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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest   |  Puget Sound - North

Rosario Beach - Urchin Rocks  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Deception Pass
Rosario Park Picnic Area
Anacortes, WA

Type: Saltwater
Snorkling, Advanced
Access: Moderate Shore Entry
Parking: Limited
Amenities: Restrooms

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

Photo Gallery:

Rosario Beach - Urchin Rocks
Clown Nudibranch
Sand Lance
Urchin Rocks
Frosted (Alabaster) Nudibranch
Monterey Sea Lemon
Yellow Rimmed Nudibranch


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


Urchin Rocks at Rosario Beach offer a dynamic shallow dive with easy shore access. The rocks can be clearly see protruding from the water at Rosario Beach head. The rocks form canyons and short walls covered in kelp and invertebrates dropping to about 40' at the base of the larger ones.

On an ebb current, enthusiastic divers can dive all the way around the head into Sharp cove to the left and exit from a small, easy to find trail. On a flood current you could enter the water at Sharp Cove and swim with the flow around to Urchin Rocks, then exit at Rosario Beach. This would be an incredibly long swim/dive so please walk the trail at the head before you decide.

Special Restrictions:

This site is current intensive and visibility can be poor after any storm. Visibility is always questionable even when there isn't a storm due to nearby rivers and the proximity to Deception Pass. Recommended diving at high tide slack before an ebb for the best visibility. Ebb currents bring in sediments from nearby channels. Stay deep enough to avoid waves that could toss you up onto the rocks.

Rosario Beach is a marine preserve so fishing is prohibited.

How to get there:

Just north of Deception Pass. From WA-20 take Rosario Road to Cougar Gap and turn left. Left again at Rosario Picnic Area Rd. Follow it to the end and park along the road. Hike your gear in a few hundred yards along the trail toward the head and enter the water at the beach to the right.

Advanced divers looking for a challenge may want to try out Rosario Beach's Northwest Island which is located just outside this cove and is accessible from shore at Rosario Beach.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
  Comments Leave Review  
ChevaYEA7/26/2008Rating: 3
Fun dive. We were there on a very small exchange so currents weren't too challenging. Not nearly as much life as the island but fun none the less.


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