A visit to Leo Carrillo State Beach means you have to dive amongst the kelp beds, and stay away from the surfers.
Leo Carrillo State Beach is famous for its kelp beds, but you won’t enjoy it without knowing how to do the kelp dive stroke, or if you get in the way of the surfers.
It’s amazing how far away you feel at Leo Carrillo State Beach, just 30 miles north of Los Angeles. What a great spot! It’s named after Leo Carrillo, the 30’s actor who bought an immense ranch there, and stretches up the coast from the beach. All kinds of movies were filmed here; you may remember this beach from 1958′s ‘Gidget,’ and just about every other “beach” movie ever made. Everything looks the same as it did then, and probably for centuries, if you ignore the mansions which now dot the hillside.
We entered the water at Lifeguard Station number two. The kelp beds start in the shallows in less than 15 feet of water. There’s abundant marine life, lush kelp beds. If it’s about scuba diving, snorkeling, or surfing, Leo Carrillo is epic. Fish life at Leo Carrillo includes sheephead, giant sea bass bright orange Garibaldi and black perch. It’s a visual treat!
Make sure you stay to the left of the buoy which is where the diving is. Next to the big rock are the surfers who will surely run you over if you are in the way. A surfboard can really cause some damage.
At Leo Carrillo, there is a really healthy kelp forest and associated kelp canopy there. The kelp forest is definitely a showcase along the Southern California coast. The kelp forest at Leo Carrillo is absolutely huge, and substantial reefs extend down to 50 feet. There are walls, pinnacles and channels galore, along with a fantastic variety of sea life. But the best part of Leo Carrillo is the surfing. It’s a really long ride.