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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest   |  Straight of Juan de Fuca

Observatory Point Reef  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Freshwater Bay
Straight of Juan de Fuca, Port Angeles, Washington

Type: Saltwater-OpenOcean
Snorkling, Intermediate, Advanced

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


A wonderfully beautiful dive site at the base of a rugged rocky bluff that hints at the structure below. Rocky crevices, boulders and ledges provide a life encrusted footing for thick bull kelp forests while offering channels for divers to navigate. Large colonies of urchins, colorful sponges and other brilliant invertebrates literally cover the rocks outside the point. Schools of black rockfish congregate below the kelp mats while bright sculpin, greenlings and other treasures find shelter among the reef. The reef extends from the surf zone to about 50ft where the kelp and rock gives way to sand and shell, and the currents of the Straight.

A planned flooding current can carry you along the reef to Bachelor Rock to end the dive if desired.

Special Restrictions:

Hazards include potential surf and strong currents outside of the reef. Be very cautious not to approach the surf zone too closely as wave could dash an unsuspecting diver against the rocks. Use a live boat.

How to get there:

Observatory Point makes a nice boat dive when returning to Port Angeles from Salt Creek or The Diamond Knot. The large, single rock at the inside of the point is called Bachelor Rock, and marks the eastern end of the reef.

To reach Observation Point from 101, take WA112 W (toward the Straight) about 4 miles West of Port Angeles. Continue on WA-112 4.5 miles and take a right onto Freshwater Bay Rd. This road will make several sharp turns but continue to follow it all the way to the water in Freshwater Bay to a small boat launch. You will see Bachelor Rock out to your left. Make sure to travel to the outside of the rock because of a shallow reef that connects the rock to the point. Observatory Point is west of the rock along the bluffs.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
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