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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest   |  Puget Sound - North

North Beach Reef  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Port Townsend, WA

Type: Saltwater
Snorkling, Beginner, Intermediate
Access: Moderate Shore Entry
Parking: Limited

Ratings (1-5):
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Photo Gallery:


Kelp Forest


The North Beach reef is a large shallow bull kelp forest attached to stones and boulders that are covered with sponges, coraline algae, anemones and other colorful invertebrates.

The reef begins about 200 yards NE From the boat ramp. Being 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. Depths reach up to 40ft before the rocky reef gives way sand and cobble.

This site is very similar to the nearby Point Wilson 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 when the point provides some protection. Due to the distance from shore and potential currents it is preferable to dive this site from a live boat. If attempted from shore, the entry is a moderately long walk and/or swim to reach the reef. Beware of boat traffic from the nearby marina. Do not venture beyond the kelp to avoid additional boat traffic and currents. Dense kelp provides another hazard.

How to get there:

North Beach is located in Port Townsend facing across the Straight of Juan de Fuca with beautiful views of the San Juan Islands.

Heading N on WA-20 E turn left on Kearney St. In about a half a mile Turn left on 19 and the first right onto San Juan Ave. Continue just over 1.5 miles and turn right on Kuhn St, which will take you directly to a small boat ramp. Park in the parking lot at the boat ramp, enter the water and swim NE to the reef which will be clearly recognizable by bull kelp when in season.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
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