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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest


USA: Pacific Northwest Dive Region & Sub Regions

The cold, emerald waters of the Pacific Northwest are a real treat for Scuba diving. This region of the website includes dive sites and galleries in the Puget Sound, Hood Canal, the San Juans, and the Oregon and Washington coasts. Divers in the Pacific Northwest are presented a large variety of life, ample dive locations, and dynamic diving opportunities such as walls, bull kelp forests, drift dives and dive parks.

View All USA: Pacific Northwest Dive Sites

Hood Canal21 Dive Sites
Select: Hood Canal

The Hood Canal attracts divers for its mild currents and interesting life that can be easily accessed by shore or a local dive charter. Encounters with Giant Pacific Octopus and Wolf Eels are common in relatively shallow water and lingcod, rockfish, nudibranchs, crab and more are ever present.

The primary challenge of the Hood Canal is water visibility. Divers can expect 10’-20’, often better in the winter months and worse after heavy rains or in the spring time when algae blooms.

The Hood Canal reaches from the tip at Belfair, west to Hoodsport and north to the Hood Canal Bridge. Hwys 106 and 101 run along the water and offer scenic views of the Canal.

Oregon4 Dive Sites
Select: Oregon

Puget Sound - North34 Dive Sites
Select: Puget Sound - North


The North Puget Sound region is located in Washington and covers the waters north of Seattle to include Whidbey Island, Everett, Anacortes and the surrounding islands, and all the way through Bellingham to the Canadian border, including Port Townsend on the west side of the Sound.

The Northern Puget Sound offers diverse diving opportunities from shore and easily accessible boat dives with a wide variety of diving experiences including steep sheer walls, rapid passages, natural pinnacles, ship wrecks, and diver friendly underwater parks. Among the sealife, North Puget Sound divers regularly see Lingcod, Rockfish, Perch, Ratfish, many types of sculpin and gunnels, a vast array of nudibranchs, and with a little luck, a Giant Pacific Octopus, Wolf Eels and the elusive 6-Gill Shark.

The Northern Puget Sound is relatively protected from surf and storms, thus surface conditions only occasionally affect diving. Visibility and currents are the primary challenges when diving in the Puget Sound. The water visibility typically ranges from 15’ to 30’, tending to be better in the winter months and worse in the spring, after heavy rainfall or large tidal exchanges. Tidal exchanges can cause extreme currents in some areas of the Sound so get familiar with the tide and current charts, dive safely and enjoy all the Puget Sound has to offer.

Puget Sound - South76 Dive Sites
Select: Puget Sound - South


The South Puget Sound region is located in Washington and stretches from Olympia in the south, past Tacoma and Bainbridge Island, through Seattle, and also includes Lake Washington.

The South Puget Sound offers great diving opportunities from shore and easily accessible boat dives with a wide variety of diving experiences including steep sheer walls, natural and artificial rocky reefs, ship wrecks, and diver friendly underwater parks. Among the sealife, divers regularly see Lingcod, Rockfish, Perch, Ratfish, many types of sculpin and gunnels, a vast array of nudibranchs, and with a little luck, a Giant Pacific Octopus, Wolf Eels and the elusive 6-Gill Shark.

Fortunately, the Sound is relatively protected from surf and storms, thus surface conditions rarely affect diving. Visibility and currents are the primary challenges when diving in the Puget Sound. The water visibility typically ranges from 15’ to 30’, tending to be better in the winter months and worse in the spring, after heavy rainfall or large tidal exchanges. Tidal exchanges can cause extreme currents in some areas of the Sound so get familiar with the tide and current charts, dive safely and enjoy all the Puget Sound has to offer.

San Juan Islands43 Dive Sites
Select: San Juan Islands

The San Juans are a sought after dive destination for Pacific Northwest Divers. Easily accessible by boat from Anacortes or on board one of the local dive charters, divers can experience an abundance of colorful Pacific Northwest sea life among the natural rocky reefs, current forged channels and thick kelp forests. Wide varieties of colorful crab, urchins, corals and sponges cover the rocks while schools of rockfish and perch. Along the bottom you’ll find various species of greenling, swimming scallops and other shellfish, octopus and wolf eels and countless nudibranchs.

The spectacular life is due to the intense currents that weave their way through the San Juans. Storms can also cause unfavorable surface conditions. Visibility varies with the tides and water conditions. There are a few accessible shore dives in the San Jauns but local dive charters are familiar with the conditions and can provide a safe and exciting San Jauns diving experience.

Straight of Juan de Fuca7 Dive Sites
Select: Straight of Juan de Fuca


The Straight spans the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington State from Neah Bay to Port Townsend. Hwy 12 runs from port Angeles to Neah Bay and presents a beautiful scenic drive with many shore dives along the way. Hwy 101 will take you from Port Angeles toward Port Townsend. It will also take you to Lake Crescent, Popular for its sheer walls and spectacular visibility, often exceeding 100’ in water clarity.

The Straight of Juan de Fuca is an exciting dive adventure for the Northwest Diver. Rugged shores, crumbling cliffs and thick bull kelp forests merge to create spectacular natural reefs. The heavy current flow from the open ocean supports a wide variety of colorful life including sponges, soft corals, many types of anemones, huge beds of sea urchins, several varieties of greenling, rockfish and sculpin, plus frequent sightings of marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and whales.

Exposed to surf and wind waves, the often rocky shore entries or rocking boat exits can be challenging. Currents play an important factor to Straight divers also. Select a dive site that is protected from currents (included in most site descriptions), or dive during low tidal exchanges or at slack.

Washington Pacific Coast1 Dive Sites
Select: Washington Pacific Coast

Much of the Washington Coast is inaccessible to divers or expansive sandy beaches with little natural reef structure. However, there are a few spots that divers find attractive. The large surf and lack of intense currents are an interesting change for most Northwest divers.



 

 New Sites

Battleship Island west side
Point Whitney
Newport Fingers
Salmon Falls
The Murph

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 NewReviews

Wreck at Taylor Bay
Fox Island, West Wall
Battleship Island west side
Redondo
Deception Pass
Hudson Point
Shilshole Bay Vertical Barge
KVI Tower
Alki , Cove 2
Alki Junkyard

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