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Back  |  USA: California Coast  |  Monterey

Butterfly House  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Carmel, CA

Type: Saltwater
Intermediate, Advanced
Access: Difficult Shore Entry
Parking: Limited

Ratings (1-5):
Reviews: 3
Enjoyment: 5
Visibility: 4
Current: 4
Aquatic Life: 3

Photo Gallery:

White Nudibranch
Black and Yellow Rockfish (Sebates chrysomelas)
Leafy Hornmouth Snail
Brittle Star
Rock Scallop on Butterfly House Reef
Entry Point to Butterfly House, Monterey
The Butterfly House, Monterey
Moon Jellyfish


Large Rock Formation / Pinnacle, Boulder Pile / Shelves, Kelp Forest


Butterfly House is named for the intriguingly designed house sitting on a bluff which overlooks the entry point of this dive location. The site is dynamic, with large rock structures, sheer walls, small canyons and crevices full of sea life all guarded by a giant kelp forest near the shore. A truly fantastic dive site with nearly endless exploration possibilities and full of lingcod, rockfish and perch.

Once you’ve worked your way down to the shore you’ll find yourself in a small cove right below the Butterfly house. Directly out from the cove is a kelp barrier that you can either dive under or maze around on the surface. If you continue directly out from there you will begin to encounter large scattered rock formations tucked among the kelp that extend beyond the point with plenty to explore at shallow depths. If you veer to the right you will encounter larger formations turning to canyons and walls as you near 60’- 80’. Be careful to navigate yourself back into the cove for your exit and don’t get stuck between the waves and the rocks that break the surface further out in the cove.

Special Restrictions:

Beware of the difficult climb to the water, heavy kelp, large surf and a narrow entry and exit spot.

How to get there:

The unmistakable house is located on Scenic Rd. at the end of Stewart Way. Park on Stewart way and walk down the street to the bluff overlooking the small cove. There is a trail that goes down right here but DO NOT TAKE IT. There is a drop at the end that is impossible for a geared up diver. Instead, walk North up the road a little ways and you’ll come to another trail “gorge” that leads you down a bunch of rocks. It is still a difficult climb up and down but it is better than the alternative.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
  Comments Leave Review  
Slobert2/18/2008Rating: 5
I love this site. It is great for exploring and testing your navigation. Lots of large House sized rock structures reaching up towards and breaking the surface. Would be a great place for an advanced freediver. Gets pretty intense with surge though, so plan your dive according to your skill and comfort.

ChevaYEA2/18/2008Rating: 4
Wow, this is a great dive site! It is challenging to get in and out of the water (due to the trail) but the dive has infinite exploration possibilities. Keep heading to the right to find larger and more dynamic structure. Lots of fish!

SwimmerTodd2/18/2008Rating: 5
This was one of my favorite dives in Monterey. There is an endless maze of canyons to explore. We dove it right at dusk which made for an extremely advanced navigation dive to make it back into the cove to exit the dive. Butterfly house, in my opinion, really is representative for what Monterey has to offer the diving world.


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