Edmonds Underwater Park
This is a site you can come back to dozens of times and never see it all. Set up specifically for divers, you'll find wrecks, bottles, and sea life galore-- but don't even think about bringing anything back with you! Navigation is relatively easy with the well-placed system of buoys and ropes that lead to many of the underwater sights.
Directions: Just North of Seattle, take Exit 177 off I-5 and head West toward the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry on 104. Just before you find yourself at the Ferry, take a left on Main Street, cross the railroad tracks, then turn right into the park.
here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!
03/30/2015 Jeff Miller (Avg: 3.78 Review) - This site if great for all levels. Dove it at low tide March of 2015 and the vis was really good at 20+ feet. Lots of very large Lings and Cabazon. Saw some grabs and other plant life. Really big area that you could dive several times if you wanted. Its a very easy dive with the rope system and buoys. As others have said parking can be difficult since are aren't very many spots. Easy entry right off the beach.
05/19/2011 Steve Kalilimoku (Avg: 3.75 Review) - Parking can be a problem at times, but patience will reward you. This dive park offers something for every skill level. From colored marker buoys to marked trails (ropes or cables laid out). It has restrooms and showers, also located there is a map of the dive park as well as a tide chart. For new divers a safe place to practice newly learned skills, with a lot of veteran diver's about to ask for help and advice, which they are very willing to give. Here you can learn to identify different fish, critter's and plant life. Night diving can yield interesting nocturnal fish and critters, like a Pacific Octopus. Veteran diver's enjoy diving here and keep coming back repeatedly to dive this site. Another plus is the location of the Underwater Sports dive shop, where you can fill your tanks and pick their brains about today's diving conditions and much much more. This is a really fun dive spot and I highly recommend you try it, then you'll be like a fish…HOOKED!
04/30/2011 Ken 2 (Avg: 3.40 Review) - Edmonds Underwater Park is always a great dive for beginners or experienced divers. A ton of stuff has been sunk in this park, and it has attracted a lot of sea life over the years. You're sure to see huge lingcod, cabezons, crab, nudibranches, and all sorts of other sea life here. It can be a bit of a surface swim out to the cool stuff during high tide. There's rarely any real current here, but visibility is usually best during smaller tidal exchanges. Visibility often goes to zero during larger exchanges, so it's always good to see what the tides are doing. If you've never been here before, you may hear the nearby ferry coming/going. It can sound like it's right on top of you, but as long as you're in the roped area, you're safe. The Cabezons get a little irritable from about Dec-March when they're sitting on eggs. They'll charge and give you a head-butt if you're too close, but they can't really hurt you. If one comes after you, just give them some room, and make sure they don't hit your mask/regulator.
04/04/2011 Ralph (Avg: 4.40 Review) - I completed my SCUBA certification dives at this site, and the sights are nothing short of spectacular. We dove on a cloudy day, with moderate visibility which made the reef features loom out of the green murk. It was downright eerie at times, but also one of the coolest places I have ever seen. It's an easy dive, that even a completely green beginner like myself had no trouble with. It's plenty busy, so finding a dive buddy on site shouldn't be an issue either. I certainly plan on going back.
07/08/2010 Bill and Christy D. (Avg: 4.85 Review) - Truly a staggering amount and diversity of life at this location. I use to dive a lot at Alki but I now find myself and my wife driving north to Edmonds to repeatedly dive this wonderful site. The entry is easy, there are great bathrooms, and downtown Edmonds is a wonderful place. Air fills and just a minute south of the underwater park. I just had my 20th dive here and I have not seen all the trails or features. A special thanks to Mr. Bruce Higgins for his wonderful effort.
05/11/2010 Rodney (Avg: 5.00 Review) - I first got to experience the Edmonds Underwater Park this December and was hooked. There is a new feature that was sunk late in 2009, called the Lopez Pontoon. It was new and bare the first time I went to it, and it has many chambers that a person can enter and look around in, they are very safe. I went back last week and the changes are amazing. There is kelp and seaweeds growing all over it, there is life on all sides. The park itself is truly amazing, there is so much to see, I have now 25 dives on it and I have maybe only seen a quarter of it. I love how long my dives are here, as well as the size and number of the fish, and the many different species of the invertebrates This not only is a must do on anyone's list but it should be experienced over and over again.
10/12/2009 Jack from Redwood (Avg: 4.80 Review) - I am from California and when I come to visit my brother nearly every year I make sure to do a few dives at this site. I am extremely envious of what you guys have in your backyard. This is one of the greatest sites I have been to, hands down. I did it in Mid Summer last year. The visibility was amazing, and the amount of bull kelp, schooling fish, large fish, and invertebrates blew me away. It is also very heartening to know that volunteers are the only reason why there is anything in the water at all. With 27 acres I still have not seen it all. Wonderful site.
