The Edmonds Underwater Park includes more than 27 acres of tide and bottom lands of which approximately half have been developed with features and trails specifically for divers. The Park is the most popular of 10 underwater parks that make up Washington’s underwater park system. About 25,000 scuba divers visit the Edmonds Park each year. Most are among the state’s 250,000 trained divers, though 15 percent come from out of state, mostly from Portland and Vancouver, B.C.
The Underwater Park provides convenient parking, restrooms, a dry changing area, as well as a shower and foot-wash station. Charts, maps and information to assist with developing a dive plan are on display near the park restroom. Air can be purchased several blocks south of the park at Edmonds Underwater Sports. Brackett’s Landing Park, on the adjacent beach, provides pathways, picnic areas, interpretive information in addition to spectacular mountain and marine views.
Brackett’s Landing Park is open from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. May through September, and 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM October through April. Parking in the lot is limited to 4 hours. Additional parking is available at private lots south of Main Street and east of Railroad Avenue.
The Underwater Park itself is a series of man-made reef structures interspersed with sunken vessels in various states of decay, which together create an extensive artificial habitat for a wide variety of marine life. These features are connected by an extensive network of fixed guide ropes anchored to the bottom which make it easy for divers to get around the Park.
The man-made reefs are made from, concrete blocks, tractor tires, PVC pipes of various sizes, sunken navigation buoys, an old tree trunk, sunken boats & ships, old pieces of the 520 floating bridge and much more.
The parks original feature was a 325-foot De Lion Dry Dock, which was sunk in 1935 next to the ferry dock to act as a current buffer. It remains a popular dive destination within the park. It is an enormous structure that has created a beautiful artificial reef and attracted an abundance of sea life. Divers are able to swim in among the ribs of the structure. The sidewalls of the dry dock rise 34 feet above the inner deck, are 80 feet apart and 325 feet in length. Halfway between the two walls is a low concrete ledge that marks the halfway point for divers swimming between walls. The ledge once served as a keel support for ships being worked on. In 1972, a 94-foot tug, the Alitak, was placed northeast of the dry dock, and since 1977 other features have been added north of the dock to encourage divers away from the Ferry Landing. These include the ships Fossil in 1982, the Molly Brown in 1996, and the 70-foot Triumph in 1999. About two wooden boats per year have been sunk in the park because wooden boats last only about two years before lost to decay.
Protected from heavy coastal surges, the nutrient-rich inland waters of Washington support an abundance of sea life. Man-made features in the Underwater Park provide habitat for a stunning variety of life. These include: enormous lingcod, cabezons, spotted ratfish, various greenlings and rockfish, seaperch, gobys, sculpins, flounders, sole, eelpouts , Dungeness, red rock, kelp and hermit crabs, horse clams, geoducks, scallops, heart cockles, moon snail, giant pacific & red octopus, sea cucumbers, and numerous species of anemone, sea stars, urchin, nudibranchs, shrimp and seaweed.
The water temperature ranges between 48 to 52 degrees year-around.
The deepest part of the park is 45 feet at high tide, and is on the south end, near the Ferry.
Visibility ranges between two and 40 feet, therefore divers must use a compass and the trail system as a guide. Many features have buoys to mark their location. Follow the buoy line to the bottom to find the feature located near the anchor. Try to dive the high slack tide for best visibility.
The underwater park is located immediately next to the Edmonds terminal of the Kingston ferry. Take I-5 to Edmonds and follow the signs towards the ferry. Don’t get in the ferry lanes. Turn left towards the ferry at the intersection at the front of the ferry lane. Turn right into the Brackett’s landing parking lot immediately across the railroad tracks.