Overview of Mendocino Bay

Mendocino Bay

California North
USA West


This dive site may be found on the North coast of Mendocino Bay. This wonderful diving beach is also known as The Blow Hole, due to a large hole in a cave to the right of the beach. The cave itself is known for a spectacular collection of nudibranches. Other critters can, of course, be found in the kelp field just off shore.

Directions: At the South end of Mendocino, take Main Street toward the ocean.


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

12/21/2009 Aviddiver.her (Avg: 3.75 Review) - There are now new stairs a little farther out the point. They are better made than the old ones but longer. Long but do-able walk to the water down stairs and very, very long walk back up. Take it slow or take up your weights separately if you are not in great shape. For scuba divers the multitude of different types of nudibranchs is the biggest attraction inside the hole. The hole is always open to air so not dangerous like a cave. You can only dive it on a calm day as waves flush through in rougher water. As always watch the water movement for a while before diving. Almost always surgey but worth it if you love nudis!

01/10/2008 John R. (Avg: 3.52 Review) - I have dove this site from 1993-2000 many times and 3 more times since I moved away. The coolest part was the WALL OF ABALONE! Either start from the beach and thru the tunnel or walk out past tunnel end & down the steep rock edge. Dive to westside of tunnel entrance and head south around the rock face and you will find a 20ft tall wall some 30-45ft long covered with large abalone about 45ft deep. Lots of bull kelp and a bottom covered in broken shells, and it is best done on a calm day because of the heavy surge.

05/16/2007 SoCalDiver (Avg: 1.92 Review) - This place has probably seen more people then any other site in Mendo county. Mainly because this beach is where all the locals hang out and watch their children. As for the blow hole, there are lots of broken and whole ab shells (found some really nice baby ab shells) and what appears to be old car/wagon parts. I asked a local and was told that back in the day people would use the hole as a dump. So overall if you're into finding shells and seeing a local sea fill, this is a great place. Otherwise better off at Russian Gulch or Van Dam.

09/19/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 4.00 Review) - Great place to go Abalone diving. Watch out for those seals as they will come right up to you.

09/24/2003 Oregon Diver (Avg: 2.75 Review) - The stairs in the picture are gone. A winter slide took them out. The access is now a long walk with a narrow steep cliff face trail to tackle. Tough and dangerous with gear. Hope they replace them. Cool looking site. For now Russian Gulch is a better option for a shore dive.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: CN0501


Parking at Mendocino Bay 

Where Main Street makes a sharp right, find some convenient parking. The trail head is through the opening in the fence.




Overview at Mendocino Bay 

You can clearly see the kelp beds, and the dark entrance of the cave to the right of the beach.

Trail Head



Trail Head at Mendocino Bay 

Getting down to the beach is an easy walk down a dirt path and then down these stairs.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CN0504


Entry at Mendocino Bay 

Sand beach, gentle entry-- perfect for any skill level.

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Mendocino Bay  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  2.40
Bottom Conditions:  3.40
Reef Conditions:  3.00
Animal Life:  3.40
Plant Life:  3.60
Facilities:  3.00
Solitude 2.80
Roads:  4.00
*Site Average:  3.19

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.00
Beginner Scuba:  3.40
Intermediate Scuba:  3.60
Advanced Scuba:  3.20
Night diving Scuba:  2.80

Number of reviews for this site: 5


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