Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach
Butterfly Beach

Dive Site: Butterfly Beach has two different, easy dives. Dive 1 is down the steps at the intersection of Channel Drive and Butterfly Lane (Google Maps), dive 2 is down the steps in front of the Four Seasons Resort (Google Maps). Both sites have a gradually sloping sandy bottom making for easy entries and exits. Both dives offer shallow depth (10-30 feet), generally low current, but it can have some surge. Visibility is hit and miss and can change overnight. It can be as low as two feet and 10 feet of visibility is considered a good day at Butterfly.

Dive 1: This dive is on a pipe that dumps treated waste water out into the ocean. Not to worry, it dumps it out very far off-shore. Just don’t go too deep on this dive. Follow the pipe on one side to about 28-30 feet of depth, follow the other side all the way back in. Other than the pipe it’s mostly a sandy bottom with patches of rock and kelp, but diving the pipe is interesting as it provides a hold for kelp to attach to and habitat for many different creatures. So there’s plenty to see.

Finding the pipe: depending on tides and how much sand was moved around by a storm, the pipe comes out from under the sand at around 21 feet of depth. We can’t guarantee you’ll find the pipe but following these instructions you’ll find it nine out of ten times: surface swim out a bit staying slightly west of the steps, drop down, head due south along the bottom until you reach about 20 feet of depth, turn south-east and keep going along the bottom until you intersect with the pipe.

Dive 2: This dive is down the steps in front of the Four Seasons Resort. It is a gradually sloping sandy bottom with patches of rock and kelp. It can be an interesting dive but the pipe at Dive 1 is definitely the more interesting dive at Butterfly Beach

Amenities:Other than street parking, Butterfly Beach offers no amenities.

Parking:There is only street parking and it is also a popular beach by the locals so it isn’t always easy to find parking. Be very aware of bicyclists

Directions:Take Olive Mill Road exit from the 101 (from either direction) and head towards the beach. Continue onto Channel Drive until you get to the steps of your preferred dive.

Santa Barbara Area Scuba