Fort Ross North

California North, USA West
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Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Fort Ross North

This is the Northern most site at Fort Ross. It is technically more challenging than the Southern site due to the hike and the rocky entry.<br><br>Notes from Paul Schmitt to a boater's question: There is a boat launch at Timber Cove a few miles north of Fort Ross State Park. I do not suggest taking a 14 foot aluminum boat as the wind usually blows from the north to the south and picks up late in the morning and really starts blowing hard in the afternoon. An Avon rubber boat is much safer. They will launch the boat for you at Timber cove. I haven't been to Fort Ross for a few years and it seems to me they have stopped all traffic down to the beach. Another outstanding state park with a boat launch is just north of Timber Cove at Salt Point. Timber Cove and Salt Point are usually populated with experienced divers on the week end. Take some time and talk to the divers down on the beach for current conditions and advice. Please note the seas and weather off the north coast of California can be very dangerous, especially if you are not familiar with the area. While diving from shore at the park may be a pain, it is much safer than attempting it in a small boat. For a scenic ride, take Highway 116 off 101 to the town Jenner. Head North for about 13 miles, and turn left into the Fort Ross State Historic Park. You'll see this site before you get to the Fort.
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Zentacle
Zentacle
Sep 21, 2021, 1:04 AM
scuba
Drop your gear off here and park either above or below this spot. The trail appears to precariously wrap around the cliff, but it is well-maintained and safe. Carry your gear carefully over the rocks to a suitable entry point, and slip in! Check out the trail conditions before putting your gear on. You may want to carry it down a piece at a time. You can't miss the entrance.
Bluestar
Bluestar
Nov 24, 2010, 12:00 AM
scuba
In the month of November I have visited this site 5 times. I will condense my experiences into this one report. Reading previous reviews, I skipped this site for a long time. On one trip early November I was 'kicked' over here by a Reef Campground park ranger due to big waves there, and I discovered how good this site is. Because it is so protected, this site gets a lot of pressure; maybe that is why some reviewers graded this site very low. There are in fact no abs in plain sight in the north cove. But there are plenty of abs in the kelp under the rocks. There are even big ones here and there. My trip yesterday 11/23/2010 yielded a 9.25' ab weighing 5.4 lbs right from the middle of the cove, in 20' of water. On average I find abs every 3 dive-downs; legal abs about every 9-10 dive-downs. That is pretty good considering I can only hold breath for 30 seconds max and usually only 20 seconds. If I just want to get my limit of legal abs I can do it in 30 minutes here, but I usually spend 2 hours in water hunting for the big 3rd ab. I think I would not enjoy the dives as much if big abs are all over the sea floor in plain view waiting to be picked. I like a little challenge finding them, and battling to dislodge them. I frequently have to give up on big abs that are too hard to get because they are too deep in a hole or sandwiched between two rocks. My only complaint about this site is the big vertical distance to hike. Many times I wanted to tank-dive to spear fish, but after ab dive I just got tired of this climb with gears. I love this site so much, that I have not had any inclination to explore other places.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Bluestar
Bluestar
Nov 18, 2010, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is still a great place to dive for abs. It is November now and I still limit out in 30 minutes, in 10' of water barely 30 yards from shore inside the cove. Somebody should repair the trail a little bit; a few short stretches are pretty steep and slippery.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Aug 24, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
(No Comment)
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Chip Reuben
Chip Reuben
Jan 9, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This dive was not worth the effort to get there.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Paul Schmitt
Paul Schmitt
Sep 28, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
I dove this spot 30 years ago with my club, California Ocean Divers. Since then I have found more attractive spots to dive in the area. At that time you could drive down to the beach and park! You didn't have to hike down the the hill. We found the wreck and an anchor. It's like junk all over the bottom. Spearfishing is great for ling cod there. I pulled a 16lb'er out of the north side. Lots of large bolders on the bottom there. The state should rebuild the road down to the beach for access, but I doult it will ever be open to the public like it once was. There are easier access points on the coast just a short distance away like Timber Cove where they have a boat launch for small craft. You can enter there on a good day and take a rubber boat down to Ft. Ross. The area has some of the finest ab diving in the state. This is also a great place to dive by board! Just get away from the cove as it is a little picked over.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Marc Della Riva
Marc Della Riva
Aug 30, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
very enjoyable stay and good diving!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Valerie Smith
Valerie Smith
May 1, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
I did a shore dive here in July 2001. We started the dive at dusk and by the time we finished, it was nightfall. Our aim was to find the old sunken ship (or pieces thereof). Unfortunately, we did not find it. For the most part, it was a very murky dive, not very enjoyable at all. There were beautiful things to see under the kelp, but it was very murky, and I didn't consider it very relaxing. Aside from that, the shore entry left a lot to be desired. When we got out, we were met by rangers who thought we might be ab diving (we were not), and aside from it being a typically chilly night, that was about it for the excitement.
Originally posted on shorediving.com