03/06/2009 Joe in Marysville (Avg: 3.63 Review) - My wife and I are new divers and we dove there last weekend. This is our 3rd visit to the site. We went Saturday and it was very choppy. Sunday it was very calm, almost like a lake or a pool. Visibility was pretty good, about 15 feet. Saw a lot of life and had a good time.
01/22/2009 Russ from Lynnwood (Avg: 4.36 Review) - We dive this site all the time, and it is amazing. The lingcod are all over, and you will see a dozen easily on a single tank. They are just as big as you hear, five feet and bigger. Don't be scared by the amount of people you see suiting up. The parking lot is small and it's hard to find a spot on some days but you will rarely see another diver underwater. Check the map and plan a route because it will take several dives to see it all, if you ever do. Enjoy and respect it.
04/03/2008 Peter (Avg: 4.33 Review) - Dove this site at the end of March. Vis was about 15', H20 temp was 46F, deepest depth was 37'. Started out in the middle of the park, swam west to the boundary line, north, east and back to the starting point. Basically did the outside of the boundaries. Fantastic. This was my second time there. First time was at night. Saw huge Lingcod and Cabezons not to mention the largest Dungeness and kelp crabs I've ever seen. Parking was hard to find on the weekends. Get there early. I counted 36 people suiting up at 10am. There was only one spot to park in after I parked. Don't know where everyone was though. I saw one person heading back to shore when we first went down. After that, only my partner. Someone said this is a 27 acre site. The site was totally enjoyable. Put this on your must do dive site list. I'll be back this weekend for night diving. Finally, don't forget, this is now called the 'Bruce Higgins Underwater Trail' for all the work he and his crew of volunteers have done. All I can say is, tremendous job and keep up the good work!
09/05/2007 Kristi (Avg: 4.85 Review) - This was my fourth time diving here and my first time without my instructor. I did my advanced class back in March 2007. It is a great place to go for all skill levels! The day was beautiful and the visibility was great!! It was easy to navigate around and enjoy what the park has to offer. I saw a huge lingcod…the biggest I have ever seen…it was over 3 feet long and it looked like the head was as big as mine :) We did two dives starting around 12pm and 3:30pm. The first dive was a surface swim out to the middle of the park and we dropped down….we were headed towards the boat in the back with the diver's flag near the boundary. On the second dive we surface swam out next to the left-most boundary, dropped down and headed North across the park and back to shore. One thing that I noticed was that the ropes were hidden underneath kelp…purple kelp…..which put our navigation to the test! All in all it was a great day and I recommend Edmonds Underwater Park to everyone!! I don't see how one could get bored with 27 acres!!!
07/23/2007 Eric from Mukilteo (Avg: 3.81 Review) - What a great site to dive for a beginning diver. I recently obtained my certification and thought EUP was a perfect introduction to SCUBA. There is just too much to see under the water. The access to the site is a breeze once you find one of the limited parking spots. Don't pass up this site!
02/18/2007 Tyler from Roy (Avg: 4.14 Review) - I had an awesome time at this site!!!! The weather outside wasn't so good (it was pretty cloudy), but it still had great visibility underwater! I would definitely recommend this site to everybody! Also, this site needs constant maintenance. I was talking to the guy who works at the site, and he said that anybody who is a certified scuba diver can come out any weekend and help with maintaining the park.
01/04/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 3.98 Review) - I have dove Edmonds Underwater park many times. My last dive there was on 11-24-06. Each time there is something new to see! The triumph is fun to check out. This was the first manmade reef structure I dove at. Tube hinge is another good place you should plan to see. Check out the map on the restroom, and follow the handy lines which have so kindly been placed throughout the park. The best part about Edmonds are the large lingcod. Cabezon are frequent, as well as the usual northwest marine life. On my first dry suit dive here (that was a day to remember), my buddy and I saw a small dogfish or whatever they are called…it looked shark like. This is definitely one of those places every Northwest diver should at least check out once. There are quality facilities, including restroom/changing room, outdoor shower, and parking (Saturdays you almost have to get here before the Sun comes up). UWS is just up the street for air fills etc. I would consider this my "home" dive site, because I live less than 10 minutes away, and recommend it to any diver. It may seem a bit easy, since it is shallow (never more than 40fsw it seems) and without much current. But I don't have to dive a crazy wall with ripping water to prove my diving abilities or enjoyment of the sport. I just give the friendly lingcod the peace sign and everyone's chill. (This is a marine preserve, so the lingcod are getting huge here)
09/02/2006 Anonymous (Avg: 3.00 Review) - This was my first dive out of certification. It was GREAT!!!!! A seal was very, very playful and got within arm's reach of me. Seal was nipping at our fins and bobbing its head at me like it wanted to give me a kiss... bopped me in the nose!!! WOW!!!! What a dive!
