Puget Sound is a small city in Seattle surrounded by multiple water bodies. It is actually part of the Pacific Northwest and has an estuary connecting it to the Pacific Ocean. One of the interesting parts of this town is that it is covered with over 100 miles with an interconnected system of estuaries, channels, and islands.
If you ever visit the Pacific Northwest, visiting Puget Sound and the different dive sites around it should be on your bucket list. The town is abundant with marine life. It is home to over 3,000 types of sea animals, such as sea urchins, clams, octopuses, and oysters.
Taking a dive in the water bodies around here gives you a chance to see all the marine life around, which is great fun for explorers.
Most of the water in Puget Sound tends to be a little cold, but your body will easily acclimate to it. There are also multiple crevices to explore underwater that can lead you to amazing underwater gems that’s why we have also listed Puget Sound as one of the 5 best places for scuba diving in Washington State.
The visibility is good throughout the year but gets better during the winter. That makes encounters with marine life worthwhile. Today, we will look at the six best places to scuba dive in Puget Sound. Let’s get started!
1. Alki Beach
Also known as the Alki Beach Junkyard or simply the junkyard is one of the best places to visit in Puget Sound. The beach has two dive sites, the Pipeline, and the Junkyard. They are close by, and both share most of the same attractions.
Alki Beach has a lot of artificial underwater reefs, which is what gives it its name. The Junkyard dive site is easily accessible through a pair of stairs located between the 64th and Alki intersection. The stair leads to a shallow swim-out that then descends to 25 feet, from where you can see the eelgrass.
That is a good depth for those new to scuba diving. Those with more experience can descend a further 60 feet, where there is more to see. The water is a little cold, but it is something you can easily get used to. There are also a lot of man-made structures that look like reefs that you can follow to keep yourself on track.
Some of the things you can see at Alki Beach include Quillback rockfish, Brown rockfish, red rock crabs, painted greenling, and more. There is easy access to parking, but you want to arrive early to secure your spot. There are also restrooms nearby and easy access to the road.
2. Edmonds Underwater Park
The Edmonds Underwater Park is a popular scuba diving area that leads to a lot of underwater wrecks. It is a shallow site at only 35 feet deep. You can easily access the shore through the park under the city of Edmonds maintenance. There are restrooms and multiple changing rooms where you can change into your diving gear.
The site provides divers with a freshwater shower that you can use to rinse yourself off after your dive. It is also a great place for new divers as there are diver enhancements placed there by Bruce Higgins and other volunteer divers. The enhancements lead to different locations that will need multiple visits to explore.
Different wrecks, such as the De Lion Dry Dock and the Alitak. Over the years, more wrecks have been sunk, creating an interesting web of wrecks for exploring. Wreck divers can spend hours underwater seeing everything. You can see the different vessels as they deteriorate and the different deterioration states.
Marine life is abundant in the area, and you can see animals, such as lingcod, rockfish, sun stars, nudibranchs, large cabezon, crabs, and anemones. There is a maximum of four hours of diving, so if you do not see everything on your first go, you can always go back. The visibility makes exploration much better.
3. Day Island Wall
One of the best wall dives in Puget Sound, Day Island Wall, is a treasure drive for everyone. It has a natural sandstone wall that houses a lot of wolf eels. You can also see some octopuses that can come out to play with you while taking a dive.
You will need to be careful and plan your dive ahead of time. That is because the area experiences high currents a lot, which can be dangerous. Study the dive map and only go when the water is slack. Ensure there is no tidal exchange before going to be on the safe side.
The good news is that the currents make for great visibility, giving you a nice view of all the critters. You can access the dive site by boat, which will also help determine the strength of the currents. Once near the site, you can get close to the wall by swimming directly out from the entry, and you will touch the top of the wall at about 45 feet of water.
The wall has two different depths: the shallower north end at 25 to 50 feet down and the deeper southern end at 40 to 100 feet. The northern side also has multiple cutbacks and ledges that house multiple critters.
4. Saltwater State Park
Saltwater State Park is a perfect spot for scuba diving in the middle of Seattle and Tacoma. It is the only spot in Seattle with an artificial underwater reef. The site is actually a protected marine sanctuary, so you should not fish or harvest in the area.
This dive site is great for family visits and has many amenities. You have to pay $10 for entry. It is free for those with a Washington State Discover Pass. The park opens from 8:00 AM until 7:30, so getting there early is better if you want to spend a few hours in the water.
There are multiple facilities, such as parking, but you have to get there early as it can fill up easily. There are also multiple showers nearby where you can rinse off and wash your equipment after a dive.
You can access the dive site through a surface swim that will take you to a sunken wreck marked by a buoy. From there, you will swim down about 25 feet; the dive drops down to around 90 feet. Ropes mark the lines so you can easily follow. There are also marked lines that will take you to the parallel artificial reef for more exploration.
5. Titlow Beach
Titlow Beach is a great place for scuba diving and snorkeling. Collectors can also have a great time here because of the multiple artifacts they can hunt. There are many crevices, walls, and pilings that you can explore and collect whatever they store.
The Beach has multiple animals, such as the common giant pacific octopus, wolf eels, scaly head sculpin, giant barnacle, and the California sea cucumber. You can find all these animals in the different crevices, making it a lot of fun to explore with the kids. Clear water visibility makes it easy to identify the animals and makes exploring more fun.
If you want to make a dive, it is best to go there when the tide is high as it can be dangerous otherwise. Diving depending on your training or ability, is also better because the strong currents can sweep you away. It is important to study the dive chart before going out just to be sure.
There are facilities on the site that you can use, such as a small circle near the entry that you can use to unload your gear. Gaining access to the site is easier; all you have to do is swim to the ledges by going through the outer pilings.
6. Three Tree Point
Various structures, urban remains, and boat wrecks will keep you occupied when visiting the Three Tree Point. There is always something coming up that will encourage you to keep diving since you don’t know what you will find. The variety of marine life is also something to interest you.
Locating the dive site is easy through the artificial reefs. They run parallel to the shore, so you can always follow them to help keep yourself centered. There are also two shore depths available for all experience levels. The water temperature is a little cold and gets colder the lower you go.
The water currents run southward and are on the moderate side, so you can go there whenever you like; just be sure to check the dive map before going. Do not go out when there is slack. There is enough to explore there, so be ready to go back for multiple dives.
The six diving sites we have covered above are the best places to visit when going to Puget Sound. It is important to always check the dive map and the weather condition before setting out to ensure it is safe to dive in the area.
Another thing to be cautious of is the times you go; it is better to go there when there are people around for your safety. You should also dive at your skill level to avoid any accidents. Visiting any of the places above will leave you wanting more, so be sure to make more time to return.