Hidden Valley Reef is located on the east side of Saba Rock, about 3 miles from St. Thomas, and is marked with a dive mooring ball.

A ledge structure runs parallel to the island, and the best way to dive this site is to work your way south along the bottom of the ledge. Then go over and check out the Hidden Valley, and then swim back along the top of the ledge area. The ledge is home to numerous types of fish and marine life, so be sure to look into all the nooks and crannies as you work your way along.

Scattered throughout the area are some splendid Pillar Coral formations. Pillar coral grows in columns that can extend up to 12 feet tall. It is one of the few types of hard coral whose polyps can commonly be seen feeding during the day. Polyps are the short tentacles that give it a fuzzy appearance. Each polyp is an individual animal, and they work together in a group to build a giant common foundation of calcium-based minerals. As the ocean currents flow through the pillars, the tiny animals reach out into the water to catch their food as it floats by. Since the coral polyps can only build about 1/4 of an inch of foundation each year, some of the six foot Pillar Coral formations are more than 250 years old.

The Hidden Valley Reef segment in "Diving St. Thomas, Volume 1" features Barracuda, Spotted Drum fish, French Grunts, Queen Angelfish, Hawksbill Turtle, