Palos Verdes



Dive Site

Beach Access

What You'll See


Emergency #'s










    About 10 yards from the Parking lot  (if you park in the Westernmost corner) is the paved path leading down to the Beach.  The path begins at the Westernmost corner of the Parking lot where you'll find an opening left of the gate with signage warning of the Beach Regulations. 

    The path leading to the beach is fairly steep in areas and quite slippery if there's lots of sand so be mindful of your footing.  The path is about 50 yards down and is relatively easy to walk - It's about as easy as it gets in Palos Verdes area.

The bottom of the Path opens to the Beach.  Best access will be to your left and easiest will be at higher tides.  Entry here is very rocky, so it's imperative you are careful upon entry - there are many large, loose rocks which make entry potentially hazardous.

We've rated this spot as an Intermediate dive only because the rocky entry may prove tricky for beginning divers.  The beach access, parking and path to the beach make this sight easily accessible and would have rated beginner except for the rocks.


Access from Parking lot

Top of Path looking Down

Warning Sign at Entrance

Mid-way Down - looking at Beach

Bottom of Path at Beach



  Water entry is relatively easy in light and moderate surf during High Tide.  The shore leading to the water has lots of large loose rock, so be cautious when entering or exiting beyond the sand - especially during low tide.

  The surf here is usually pretty calm - but we've seen it pretty big, so only enter if you're comfortable - dive to your ability!  Generally speaking, if there's a good southerly swell pounding other beaches, Malaga Cove will be a good bet to make a dive since it faces North-West and will tend to be calmer on these days.

  Most of the diving here is pretty shallow with depths running about 10 - 30 feet in most areas within easy swimming distance.  There are many Rocky Channels running parallel to shore loaded with sea life in the crevices.

  Visibility is generally good, averaging about 15-25 feet with occasional 30-40 foot visibility. Usually there is no noticeable current, but once in a while there may be a light south-easterly current running along the shore.

  More Advanced Divers and those who don't mind the rocky entry will enjoy diving Malaga Cove.  We've rated this spot as an Intermediate Dive, not because of the actual dive, but because of the Rocky Entry required to get to the water...Just mind your footing and try to dive this spot during High Tide.

View from Cliffs above Malaga Cove

View from Cliffs above Malaga Cove

Beach Entry close up

Shown; Parking Area, Access to Trail, Trail to beach & Beach Access

Picture Courtesy of Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman 2002-2007 California Coastal Records Project

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  Lots of Rocks, Heavy Kelp, lots of sand and  large rock crevices running parallel to shore.

  Beyond that you'll likely see:

  Lots of small invertebrates including brightly colored Spanish shawl nudibranchs. Sea stars, Decorator Crabs, Chestnut cowries, Sand Bass, Bat Rays, Calico Bass, Tree Fish, Cabezon, Giant Kelpfish, Blackeye Goby, California Sheephead, Senorita, White Seaperch, Opaleye, Horn Shark, small reef fish and an abundance of octopus.  Also common here is the California Halibut & Bat Rays!  During the months of March through June you'll likely see some small White Sea Bass on the fringe of the Kelp Beds as well.

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  There are no Facilities at Malaga Cove.


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No Overnight Parking


Parking is usually plentiful and is FREE.  Pull to the far end of the parking lot, this is the closest to the Beach access and will save you some walking.

  Please pay attention to the "No Parking" after 9:00 pm and before 5:00 am or a tow company may take your vehicle.

  Please be mindful of your noise levels early in the morning, many family homes are very close to the parking lot and would appreciate your being mindful of the residents.

Entrance to Parking Area (Right)

Parking Area ( At Entrance)

Parking Area ( Park at Far End)

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From San Pedro

  • 110 Freeway South till it Ends (It ends on Gaffey Street in San Pedro)

  • Gaffey Street Left 25 blocks to 25th Street (Merge to the right onto 25th)

  • Travel a few Miles and 25th Street turns into Palos Verdes Drive South

  • You'll travel another 2-3 miles where Palos Verdes Drive South turns into Palos Verdes Drive West

  • Follow Palos Verdes Drive West 2-3 miles to "Via Corta" - Turn Left

  • Via Corta turns into "Via Almar" - follow this 3/4 mile to "Via Arroyo" (at Malaga Cove School)Turn Right onto Via arroyo down to Paseo del Mar.  You'll see parking on the right

From Redondo Beach

  • 110 Freeway South to Torrance Blvd. exit West

  • Take Torrance Blvd till it Ends in Redondo Beach and turn left onto Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)

  • Take PCH South to Palos Verdes Blvd and turn Right

  • Follow PV Blvd to Palos Verdes Drive WEST (Not North) - it will be to the Right.

  • Follow PV Drive West to "Via Corta" - Turn Right

  • Via Corta turns into "Via Almar" - follow this 3/4 mile to "Via Arroyo" (at Malaga Cove School)

  • Turn Right onto Via arroyo down to Paseo del Mar.  You'll see parking on the right

The entrance to Malaga Cove will be on your Left (Beach Side) all the way at the end of the Parking lot (Just past the Gazebo)


Parking Area

Entrance to Beach Area at far end

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Emergency Assistance:

Recompression Chambers:


--911 (Dial First) CATALINA ISLAND --(310) 510-1053


--(919) 684-8111 NORTHRIDGE --(818) 885-8500
HARBOR PATROL --(310) 318-0632 SANTA ANA --(714) 973-8777
LIFEGUARDS --(310) 372-2162 LOS ROBLES --(805) 497-2727
FIRE --(310) 379-5416
POLICE --(310) 318-0618

DAN  (Medical Questions)

--(919) 684-2948



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Copyright 1996-2008

Pacific Wilderness, Inc.

All Rights Reserved

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