Overview of Salt Water State Park

Salt Water State Park

Washington
USA West

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If you're looking for a relatively easy dive with great facilities and picnic areas, this is it. The smooth entry and sandy bottom takes you straight out to an interesting wreck. A wooden barge was sunk here in the early 70's, and continues to be a refuge to a plethora of marine life. If you are new to shore diving, this is a good spot to get your feet wet!

Directions: About 10 miles South of Seattle in Des Moines. At Exit 149, take 516 West. In about 2 miles, go South on Marine View Drive. You'll hit the park in about another mile.


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05/07/2011 Fnerg (Avg: 3.86 Review) - The addition of the large rock reefs has turned this place into an excellent dive site, with the caveat that they're all in the 60-80 foot range. Lots of rockfish (browns, copper, quillbacks, blacks, and an occasional vermillion), ling cod, kelp greenlings, painted greenlings, etc. Visibility has ranged from nothing to 20 feet on the surface, with excellent visibility at 60+ fsw. Getting to the reefs however, can be tiring. Swim out perpendicular to shore until you find a north-south rope trail, then follow that north. If you hit a tire reef, you've gone too far north and have missed the cool stuff. You'll see an east-west rope trail eventually, follow that west, and you'll hit the big rock reefs.

08/17/2010 Sasquatch (Avg: 3.38 Review) - This was my second dive here in as many weeks. The first time I was happy to see a shower for rinsing gear (and sandy children) but, alas, on this dive there was no rinsing, water was shut off. The entire operation of the park seems to be suffering from an economic downturn but the admission is still by donation (I suggest 3 to 5 bucks per visit). The surface swim to the buoys is a bit of a distance at 300 yards but there is plenty to see once you can get yourself under water and before I knew it I was at the reefs. Visibility was crap. This time of year it usually is but I had fun with the small critters and practicing navigation skills. There was some boat traffic. I carried a float/flag. Be aware that the local LDS has pretty restrictive hours, like they open at noon on Monday and are closed on Sunday.

02/06/2009 Klaus Ristau (Avg: 2.05 Review) - Nice park. When I was a kid, there were some cliffs made of sandstone. We know all about sand stone. For instance you could write you name by scratching it with a sharp item. During those times, kids would write things such as 'so and so likes so and so', or a heart-- those types of things. But the main reason I am writing is that those darn cliffs are just the very thin out crops of a ledge you would have to walk on. Hey you were a kid and you saw some one else do it, so you had to try yourself. Scared the life out of me!

09/29/2007 Dave Washburn (Avg: 2.85 Review) - The first time we went here it was very nice. The walk/swim to the barge was long but not arduous, and we found lots of cool critters on and around the barge (which is more like a pile of sand with pieces of junk sticking up here and there). Lots of rockfish, nudibranchs, even a nice kelp greenling. Our second try was a disaster because we got there late and the current had picked up. We never got to a descent point because we couldn't make any headway and got tired enough that it was dangerous. We gave it up and went to Redondo instead. Use the Narrows current predictions to get a general idea when slack is and time it as best you can, because the barge is a long way out there and you don't want to be in a strong current on your way to or from it.

03/15/2004 Franco (Avg: 2.48 Review) - Was very disappointed in animal life. I think I saw like one fish and maybe 2 crabs. The reef was just a pattern of tires and rope. Entrance was a little difficult, had to walk and jump log to log to get onto the beach.

08/20/2003 Les (Avg: 1.97 Review) - The algae on the surface made for a nasty surface swim out and in. There was a slight surface current which didn't help the swim. But worst of all, the visibility at depth was about 3-4 ft due to algae. We weren't down long and saw nothing. I wont be back. We paid the $5 parking fee and some of the bathrooms were closed.

07/06/2003 Walt Tanimoto (Avg: 3.23 Review) - Best to dive this site is during winter months, the summer algae bloom tends to reduce bottom visibility to 10 feet. No night diving at this site, the park closes at 9:00 PM. This is a great site for beginner divers, or tune up dives. The surface swim is not as bad as other divers make it out to be. However, now add a $5.00 parking fee at this state park.

10/28/2001 Kim (Avg: 3.12 Review) - Not the greatest site I've been at. It has a really, really long shore dive and there is very little left of the barge to see.

10/22/2001 Steve (Avg: 2.48 Review) - You can park near the water and its easy to get in the water, but the surface swim is difficult unless you're in shape especially if its windy and choppy like the day when we were there (mid - October). The buoy is not tied to the wreck, you have to go deeper to find it. The wreck is mostly disintegrated. Vis was 25 ft. There was some ratfish, perch, kelp, crabs and barnacles. The only thing that was abundant was the barnacles. I don't recommend this sight and won't go back. It would be good for an open water class due to the shallowness of the first 200 yards and rocky bottom.

10/16/2001 Janna Nichols (Avg: 3.52 Review) - Mostly sandy bottom, with tire reefs, and an old rotting barge. Lots of fish and critter life around the tires and barge. Easy entry, great facilities, some current. Easy sloping bottom.


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Site Photos

Maps
(what is GPS?)
Photo
(click photo for a larger version)
Comments
Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1201
N4722.3709'
W12219.3814'

 

Parking at Salt Water State Park 

There is plenty of parking. Drive close to the beach to drop off your gear.

Overview

 

 

Overview at Salt Water State Park 

Looking South, this is the exit of a small creek that runs through the park, with the swimming beach in the background.

Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: WA1203
N4722.3552'
W12219.4769'

 

Entry at Salt Water State Park 

From the swimming beach, enter the water and head straight out from the creek. After about a 300 yard kick, you'll hit a buoy that marks the wreck.

Aerial

 

 

Aerial at Salt Water State Park 
(click photo for details)

Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and above all: carry your dive flag!

Last Verification: July, 2001  

 

Diver Averages for  Salt Water State Park  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.60
Bottom Conditions:  2.80
Reef Conditions:  3.00
Animal Life:  2.30
Plant Life:  2.10
Facilities:  3.50
Solitude 3.30
Roads:  4.10
*Site Average:  2.89
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.40
Beginner Scuba:  3.20
Intermediate Scuba:  3.10
Advanced Scuba:  2.70
Night diving Scuba:  2.50

Number of reviews for this site: 10

239-4-1-12


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