Overview of Fox Island

Fox Island

USA West


Fox Island is not for the faint of heart! Fully exposed to the Tacoma Narrows tidal flow, you'll need to plan your dive very carefully. But, once in the calm water of the slack tide, you'll be hugely rewarded by some terrific sights. Walls, nooks and crannies abound, with every kind of marine life you'd expect!

Directions: OK, folks, break out your maps (or favorite mapping web site), and find this spot before you leave home! Located SW of Gig Harbor, and just West of Tacoma, Fox Island has one major road that winds its way to the park. From Highway 16 out of Tacoma, take the Fox Island exit to the left (Gig Harbor is to the right). Cross the Fox Island bridge, and stay on the main road, which soon becomes Island Boulevard FI. It will eventually bear right onto 9th Ave. Then bear left on Kamus. In a tenth of a mile, bear right back onto Island Blvd, which will soon become Mowitch Drive. Bear right onto 14th Ave, which soon becomes Ozette Drive. Bear left down to the water. The dive is simple, compared to the process of getting there!


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06/13/2004 Mike Z. (Avg: 2.75 Review) - The photos here show the Fox Island EAST WALL. Don't confuse this with the WEST WALL which is totally different and at the opposite side of the island. The East Wall needs to be planned VERY carefully for slack tide because this is just south of The Narrows and currents will rip here and you're on an island. You can be swept out to the middle of the south sound. The view here is top-notch and non-diver friends can fish off the pier.

03/29/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 4.00 Review) - I have only dove the west wall here. This is a very beautiful dive site with nice ledges and a lot of vegetation growing on the walls. We dove down to the lower second wall first and it was cool to find an octo in one of the many holes in the sandstone walls - nice contour. The shallower wall was my favorite part of the dive as it was covered in various kinds of kelp and a lot of small creatures living amongst them - quite a few nudibranches. I think the thing that sets this dive site apart from other dives I have done in the narrows is the abundance of plant life. The day was so nice we could look up the wall and see the sunlight shining through the kelp as it swayed with the current - very nice dive and a must do.

07/09/2002 Rob Edmondson (Avg: 4.86 Review) - The Fox Island West Wall has a lot of octopus living on it if you look hard. The other part of it is that there is no current on this wall but it is best to plan your dive at slack after flood for best visibility (I've gotten 45+ feet). The wall is small and kind of hard to find, but if you have good visibility, then swim out and look for a sunken buoy that is about 10 or 15 feet underwater and you should be able to see it. Descend on that to land right on the wall. The wall is only about 100 feet long so after swimming up and down it 4 or 5 times you might get bored. If you swim over the top of the wall and keep swimming I've found a sea pen forest which is pretty cool, but other than the wall being small, this is a very nice dive.

04/25/2002 Kelly Cowell (Avg: 3.00 Review) - I have only visited the east wall of Fox Island twice. A nice wall dive at slack only. The current can really rip. Pictures show the entry and fishing pier. The west wall located on the other end of Kamus drive is a easy non current dependant dive suitable for everyone. Because of landslides it is now a boat only dive.

04/09/2002 Brian Wiederspan (Avg: 2.60 Review) - Time your entry perfectly! Current can rip here, very unexpectedly. Also, be prepared for a hike before and after the dive. The wall is pretty uneventful, actually there are 2 walls. The first wall start at 15' and goes to 35'. Then a second, smaller wall starts at 50' and goes to about 80'. There isn't a whole lot of life at this site, but we did manage to find 3 octos and a wolf eel on a dive here. We saw one octo on the lower wall, one on the upper wall, and one on the shelf above the upper wall, so the life doesn't seem to be limited to one area. The dive would've been pretty uneventful had we not found the octos, but it's worth doing. I'll probably do it again, after my calves stop hurting from the hike!

10/16/2001 Janna Nichols (Avg: 3.00 Review) - Fox Island, West 'wall' was pretty disappointing. The 'wall' was a small cluster of rocks with a bit of fish life. The rest of the site was just sandy/silty bottom with some junk scattered here and there. Entry was easy, but the road leading down to the site is closed due to a landslide, although there is a one lane road allowing local traffic. There are no facilities there, whatsoever.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1601


Parking at Fox Island 

The park is a terrific area for non-divers, as well.




Overview at Fox Island 

The picnic area and fishing pier are in the background.

Trail Head



Trail Head at Fox Island 

At the South side of the park by the restrooms, you'll find this hidden stairway.

Trail Head



Trail Head at Fox Island 

A small gravel path (sometimes muddy and slippery), takes you straight to the beach.


 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1605


Entry at Fox Island 

The wall begins just beyond the pier. If you look carefully by the pier, you'll see the swirl of the tidal current whipping through. This is not a good time to dive!




Aerial at Fox Island 
(click photo for details)

The drop-off is quick and dramatic. Some of the ledges are visible to the left.

Last Verification: July, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Fox Island  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.33
Bottom Conditions:  3.50
Reef Conditions:  3.50
Animal Life:  3.33
Plant Life:  3.17
Facilities:  3.17
Solitude 3.67
Roads:  3.17
*Site Average:  3.37

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.67
Beginner Scuba:  3.50
Intermediate Scuba:  3.50
Advanced Scuba:  3.83
Night diving Scuba:  3.00

Number of reviews for this site: 6


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