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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest   |  Puget Sound - North

Point Wilson Reef  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Fort Warden State Park
Port Townsend, Washington

Type: Saltwater-OpenOcean
Access: Easy Shore Entry
Parking: Good

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

Photo Gallery:

Kelp Crab
Young Lingcod


Kelp Forest


Point Wilson is a large shallow bull kelp forest attached to stones and boulders that are covered with sponges, coraline algae, anemones and other colorful invertebrates. Subject to intense currents the site is swept clean of silt and provides a great alternative to other sandy bottom dive sites so common in the Northwest. Large and short bull kelp cover the substrate in the summer months and provide home to varieties of greenling and rockfish, sculpin and perch.

This site is very similar to the nearby North Beach Reef.

Special Restrictions:

This site is very current sensitive and is best planned for the end of an outgoing (ebb) tide just before or at slack. The current here rips around the point on a flood and can easily carry divers out into the shipping channels if you get outside the protection of the inner reef. Due to strong currents it is preferable to dive this site from a live boat. Kelp provides another hazard.

How to get there:

The Point Wilson Reef is located on the north eastern outskirts of Port Townsend in Fort Warden State Park on the north side of Point Wilson.

Take Highway 20 (becoming Sims Way) along the water. Turn left on Kearney Street and follow signs to Fort Warden Park. Follow Harbor Defense Way to the water on the north of the point and enter the water as far to the left (west) as possible to hit the main portion of the kelp beds. You should see the kelp on the surface during summer months.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
  Comments Leave Review  
ChevaYEA8/15/2009Rating: 3
There was a LOT of kelp providing shelter making marine life difficult to find. The kelp forest was a pleasant change to many of the dives in the area though.


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