Overview of Alki Beach Park

Alki Beach Park

USA West


The Alki Beach Park is often overlooked. Excellent marine life can be found here, and it makes for great night dive as well. Access is easy, and facilities are available. Bring the kids, and make a day of it!

Directions: Just South of downtown Seattle, take the West Seattle Bridge to hop over to West Seattle. Just before the bridge ends, make a right onto Harbor Ave SW. Drive Northwest until you round the point and find yourself heading Southwest on Alki Ave SW. The whole stretch is considered Alki Beach Park, but drive to the end of the beach section before parking. Just before the beach residences, there will be a pathway down to the beach.


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12/19/2009 Derek Hermsen (Avg: 3.65 Review) - I went diving today at the Alki Junkyard for the first time. Entered the water at the very westerly end of the park right before the first residential home. Straight out at a compass heading of 140, we encountered awesome eelgrass with brooding anemones and kelp crabs before getting to a series of short pilings about 15' deep. Tubesnout school of dozens. Plumose anemones, bryozoans, sponges, sealemons, redrock crabs, and sharpnose and decorator crabs. Heading out to about 45' deep we then turned east and ran parallel to shore. Lots of sea stars: sunflowers, giant pink, leather, and a bloodstar. There were a couple copper rockfish and some cool looking sculpins. Hermits tearing around everywhere on the sandy bottom, launching swarms of coonstripe shrimps into snapping soles' jaws. Lots of normal marine life for a West Seattle dive.

09/16/2009 Jerry from Spokane (Avg: 3.00 Review) - We started in cove by the Sea Taxi. Swam to the 3rd buoy and descended following the rope. Saw a Ling Cod that was easily twice the length of my fin. (4 ft.?!) WOW! No Octopus. Went to 106 feet and saw the I-Beams planted in the bottom covered in White Anemones. On the way up saw white and red Nuibranchs. But the most memorable was the monument someone set up at about 40 feet for a fallen diver. The name and age escape me but the inscription caught me. 'Lost to the earth but forever in the sea'. This was attached to a concrete pyramid anchoring a 4 foot galvanized cross. Very Cool.

02/09/2007 Darren Bolding (Avg: 3.79 Review) - I have dived this site a few times now, day and night. This is not a site to look for "big" things. It's a spot to go slow, keep your eyes open and spot interesting things. There is a line that parallels shore in about 60-65 ft of water. Surface swim out to the buoys for this line (we saw an octo playing in the eelgrass one day) and drop down a buoy. Follow the line, and you'll see man-made "reefs" along the line. We have found large numbers of nudi's, ratfish, and sole/other flatfish as well as the occasional stumpy squid, ronquil and other critters. It's a nice, easy place under water, with a line to follow. Watch for silt stir up- it's easy to do here. The bad part, and why this is not the best place for an inexperienced buddy team (without a more experienced person along) is the currents, and the possible surface conditions. Currents here are wonky. The current here always floods (heads SSW) except for the second half of the ebb, when it reverses. That means that slack is usually about an hour before max ebb. Not what you might expect. The good news is that the current parallels shore and you can swim perpendicular to it to get back in. The bad news is that you might end up somewhere you don't expect. Final note: On one dive in 12/06, a storm blew in while we were on the dive. We surfaced to hail and *Large* waves. Luckily tide was low enough that the waves were not throwing us into the seawall. Even so, this was the most difficult exit either of us have experienced, and I did end up having to assist my dive buddy more than a little bit. This was crawl/drag yourself up the beach and get maytagged by the surf. If it had gotten any worse (or if I had realized she had a free-flow from the sand in her reg) I would have been ditching gear. Lesson learned? WATCH THE TOPSIDE WEATHER. Here and everywhere you dive.

09/06/2006 Mike Nelson (Avg: 2.34 Review) - A great chance to see a fantastic collection of vintage beer bottles, view some old bricks, and see a bunch of crap (I even saw the crapper). If you are lucky you might find the little boat, but it's not such a big deal. I've done this dive, and I'll never waste my time on it again.

11/29/2001 Don Shingler (Avg: 3.25 Review) - Also knows as Alki Junkyard. Be careful of the current in this area. Dives farther south (Seacrest etc) in Alki are not effected by currents, but this location can get very bad if you miscalculate. The only worthwhile spot to dive is at the end of the walkway before the condos start. Dive locations down near the cement wall are desert dives and are mainly done for classes and such things (although a good place to find skates). Over the years divers have created artificial reefs using misc things (computers, toilets, shopping carts, engines, and many other objects). There are even some rope trails going in recently to help guide you around. If done during slack this is a good beginner dive. Be sure to spend some time in the eel grass on the way back spotting critters you might not otherwise see (clingfish and such).


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1001


Parking at Alki Beach Park 

There is parking on either side of the road. Suit up from your truck, as you're just yards from the entry.




Overview at Alki Beach Park 

This Western end of the park is relatively uncrowded.


 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1003


Entry at Alki Beach Park 

The beach is even and sandy-- perfect for a beginner dive.




Aerial at Alki Beach Park 
(click photo for details)

Note the gentle slope and the clarity of the water!

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Alki Beach Park  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.60
Bottom Conditions:  3.00
Reef Conditions:  2.80
Animal Life:  3.00
Plant Life:  3.00
Facilities:  3.20
Solitude 2.60
Roads:  4.00
*Site Average:  3.20

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  1.80
Beginner Scuba:  3.20
Intermediate Scuba:  3.20
Advanced Scuba:  2.80
Night diving Scuba:  3.20

Number of reviews for this site: 5


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