Skip to content

Salt River Canyon West Wall (Grouper Grotto)

Salt River Canyon’s West Wall is the most requested boat dive on St. Croix. The West Wall is also known as ‘The Pinnacles’ due to the geological formations believed to have been formed by an ancient, above ground waterfall. These formations offer a maze of swim-throughs, cuts, ledges, overhangs, recesses and sand chutes to be explored. At this site you will likely see rays gliding around the coral pinnacles, while schools of reef fish can be found under ledges and swimming off the edge of The Wall. While there is a seeming endless amount of fish to see, don’t overlook the geological formations of the canyon itself. There are few dive sites in the world that offer the unique topography you can find here on the West Wall.

Location: North Shore

The Salt River Canyon is formed by the remains of an ancient river and waterfall that formed a deep “V” in the wall of the Puerto Rico Trench that runs just off of the island’s North Shore. The East Wall and West Wall of the canyon are only a quarter of a mile apart, separated by a chasm thousands of feet deep, but they offer two distinct diving experiences. When diving the canyon, you may also see diver favorites such as sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, and dolphins. If you are lucky enough to be here in February or March, you may even be serenaded by the humpback whales’ song as they migrate along the Puerto Rio Trench. If you are an underwater photographer, make sure to take your camera on this dive!

General Location:

Just outside of Salt River Bay off of North Shore Road (Route 80), in Salt River Bay National Park & Ecological Preserve.

Access:

This dive site must be accessed by boat.

Depth:

Salt River Canyon’s West Wall has a mooring which lies in about 20 feet of water, but has almost a sheer drop to 200 feet, then to 500 feet, and then down The Wall to 4,000 foot depths.

Conditions:

Average visibility is 60-80 feet, up to 100 feet. The water can be choppy at the surface. Also, some surge and current can be present, especially where The Wall turns the corner into the canyon.

At this site you will likely see rays gliding around the coral pinnacles, while schools of creole wrasse, black durgeon, and squirrelfish can be found under ledges and swimming off the edge of The Wall. As you descend, you will find jacks, large groupers, permits, barracudas, as well as large pelagic sea life such as sharks. While there is a seeming endless amount of fish to see, don’t overlook the geological formations of the canyon itself. There are few dive sites in the world that offer the unique topography you can find here on the West Wall.

 

 

Reef Shark (Photo by: St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures)

  • Salt River Marina
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Kayaking tours
  • Columbus Landing
  • Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

Read More about Salt River

Salt River

Salt River Beach is located on Salt River Bay on the North Shore of St. Croix. It features the Salt River Marina, and several water sport companies. Many kayak tours come in and out of here, and it is especially beautiful on a full moon. Dive tours are also available out of Salt River Bay…

Read More

Kayak Among the Mangroves of Salt River

‘What an incredible experience’, ‘That was cool’, ‘We got to see so much’, and ‘Our guide was so funny!’ – these were just a few of the comments heard during my latest adventure, a kayak tour of Salt River. The award-winning tour was given by Caribbean Adventure Tours, the original kayak tour located in Salt…

Read More

Dive the Salt River Canyon Sites

In the Caribbean Sea, just outside of St. Croix’s Salt River Bay, can be found a breathtaking underwater geographical feature known as the Salt River Canyon. This underwater canyon is formed by the remains of an ancient river and waterfall that formed a deep “V” in the wall of the Puerto Rico Trench that runs…

Read More

Columbus Landing

Columbus Landing Beach is located on the North Shore of the island, within the Salt River Bay Historical and Ecological Preserve. This beach was the site of a native village in the 1400’s and is historically significant because of the encounter between Christopher Columbus’ crew with the natives in his second journey to the America’s…

Read More

Salt River National Historic Park

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve! Not only is Salt River important historically, it is also a protected ecological preserve. Salt River is also known as Columbus Landing. Columbus landed at this spot in America’s Paradise in 1493, but encountered the not-so-friendly Carib Indian tribe. This led to the first documented conflict…

Read More