05/11/2006 Ray of Bellingham (Avg: 4.16 Review) - This is the first time I've ever been to an underwater park, and it was awesome. Lots to see. Even though it is a little bit of a swim out to the park itself, there is still plenty to see just on the way there. Anyhow, I highly recommend a visit.
04/14/2006 Vanessa Shaffer (Avg: 4.00 Review) - Coming from the perception of a Southern California beach diver, Edmonds underwater park was a lot of fun. It's huge, so there isn't any way to see it all in one dive or two or three for that matter. Even with a dry suit it was pretty dang cold! The entry was a piece of cake, couldn't get any easier, the current was strong, but that was most likely due to the weather and ferries. All in all I would recommend this dive to everyone. Definitely bring your camera to catch the gigantic lingcod and rockfish on film.
02/24/2005 Tom Kichenmaster (Avg: 4.33 Review) - This is a great dive with lots to see. Very well mapped out but you do need to plan your dive as there is so much to see (not to mention, you should be planning your dives any how). Water temp stays about 50-55 deg. F. Have fun.
02/13/2005 Ed Kenney (Avg: 3.72 Review) - I've been to Edmonds dozens of times and now it appears that the DeLion dry dock has been declared off limits. Tell me I'm misinterpreting the shore signs...please! The biggest 5 foot lings, the best octopi and shrimp, cabezon of sizes rarely encountered elsewhere, top shells and anemone can usually be found all in this one area...and now it's off limits?
01/29/2005 Tom in Federal Way (Avg: 3.43 Review) - I REALLY enjoyed this site! On our first dive the vis. Was about 15-20 feet and around 30 feet we saw a medium sized grey whale. I don't care what anyone says, WE DID SEE IT and it was freakin cool! All of the sudden it was there, and, as quickly as it was there, it was gone. We also saw some huge lingcod and they seemed pretty aggressive but it was a very cool experience regardless. I hope you all get an opportunity to see some of the stuff we got to see in Edmonds!
12/14/2004 John Bruels (Avg: 3.00 Review) - Area 300 feet or less from the ferry slip is now off limits, including the dry dock. Use extreme caution when diving in a flooding current here (water moving north to south).
08/18/2004 David Rahfeldt (Avg: 3.70 Review) - Wonderful easy place to dive, lots of animate beings to see and watch, not over-run by other divers, parking problematic if you are not there by sunrise ...
07/31/2004 Travis A (Avg: 4.22 Review) - My wife and I did our first four dives after being certified here. It is a great place for new divers. There are rope lines that guide the diver from one thing to the next and there is quite the abundance of marine life. The dive shop that we used this was only about 2 blocks from the dive site which made it quite handy. Additionally there is a shower, bathroom, and a dive site map located just off of the parking lot. One thing to keep in mind the site is close to Seattle and is right next to a fairy transport which causes a little bit of traffic congestion and a struggle for parking spaces if you get to the site too late.
07/19/2004 Lucas (Avg: 4.35 Review) - Awesome!
04/30/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 3.05 Review) - This site is large and has lots of stuff on the bottom, I'll give it that. It is also really good for beginners. But really it's just a beach with a bunch of junk sunk; the terrain is just sand and lots of it. To see anything substantial requires a long surface swim. If nothing was sunk there, it would be a pointless dive. To those who think this is the best site they've seen, come up to Vancouver and dive the Cut at Whytecliff Park; You won't regret it.
03/29/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 4.85 Review) - Check out the new boat that was sunk. Right now, there are three boats right together. The new boat is a 40' wooden boat sank about a month ago
03/08/2004 Wayne Sargent (Avg: 4.18 Review) - Fifteen oblique observations...
1. You can see most of the park at 20 to 30 feet, or go to 50 for a bit more.
2. You can leave shore on regulator or snorkel and see critters the entire dive.
3. The ropes are within 5 minutes of beach entry.
4. Some of my best photos are on the ropes going to the structures.
5. "Big fish seen here" is not an exaggeration.
