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Fort Pickens Jetties - Pensacola FL

Fort Pickens Jetties is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Pensacola, FL. This dive site has an average rating of 3.76 out of 5 from 34 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 41-50ft/12-15m. The average visibility is 21-25ft/6-8m.

North of Fort Pickens, Inside the Gulf Island National Seashore National Park. Just west of the fishing pier at the bay side with a very steep drop off to 50’. Several vehicles, machinery parts and a rock jettie attracts flounder, crabs, bait fish, grouper and snapper.

Located at the northwest tip of Santa Rosa Island inside Ft. Pickens state park, the jetties are a fun, easily accessible shore dive.
Directions: as you enter the fort, make your way to the northernmost road that runs east to west along the seawall, turn west. As you travel west, you’ll see the road & the seawall make a sharp bend to the south (left). There are several parking spaces at this location, as well as rinse showers and bathrooms. Cross over the seawall using the stairs at the northwest point.

The dive site is a mostly submerged rock field (jetty) that sprawls out due north of the stairs on the sea wall. Max depth is usually around 50’, tide dependant. Other points of structure include a concrete fishing pyramid, an upturned mostly gone jeep frame, a golf cart, several tires and some other almost unidentifiable structures that bear local names such as the ’pipe organ’ or ’rocket launcher’.

Life varies with the season but is typical for the area. Arrow crabs, damsel fish. Tons of tunicates. Some sponges. Small amount of hard coral scattered about. Some soft coral. A vareity of wrasses, cowfish, porcupine fish, cleaner shrimp, sheepshead, gag grouper, atlantic torpedo ray and souther stingrays are all normal inhabitants.

Dive planning needs to take place around the tides. The site is actually in the enterance of Pensacola Bay, so the current can be strong during max tidal changes. The best times (current and visibility) to dive are about 1 hour before either high tide or low tide. Note that the tide table predictions for Pensacola Bay enterance seem to be about an hour or so later than the actual tide peaks at the dive site.

Visibility varies with conditions, but averages around 15’-20, with a good day being 30’. 40’ viz is not unheard of, but is exceptionally rare at this site. The site is a popular locals destination, and on the weekends expect to find many other divers at the site, especially if conditions are favorable. Ft. Pickens is also a great site for a night dive!

Dive Site Map

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boat_dreams - 9 days 23 hours ago.
I went scuba diving here on 7/31/2022. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: Over 85°F/29°C.
After a tough day dealing with gear issues from the older, heavily used equipment we rented we finally got in the water and had a rewarding day. Jellyfish were out and we got stung a few times but they mostly started to thin out as the tide changed. Batfish in the mud and some banded coral shrimp in the grill of the sunken jeep were stand out species. A few different puffer fish as well.
Table6A - 12/20/2015 4:59 PM
Rating Added: 3
A great spot for checkouts.
Narcosis1 - 4/29/2015 11:51 PM
Rating Added: 3
Great training location. Be mindful of the tides.
artpenny - 3/09/2015 5:22 PM
Would the Pensacola Bay entrance, midchannel slack tide predictions be reliable enough to plan dives off the jetties? Thanks!
jjjoekelly - 2/18/2015 9:34 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/28/2013. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
SpacemanCraig - 9/21/2014 12:27 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/21/2014. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 81-85°F/27-29°C.
SpacemanCraig - 9/20/2014 1:51 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/20/2014. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 81-85°F/27-29°C.
SpacemanCraig - 9/20/2014 1:50 PM
Rating Added: 3
Good Dive, Visibility was a bit poor the day I went but saw a decent assortment of wildlife. For this dive; it is best to be in the water an hour before peak high tide (best visibility and least current).
TheRealVicB - 8/31/2014 2:28 PM
Rating Added: 3
Hit the slack tide, thumbs up, vis, comes and goes, good shore dive
dducote - 2/15/2014 10:43 PM
Rating Added: 4
Really enjoyed diving here. Night dive had lots of life but strong current.
cducote - 2/15/2014 11:58 AM
Rating Added: 4
Dove here on 2/10/14 water was cold but vis was exceptional (35+ feet) we also made a night dive and saw loads of fish, the current picked up and we decided to get out. But overall a very good dive.
allisonfinch - 11/15/2013 11:07 AM
Rating Added: 3
been there
DannyF - 12/27/2012 3:13 PM
Rating Added: 3
19 Dec 2012 - Visibility was lower than usual and there wasn’t as much sea life as normal either (according to the locals that I dove with). We give it another try. Very easy and short walk entry.
fasjr - 12/06/2012 9:23 PM
Really do not understand your question. Great dive sitte and lots to see.
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/08/2012 2:20 PM
Thanks for adding the entry point, there had been two pins.
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/04/2012 7:41 AM
Where is that great entry and how does this dive site differ from the Ft. Pickens jetties?
Phishfood - 10/08/2012 6:56 PM
Rating Added: 3
I went scuba diving here on 10/8/2012. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Pretty good time. 2 dives. First one was just to get the lay of the land. Current was pretty strong, but we knew that going into it (checked the tables just had no other time to dive.) Current turned out to be stronger than anticipated. Had to kick supper strong to stay put, one group of guys lost their dive flag.

It was out going tide, and experience told me the cove just west of the jetty would create an eddie and pull us back to the beach, worked perfect. Second dive we walked up current to the fishing pier. Kicked out about half the distance to the buoy, and dropped. Just sat cross fins, sat about 5 feet off the bottom and went for a lazy river ride. We only kicked to hangout and see the sea life, when something fought our eye. FYI, there is an Electric Ray in the area and he in not a nice dude. We got about 32 min bottom time, could have floated longer but our day was run
SaintsReturn - 5/27/2012 6:33 PM
Rating Added: 4
Had a blast! Today we dove on outgoing tide and we still had a blast. There was a lot to see and worth the lack in visibility.
jeffh - 4/25/2012 9:13 AM
Rating Added: 4

2 dives here on 4/21/12

1st was morning/early afternoon. Water temp 72.3F, vis was about 30ft. Good variety of fish and stuff to look at. Some quite large Arrow Crabs as well.

2nd was a night dive at the rain. Water temp was the same, vis was cloudy due to the rain and the current was ripping. After about 20 minutes we called it, but it was fun.
Elonna - 8/11/2009 12:17 PM
We dove the end of Ft Pickens Rd. Visibility isn’t great, but did see some fish and sea urchins. I believe there is more to be seen but I’m doing my certification dives so 30-35ft is my max depth here.
scubaski - 6/12/2009 11:21 AM
06/12/2009 Ft Pickens road is now open again and access to the jetties is now possible.