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Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California 92007

© 2002-2005 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project
An aerial view of Pipes beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Highway 101 (Pacific Coast Highway) runs parallel to the beach. A path leads down to Pipes from the southern end of the San Elijo State Beach Campground.

© 2005
The path down to San Elijo State Beach

Pipes (also known as Cardiff Campgrounds) is a well-known surf spot in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, but it also offers great shallow reef and kelp diving opportunities for the more experienced shore diver.

Divers can expect to find rocky reef areas with lots of marine life at Pipes. Large kelp beds will be found after a long kick offshore. As typical for this area, the water is fairly shallow, usually less than 30'.

General Considerations
Expect breaking waves, especially when the tide is low and there is a west-northwest swell. Heavy surge can be hazardous in shallow areas, especially where there are protruding reef structures.

This is a popular beach with surfers- stay clear of their path when passing through the surf zone.

A shower and public restrooms are conveniently located at the north end of the San Elijo Park and campground. There is a semi-paved walkway down to the beach. Parking is on the west side of Highway 101. The nearest lifeguard station is located on the opposite (south) side of the campground.

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