6. One lingcod was ~5 feet long with a head larger than a basketball.
7. The Cabezon are trophy size also, and hopefully never end up in angler's den.
8. It's great to have a place for these critters to live in relative peace. [Kudos to Seattle!]
9. Most large crabs are without pinchers.
10. Tip: Safeway sells them and you don't have to look over your shoulder.
11. At 7:30am Saturday, it appeared we were first in the water.
12. Random sample of 20 divers: 16 went left, and 4 off the jetty to the center [entry at beach].
13. Our favorite dive was the left side.
14. For more 'photographic isolation' try the center and right sides [not a compromise].
15. On three weekend dives, we never saw another diver underwater.
12/08/2003 Edward J. Palumbo (Avg: 4.52 Review) - This site provides ease of entry and egress, excellent macro photographic opportunities, a diverse and abundant marine biosystem, and an extraordinary dive experience. The bulkheads of the DeLeon dry-dock, sunk in 1935 as a breakwater for the ferry terminal at the park's southern boundary, provide a garden-like habitat for plumose anemone, rockfish, cabezon, painted greenling, kelp greenling, and lingcod. Kelp crab, decorator crab, shrimp and tubesnout can be found in the eelgrass. Depth at the westernmost end of the sunken dry-dock is about 40-42 feet, so air consumption due to depth is not a major concern. This is a marine protected area (MPA) and resident species are often mature, large and productive. These fish live in a nutrient-rich "soup" that allows them to thrive without human predation. No powerboats or fishing are permitted within the park boundaries. Nothing may be taken from the site. Nudibranches and other small, colorful invertebrates can be found, simply by taking the time to look for them. This site provides a fine example of how beneficial an MPA can be. Edmonds is not a fortuitous accident; this site has been carefully nurtured and developed over the years by a dedicated group of volunteers. It's a model for other underwater parks. Employ a compass and common sense to avoid the path of the ferries. The park consists of 27 acres of submerged area, with features that provide variety and countless hiding places for many species that inhabit these rich waters. Visibility seems at its best in wintertime, when local water temperatures are 46-48 degree F. There are public restrooms for changing clothes, and outdoor freshwater showers to rinse cameras and dive gear. This is probably the most popular dive site in the Northwest, and a delightful place for area residents to admire the Sound, so the parking area fills quickly. Arrival after 0830 will be necessitate offloading at the sea wall and parking elsewhere. Air is available at Underwater Sports, a few hundred yards away. A diver's slate with U/W map is available at the dive shop. A diver will not be able to cover all the site has to offer on one, two or several dives. Family restaurants and coffee shops, as well as antique shops, are within walking distance from the site. Visibility is occasionally poor, but within your (limited) circle of visibility, you will observe a remarkable variety of marine life. This is a popular location for dive classes and not a technically challenging dive site, so advanced divers may not find it worthy of frequent visits, but it's a fine place to train, to admire the Puget Sound's marine life, and (with permit) make night dives. The site is not current-sensitive due to the breakwater and jetty, and it's a fine place for the novice diver to explore, especially if guided by another diver familiar with the site's many features. For divers visiting the Seattle area, this site is a "must see".
11/10/2003 Matthew Erlich (Avg: 3.81 Review) - OK, so here's the thing - a compass is a really, really good idea at this site. To get out to the wrecks requires a long kick, so make sure you're up for that. Also, if you're waaay below 30 feet then you've gone off the grid and may be approaching the ferry terminal because of current. Don't do that. Other than that, especially in winter, the vis is great and it's worth visiting again!
09/17/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 3.87 Review) - Was a perfect place to learn.
02/12/2003 Mark Schneider (Avg: 4.43 Review) - This is possibly the best shore dive for all levels I can think of. The folks who have put their efforts into developing and maintaining this park are to be praised. The grid layout allows for easy navigation and the great variety of sunken items makes for an impressive amount of life. Try to avoid weekends as this is a very popular site. The ferry dock is the biggest hazard but awareness and a compass minimize the risk. Highly recommended shore dive, worth visiting repeatedly.
12/18/2002 Stephen Scott (Avg: 4.32 Review) - Great Dive. Being a protected area the life here is great. Lots of big Cod and other fish. Overall a great dive with lots of sunken boats and life.
09/20/2002 Henry (Avg: 3.74 Review) - Great newbie and intermediate dive. The lings and cabs are HUGE! Thank you to whoever got this made into a marine protected reserve. This place is incredible. I saw a Red Rock Crab which could have been mistaken for a basketball it was so big!
08/16/2002 Dave Ferreira (Avg: 3.44 Review) - This is a very fun dive for beginners and intermediates.
