet from my truck. I recommend diving at slack high tide as the current can be strong otherwise. My dive buddy and I saw a variety of star fish, shrimp, a few fish, but the nudibrachs made up for the lack of fish, and OMG the clam shells are huge. I guess the sea otters that hang around there eat quite well!

07/12/2007 Edward J. Palumbo (Avg: 2.39 Review) - The site wasn't difficult to find at all. I approached from Highway 1 and turned right toward the power plant on Beach, then followed the roadway past the U.S. Coast Guard station and power plant. My timing as a visitor in late June and early July may have been poor. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge ship, Yaquina, based in Washington State, was operating in the channel to remove some 160,000 cubic yards of material, redepositing it some distance away at the Sandspit. As a result, the visibility was poor (3-4 feet) and the bottom was disrupted by silt deposits. I kept to the bottom and was unaware I'd ventured into the channel until a powerful diesel engine overhead acted as a reminder. Ambient air temperatures were very mild at 62-66 degrees due to a protective layer of fog, the product of cool air meeting a warm land mass, while temperatures not far inland at Atascadero were 25+ degrees warmer and uncomfortably hot. Entry off the crescent-shaped sand beach near the base of Morro Rock was relatively uncomplicated, but the viz was poor and didn't improve while I was there. Personnel from the USCG station nearby provided me with additional information on the dredging operation, which should be completed soon. There are many (seafood) restaurants nearby as a consolation to the day's limited viz. For the birdwatchers and photographers, the rock is a relatively undisturbed haven and no climbing is permitted on Morro Rock. I expect to see this area again, and I hope to see it under better conditions. For lodging, I would recommend nearby Cayucos, an often-overlooked beach community that provides fine atmosphere, interesting shops and (with the exception of their 4th of July celebration - Cayucos' magnum opus and an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to exercise good humor) it's a peaceful, uncrowded escape, but reserve rooms well in advance if you expect to be there on Independence Day.

07/31/2006 Greggory M Silva (Avg: 2.74 Review) - Very nice and easy dive for all levels. Sandy bottom with abundance of star fish, silver dollars, sea grass and kelp. Good visibility before tide comes in, better as you get deeper. Total depth about 35 feet, but if you are this deep you are in the channel. Watch for larger boats using the channel to dock and to turn around. Excellent for beginners and novices alike.

06/19/2005 Eric L (Avg: 2.59 Review) - When I dove here the vis was 15f which is rare for this dive spot. We saw lots of large surf perch along the jetty, a large spider crab, a small lingcod, and lots of crabs. Overall, this isn't a great dive spot and I don't know why it's a favorite among the local divers. Probably because if you catch it on an incoming high tide the vis will usually be promising enough to dive. It is any easy spot for night diving. The bottom is all mud. Watch out for boat traffic!

04/12/2005 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 4.13 Review) - Great beginner dive! Even when the visibility is only is only 5 feet there is still plenty to see. Large boulders hide perch and tons of starfish. Dive at high tide (after that the current can get pretty rough). Plus, as a bonus, there are almost always sea otters at the surface. The beach earlier in the rode is Coleman beach another neat site with lots of eel grass. Great drift diving (drift on high tide from Coleman to Target Rock).

12/22/2004 Brian Xavier (Avg: 3.69 Review) - Morro Bay South is also called Target Rock. There is a large rock near the side of the bay and this is a good place to start diving. Vis. Here is different at different times. One good rule for Morro Bay is always dive the high tide. Currents sweep you in and out of the bay otherwise. The bottom life can be amazing: giant spider crabs, big lings, cabs, a few rockfish, and lots and lots of giant rubberlip and other perch. I recently cut a 4 foot leopard shark loose from the bottom of the bay. Great diving but check the viz. If you can't see down past two feet in the water, don't think about diving; the viz will be down to zero. A most underrated dive!


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: CM0401


Parking at Morro Rock South 

Parking is directly along the water front.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CM0402


Entry at Morro Rock South 

An easy climb down the rocks takes you to a sandy entry. The dive area is around to the right.

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Morro Rock South  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.00
Bottom Conditions:  2.86
Reef Conditions:  2.14
Animal Life:  3.29
Plant Life:  2.57
Facilities:  3.29
Solitude 3.14
Roads:  4.00
*Site Average:  3.04

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.14
Beginner Scuba:  4.14
Intermediate Scuba:  3.71
Advanced Scuba:  3.29
Night diving Scuba:  3.43

Number of reviews for this site: 7


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