Where should I go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling near Olympic National Park?
Also known as the Sea Mount or The Mounds, this spot in the Hood Canal is a cone-shaped rock formation that rises from the sea floor, ending at about 30 feet below the surface. You can explore the sea life or rock formations on top or head to rocky slopes on the east side or the less dramatic west side, suitable for advanced beginners. The biggest treat, however, is the abundant large sea life here, including wolf eels, rockfish, octopus, and red or white sea cucumbers. Night dives are popular.
- Directions: Boat access only. Take U.S. Highway 101 to Dabob Bay in northern Hood Canal. Put in at Titan Cove or the Seabeck Marina for easiest access to The Pinnacle.
Pulali Point West Wall
Also in Dabob Bay in north-central Hood Canal, this destination is large and offers several different dive opportunities. Head down about 60 feet where you’ll find the top of a cascading wall. The wall is about 50 yards wide and there are many steep ledges and crevices that are best suited to intermediate to advanced divers. Expect to see a wide variety of sea life such as a host of different rockfish, crab, gobies, perch, and sometimes a harbor seal or two.
- Directions: Boat access only. The point is on the west side of Dabob Bay and is marked by a large green and white navigational marker. Take Highway 101 to Hood Canal to the Seabeck Marina, where you can put in. The site is about 6 miles from Seabeck.
This is considered the premiere shore diving site in all of Washington State. Within the Salt Creek Recreation Area, divers can explore ledges, humungous rocks, and underwater channels. The reason most divers come, however, is to see the underwater kelp forest that is at its peak in the summer and fall. Sea urchins, anemones, sea cucumbers, and Wolf eels are plentiful as well. There are 3 access points for divers. For the easiest access, go to campsite #63 and use the staircase beside it.
- Directions: Take Highway 101 to right on WA 112 West. Turn right on Camp Hayden Road and right on Tongue Point Park Road into the recreation area.
Diving at Neah Bay is not for the faint of heart! While the area is lauded for its clear waters and amazing diving experiences, its exposed location where the Strait of Juan de Fuca empties into the Pacific means the currents are serious and unpredictable. However, for the advanced diver who’s well-versed in diving safety, this is a premiere spot. Check out Duncan Rock, the most popular site at Neah Bay, where you will be awed by the vibrant colors of the sea life you’ll see there. Diving depth is 80-95 feet and boat support is essential.
- Directions: Take 101 West to WA 112 to Neah Bay. Put in at the Neah Bay Marina boat ramp, which is about 7 miles from Duncan Rocks.
There are literally dozens of wreck dives offered in the waters that surround the Olympic Peninsula. Contact a local dive shop for escorted dives to these locations.