We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Leopard Sharks

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
59 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Leopard Sharks

I think I have read that Leopard Sharks may be encountered when swimming in La Jolla Cove. How far would I have to swim out to have a potential encounter? I don't want to have one! Lol. I believe I have also read that they are not dangerous, but, nonetheless . . .

Also, where would be a good place to park (if I am lucky enough to snag a spot) close by?

Moreover, is it true that kids cannot wear life jackets when swimming there?

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,738 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Leopard Sharks

You'd have to swim about chest deep to encounter them, but you'd also have to go to a pretty specific place in the water to see them. They seem to concentrate in that specific spot right at the Marine Room at La Jolla Shores. Swim anywhere else, and you probably won't see them. They are completely harmless and shy away if you approach them too quickly. The creatures you have to be careful with are the stingrays. As you walk in the water, do the stingray shuffle so these (also harmless) animals know you are coming and will get away. If not, you may get a painful sting.

If you go early enough, you can find parking at the parking lot at LJS. Otherwise you'll be able to park in the neighborhood.

I don't know about kids not wearing life jackets while swimming, but it would make sense. If kids cannot swim, they should not be in the water past their knees. Some rules: never leave kids unsupervised and be very aware of the rip currents that can come unexpectedly. Recently we had a slew of people (about 100) who got in trouble at the same time because of the rip currents. Every lifeguard on duty had to go out and rescue them. Educate yourself on rip currents and how to get out of them.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
59,102 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Leopard Sharks

Now that you mention it , I don't think I've ever seen children in life jackets on the beach. Hmm? I suppose it is because parents do not allow children in the water if they cannot swim. Even if they CAN swim parents should be with younguns because ocean swimming is very different than swimming in a pool!!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
672 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Leopard Sharks

Are the stingrays still around in January? I read that the sharks are gone by then. Is that correct?

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,738 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Leopard Sharks

Sharks and stingrays are only here in summer during tourist season ; )

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
59 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Leopard Sharks

Elle - you crack me up with your tourist joke! Thanks for all the useful info. I have indeed educated myself about riptides. I don't plan on going out over waist deep, either! And I have had plenty of experience with sting rays. Never been stung!

My kids will definitely be under my watchful, motherly eye. They do have swimsuits with flotation devices sewn into them. Hence my question. I figure that can help them in case they get knocked over by a wave and it would help them stay afloat while they are trying to snorkel. However, if they cannot wear them, then I will hold one child afloat and dad can handle the other. :)

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,738 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Leopard Sharks

Are you planning to come in January? The water will be VERY cold at that time.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
672 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Leopard Sharks

Yes to January and the boys will be wearing wet suits while in the water. We always visit California in January. Seems to be the only time we can get away for a few weeks without too much "heck" breaking loose with hubby's business...

On past vacations south of Santa Monica, we have stayed in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Mission Beach and have never encountered sting rays. I know all beach areas are quite unique so that's why the question about the string rays after reading your earlier comment...

FYI: Been to Clearwater, Florida many times in the past, so we've got the sting ray shuffle down pat if needed:)

Edited: 12:27 pm, August 05, 2011
8. Re: Leopard Sharks

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11:16 pm, October 07, 2012