08/11/2002 Al Mialkovsky (Avg: 4.53 Review) - Whenever we go to a new area for us, we always dive the most popular spot first, after all there is a reason it's so popular. On the first day we dove here the vis was 40 feet+. The second day the wind was up and the bottom was churned around and the vis was about 10 feet. But with those lines stretched out you can easily find your way around the park. Watch the tides, some days they are nothing to be concerned about, other days are another story. Locals were very helpful too. Great dive shop down the street.
07/12/2002 Stephen Piazza (Avg: 4.24 Review) - Huge Lingcod and starfish, great marine life!
05/01/2002 CT (Avg: 3.29 Review) - A significant swim to most of the more interesting structures, but usually worth it. Enormous Ling Cod and Cabezon can usually be found plus lots of interesting smaller critters.
03/29/2002 Max (Avg: 3.24 Review) - There has been a tremendous amount of work placed into the dive park by local divers. They have done and excellent job of "networking" the reefs together. However, the best stuff is a long, long surface swim out. The closer items are mostly tire reefs and such. It's probably not the best site do dive after any length of sunny days because of the plankton bloom and the lack of depth, you cant get under it. Parking is a bit tight, but the facilities are nice and underwater sports is just up the street a few blocks. All in all its a fine dive site.
01/02/2002 Jim Morrison (Avg: 4.62 Review) - This is certainly the most popular dive site in Washington state. And, for good reason. There are all sorts of things, including an old dry dock, a tug boat and several smaller boats that have been sunk there to create an artificial reef. It is a preserve and you will see 35 lb. Ling cod and large Cabezon...many of them. Tons of invertebrate life and smaller fish too: rockfish, Irish lord, perch, flounders, sculpin, and if you know where to look, octopus and wolf eels. Try for a week day as week ends are crowded and parking isn't the best. The big hazard is the ferry, but you can dive out from the jetty and you never need to be near the ferry if you don't want to. There is an excellent underwater park map at the bath house. A head and outdoor showers are available. City law requires you to have a buddy. I said best for intermediate because it is a moderate swim out. Try to dive the high slack for best vis. Lots to see in shallow water too if you don't mind poking around in 15 to 25 feet. U/W trails make navigation easy. Maps of the U/W park can also be found on line. There is a dive shop about a quarter mile South of the park.
10/16/2001 Janna Nichols (Avg: 4.70 Review) - Edmonds U/W Park has excellent facilities, but the parking lot could be a LOT larger than it is! The gradually sloping bottom of this area means a long surface swim before you get to any of the features of the park. Also, try to dive this on high tide, since it will be a bit deeper and easier to maintain neutral buoyancy. The fish and critter life here is fantastic! Since it's a protected area, the fish can grow REALLY huge.(and they do!)
10/09/2001 Paul Kingery (Avg: 4.53 Review) - A "Diver's Disneyland". Completely protected marine preserve with many man-made items sunk for the Diver's enjoyment. Items include such things as a dry dock, Tugboat, smaller boats and various attractions made from plastic pipe and other materials. Also, being a protected preserve, there are many species of fish life in abundance. Excellent shore dive with restrooms, nearby parking and close to the town of Edmonds. Dive shop near by as well as restaurants and shops. The bottom slopes off very gradually from shore and the max depth is no more then 45 feet or so.
10/08/2001 Brent T (Avg: 3.53 Review) - This is kind of like going to the zoo. There are trails to follow with all sorts of sea life along the path. The fish are in a protected environment so they grow big, Ling, Cabezon, crab ,etc...
Dive Site Links: (If you have a
relevant link for Edmonds Underwater Park, please write us
* UnderwaterSports -- Underwater Sports dive shop offers a laminated subsurface map of the Edmonds Underwater Park. Nearly 100% of the funds that support the park are generated by the sales of this map, so please take a moment to pick one up. Underwater Sports is located at 264 Railroad Ave, Edmonds Wa, 98020. Just about one block South of the Edmonds Underwater Park.
(what is GPS?)
(click photo for a larger version)
Suit up in the parking lot, as it is an easy hike to the water's edge.
With the enlargement, you can see the system of buoys in the background.
With the ferry terminal on your left, keep your diving to the right!
(click photo for details)
Ensure you get no closer to the ferry than the set of buoys you see here. Current can whip you into the docks if you aren't careful. Watch for the propeller wash as the ferry enters and leaves the dock.
Check the signs around the restroom. They explain much of what you'll see on your dive, as well as listing any newly 'deposited' sights . There is also a link above to another dive site map.
Last Verification: July, 2001