Smitty's Cove

USA West


Submitted By:

Submitter Comments:
This is a very convenient site due to it's close proximity to Anchorage. One of the local dive shops uses it for winter training. Visibility is up to 70 feet in the winter, but is reduced in the summer due to plankton bloom and run-off. Unlike the boat diving in Resurrection Bay, Smitty's cove is 60 miles inland and is usually very protected even in the winter storms.

 Take Seward highway south from Anchorage. As you follow turnagain arm up the valley for about an hour, you'll approach the Whittier turn-off. Turn left to Whittier and follow the road for about 7 miles. The road ends at a toll tunnel which is a one-lane road through the base of the mountain for approximately 3 miles. Toll fee is $12 round-trip. After exiting the tunnel, you follow the road for another 1/2 mile to the first right turn. Whittier is a very small town and as you drive through it several old abandoned buildings will be on either side. at the first left you follow the road until it dead-ends at the cove. Please stop and pay $5 at the sign directing you to do so.


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Dive Site Links:   (If you have a relevant link for Smitty's Cove, please write us here.)
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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

11/28/2011 Anonymous (Avg: 3.47 Review) - Great winter site, only one hour from Anchorage. Nice warming hut available on weekends. Lots of interesting marine life...slow down and look through the kelp for all of the neat nudibranches! Keep on the lookout for octopus. Check the old pipes for Wolf Fish, also.

11/05/2006 Matt (Avg: 3.48 Review) - FYI - Scott (Submitter) owns Dive Alaska. It's an okay shop, not the only one in Anchorage (see also, and Sunshine Sports). All three certify in winter and run classes through Smitty's. As for Smitty's itself - it's okay diving. About 30 - 100 ft. depth, viz ranges from Braille diving conditions to 70 ft. Best in October, although good throughout winter and divable year-round. Fair bit of life, particularly on the sunken features - train car, an old pier, an airplane, and now some artificial reef (cement reef balls). It can get old quickly, but Smitty's is "Old Reliable" around here. FYI - Whittier is road-accessible only through an active railroad tunnel. There is a toll, and traffic only goes one direction at a time. Time your trip, or you may have to wait for the tunnel opening. Also, the tunnel closes at night, so come early or be prepared to stay the night (if you are going to sleep over in Whittier, get your room reservation before you arrive). The ratings are pretty accurate year-round. Viz changes seasonally, but day-to-day conditions can change it, too.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Diver Averages for  Smitty's Cove  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.50
Bottom Conditions:  3.00
Reef Conditions:  3.50
Animal Life:  3.50
Plant Life:  3.50
Facilities:  3.50
Solitude 2.50
Roads:  3.50
*Site Average:  3.48

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.50
Beginner Scuba:  3.50
Intermediate Scuba:  3.00
Advanced Scuba:  3.50
Night diving Scuba:  3.50

Number of reviews for this site: 2


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