By Ken – (Seattle)
Does anyone know of any spots for good snorkeling in Puget Sound, Washington? Also, we would appreciate recommendations for what kind of wetsuit to use.
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Nicole & Galen – Feb 4, 2017 – Not Tropical, but….
Well, it is TropicalSnorkeling.com, but since we live in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, we posted this question out of curiosity of what will come up, so share away!
Conclavidor – May 29, 2017 – Yes!
Also dying to know the answer to this! I went out to Solo Point with a military buddy during low tide and that was a fun swim – anemones and crabs everywhere. Looking into trying Titlow Beach. I grew up on Redondo Beach and there were always people wading for crabs there, so it’s also on my short list to try.
Shiv K. – Jul 3, 2017 – If You’re in the North Seattle Area…
Although it’s not a very long swim, if you go out along the wall on the south side of Olympic Beach, in Edmonds, it’s basically like snorkeling a (very cold) coral reef. There are fish everywhere, lots of crabs, lots of anemones. Sea star populations aren’t what they used to be after the area got hit with sea star wasting disease, unfortunately, but you can still see some pretty big ones here. There are also some harbor seals that live here, so you may run into them, too, and sea lions occasionally pass by.
As for hazards — note that at the end of the wall/breakwater, the public fishing pier starts, so you should probably avoid going past the end of the wall to avoid hooks. Also, because there is a long wall, remember that there’s often going to be a current moving one way or the other in the Sound and that’ll create a noticeable current even in the protected area. It’s nothing dangerous, just something one needs to be aware of.
This isn’t the most spectacular place for snorkeling in Puget Sound, I’m sure, but there’s parking right next to the beach which is nice, and there’s a tiny bathroom to change in. Also, you can walk in from sand, which is always a plus — no rocks to navigate over at this beach, even at low tide.
Just north of it, there’s Brackett’s Landing, just north of the ferry dock. You can snorkel out around the jetty there. There’s an outdoor shower to rinse at least some of the seawater off, and a much better changing facility since this area is an underwater dive park.
As for wetsuits… I use a 3mm and am pretty happy in it, but I also have a lot of body fat to insulate me. Maybe try a 7mm if you’ve got it? Gloves, hood, and boots are definitely necessary, don’t let yourself get too cold.
Good luck, safe swimming!
Ken – Jul 4, 2017 – Thanks
Thanks Shiv, great information. Definitely will get a thicker wet suit as I get cold even in tropical water.
Shiv – Jul 4, 2017 – Happy Snorkeling!
Ken, you are very welcome! I hope you have a lot of fun and get to discover some cool places. Good luck with the wetsuit; I hope you stay warm and comfortable! There’s a gear rental place in Lynnwood, I don’t remember the name of it but it’s off of 196th I think. They might be a resource for trying out different suits in this water before you buy.
Oh and the water can sometimes get kind of murky in summer, plankton and algae and whatnot. But usually you can still see some good sights. That being said, if you get the chance to snorkel in winter here, the water is often clear as glass. It’s gorgeous.
Have all the fun!
Ken – Jul 4, 2017 – Thanks Again
Hi Shiv, I will definitely check out the place in Lynnwood; great idea to try a suit before purchasing. Good information on the clear winter waters here. I will definitely check it out.
Eric – Aug 11, 2017 – Pacific Northwest Snorkelers
I am also very interested in learning more about snorkeling in Puget Sound. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun.
I moved to Washington from south Florida and I get cold very easily. I found a deal on eBay for a two piece wetsuit, booties, and gloves. It also has a hood and that helps a lot. The wetsuit I got was a Promate because of price. It’s a 6mm and I think everything was just over $200 in the beginning of 2016. I’ve used it in water as cold as 39°F.
You can also snorkel the rivers east of Seattle.
Ken – Aug 12, 2017 – Thanks
Thanks Eric. Appreciate the information on the gear. I am planning on retiring next year and will spend a lot of time exploring Puget Sound and snorkeling spots. I will share what I find.
Lois S – Sep 3, 2020 – Olympia Area Snorkel Spots?
Anyone know somewhere accessible and interesting to snorkel near Olympia? We are expecting some temperatures in the 90’s next week and can’t get to tropical waters very easily during COVID. Thanks.