The outer north jetty at the Tillamook County Barview Jetty Park is a good SCUBA site to visit if you want to go crabbing or spearfishing. Big lingcod lurk on the outer reaches of the jetty where the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean mixes with the freshwater from Tillamook Bay.
The reason we dive this site and put up with the strong current and difficult entrance is to go hunting. Spearfishing for monster lingcod, rockfish, and other fish is really fun on the outer north jetty. Aside from a few minutes of slack tide, the current is always roaring here and will easily suck you out to see if you aren’t careful. It is still a fun site to dive in spite of the current for the thrill of finding those big fish that everyone desires.
The little unincorporated community of Barview, Oregon further inland along the jetty. The towns of Garibaldi and Tillamook are a bit further south.
Special Directions to Site:
Follow signs for the Tillamook County Barview Jetty Campground and keep going along Jetty Road until you come to the parking lot at the beach. Park over toward the jetty to minimize your surface walk.
There is usually plenty of parking here. The last time we went to this site, parking was free but this could change.
The dive site runs roughly east-west along the north jetty for Tillamook Bay. The farther out you get on the jetty, the rougher the conditions will get. We don’t recommend going all that far out toward the jetty tip because there are almost always big waves, surf, and surge on the jetty tip. The current can also easily pull you out to sea which would be no fun.
Entrances and Exits:
Right by the parking area there are a few places that are more easy to scramble over the jetty rocks. If you get in a pinch, you can climb up on the jetty further out toward the ocean or treat this as a drift dive and exit either at the middle or inner dive sites on the north jetty.
This is a salt water dive.
This is a shore dive.
This site almost always has a wicked current that will try to suck you out to see or in toward Tillamook. When the waves are lined up just right, big breakers can wash over the jetty and the surge can be huge. The further west on the jetty you go, the more the conditions deteriorate.
You usually have 10-15 feet of visibility at the outer north jetty dive site.
Water temperature usually runs between 48 and 57F at this site.
Best Time of Year:
The only time you want to go diving here is when the ocean is relatively calm. With the wild Pacific Ocean just a few hundred feet away, you need to watch the surf, marine, and weather forecasts. Luckily there are plenty of other dive sites around Tillamook Bay for you to check out if this site is no good to dive.
Out toward the tip of the jetty you will see a depth of around 45 feet. further east, you will see more like 35 feet of water.
Suggested Special Training:
Advanced open water training is a good idea here. Rescue diver training is also a good idea. You need to have a safety sausage (we have one we highly recommend on our Gear We Use page) in case you get into trouble and get sucked out to sea. Remember don’t try to fight the current if you get sucked out. Go parallel to shore and look for somewhere that the current is carrying you back toward land to make your exit.
If you do have to do a beach exit after getting sucked out to sea, don’t forget your training. Getting through breakers can be very challenging for even the most experienced divers.
Difficulty of Dive:
We rate this as an intermediate dive as long as you dive this site in good conditions and are mindful of how far out along the jetty you go. If you decide to head for the tip, this becomes an advanced dive.
Distance of Walk to Entrance:
If the parking close to the jetty is full, then you might have to walk a hundred feet or so. Usually you can park right next to the jetty, scramble over the rocks, and you’re in the water.
Surface Swim Length:
There is no surface swim here unless you for some reason want a surface swim.
Special Site Notes:
There is boat traffic that comes in and out of the Tillamook Bay. Don’t stray into the channel. As we’ve said elsewhere on this page, be very mindful of the current and don’t go too far out on the jetty unless you really know what you’re doing. While this is the outer north jetty dive site, we specifically don’t include the tip of the jetty in this site because of the difficulty of that area.
[Underwater Map of Dive Site Coming Soon!]
Closest Local Dive Shops to Get Air Fills and SCUBA Gear:
There used to be a local dive shop in Tillamook. We aren’t sure if it is still there or not. If you know of a nearby SCUBA shop, please let us know!
Nearby Restaurants We Like:
There are quite a few restaurants up and down US101. If you have a favorite, please drop us a line and we’ll add it here.
Nearby Places to Camp and Diver-Friendly Hotels:
The Tillamook County Barview Jetty Campground is a good place to camp. They have RV sites, tent sites, and cabins for rent.
We haven’t tried any of the nearby hotels. If you know of a good one that is SCUBA friendly, let us know!
What Other People Have to Say About This Site:
Please write in the comments below your experiences with this dive site!