The Bandon south jetty is a good place to go crabbing or spearfishing on the southern Oregon coast. SCUBA divers will find an abundance of marine life and a few other surprises, too. However, the outer part of the jetty gets pounded by winter storms and when the wave sets line up right, you can get breakers all the way into the bay. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan like one of the dive sites further up the bay or into the Coquille river.
The Bandon south jetty is just west of downtown Bandon.
Special Directions to Site:
From downtown Bandon, head west. The road curves to the left. Turn right onto Jetty Road. Jetty Road curves around to the north and becomes Lincoln Avenue. Follow the road to the parking lot at the jetty.
The last time we were here, parking was free and plentiful. However, you may need to pay to park in the future so be sure to read the signs when you arrive.
The jetty structure runs roughly east-southeast to west-northwest. The outer part of the jetty often has much rougher conditions than the inner part. If you venture out to the jetty tip and around to the south side of the jetty, you will be full exposed to the Pacific Ocean. On the inner part of the jetty, the jetty is often just below the surface of the water at high tide. This area is often a little calmer and more protected. The dive site ends by the restaurant.
There are some interesting underwater rocks just to the north of the jetty between the parking lot and about halfway to the restaurant. They’re worth exploring.
Entrances and Exits:
The main entrance/exit is over the jetty wall at the parking lot. If you head in toward Bandon, you can hop out at the restaurant on the far west end of downtown Bandon. Although if you do that, you’ll have a long walk back to your car. It’s much better to plan to exit where you entered.
This is a salt water dive.
This is a shore dive. There isn’t any room to have a boat wait for you while you dive. Otherwise you’d block the shipping channel.
You’ll almost certainly encounter current. You’ll most likely encounter some surf, surge, and a few other nasty things that the ocean can throw at you if you venture out toward the Bandon south jetty tip. Be cognizant of the weather and plan your dive accordingly.
Usually the viz is around 15 feet although with big storms, the viz can go to practically zero.
Water temp is usually in the 45-55F range although SCUBA divers can encounter colder water on the east end of the dive site when a big snow melt is happening in the coast range mountains.
Best Time of Year:
The site can be dived any time of the year.
This is a shallower dive site. You’ll max out at 25 feet deep if you bring a shovel and are on a very high tide.
Suggested Special Training:
Due to the rough conditions on the western part of the Bandon south jetty, it’s a good idea to have advanced open water training and experience with rougher water.
Difficulty of Dive:
We rate this as an intermediate dive due to the jetty scramble and the rough conditions on the western part of the Bandon south jetty.
Distance of Walk to Entrance:
Depending on the parking situation, you might have to walk 200 feet from your car.
Surface Swim Length:
No surface swim is needed.
Special Site Notes:
This is an active fishing port so watch out for boat traffic. The tide can be really powerful, racing water into and out of the river. It’s a good idea to start your dive before high tide so that you will get sucked up into the Coquille River rather than pushed out to sea.
Closest Local Dive Shops to Get Air Fills and SCUBA Gear:
Down in Port Orford there is an air fill station at the harbor. Otherwise, you’ll need to head inland to find a full service SCUBA shop.
Nearby Restaurants We Like:
There is some really good food in downtown Bandon. It’s worth the stop after your dive to get a bite to eat.
Nearby Places to Camp and Diver-Friendly Hotels:
We haven’t stayed in or around Bandon overnight. Please let us know if you know of good campgrounds or hotels that are SCUBA diver friendly.
What Other People Have to Say About This Site:
Please write in the comments below your experiences with this dive site!