Snorkeling Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach, California

by Jimbo
(Mission Viejo, CA)

There's a decent snorkeling spot in Laguna Beach, California called Treasure Island Beach.

A small cove in front of the Montage Resort has two finger reefs that jut out fifty yards or so from the sandy areas of the beach. In the rocky areas you can see quite a variety of juvenile fish.

Basically, it's the same fish you would see at La Jolla Cove in San Diego or Lovers Cove on Catalina Island. However, there's usually fewer fish than La Jolla or Lovers Cove.

Since I live in South Orange County, I usually go there every week when the water gets over 70 degrees in late August and early September. It's less of a hassle than driving down to La Jolla. And, it's definitely cheaper than taking the ferry to Catalina Island.

There's freshwater showers and bathrooms available. All in all, it's great for a quick midweek snorkel.

Like anywhere else in California, it's not worth the bother on summer weekends.

Comments for Snorkeling Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach, California

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 21, 2015
Treasure Island Beach Snorkeling
by: Nicole & Galen

Hi Jimbo, thanks for sharing this snorkel spot with us. Hopefully our site readers will find this information useful.

Dec 22, 2015
Rips Tides And Currents
by: Anonymous

How are the rip tides, currents and visibility at Treasure Island Beach?

Dec 25, 2015
Rip Tides, Currents & Visibility - Answer
by: Jimbo

Since it's a fairly well protected cove, there aren't any rip tides or cross currents here. However, if the surf's up, the surge can be pretty strong when the tide's going out. You don't get dragged out to sea or anything like that. But, you will be buffeted about a bit. I usually check a surf forecasting website before heading out.

Close in to shore, the visibility is in the 5 to 10 foot range. This is mostly due to the surf churning up the sand. Since you're in shallow water you can still see the fish. The better snorkeling is found following the rocky reef out 20 to 30 yards. There's a rocky shelf out there where the visibility is in the 10 to 15 foot range.

If you want great visibility, take the ferry across to Catalina Island to Lover's Cove. It's a rocky beach so the visibility is usually in the 20 to 25 foot range.

Jul 27, 2016
Easy access
by: Andy

I've snorkeled a few places in Laguna and while my experience at this beach was limited due to a running south swell in the summer months I recommend it.

There is a ramp on the north end of the bluffs that goes down to the sand, with a shower up at the top. So you won't have to take the more-crowded stairs if you don't want to. Just walk through the elegant grounds of the Montage to get there.

The beach gets small at high tide and big surf makes it even smaller, so make sure your gear is back from the high tide line. At low tide there are nice tide pools there and also further south, where you can make your way through the cave.

Like most beaches in the area there they will be best during flat surf days.

Click here to add your own comments

Ask your question or share a story! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to California Snorkeling Stories and Q&A.



[?]Get Our RSS Feed
Read more about Galen & Nicole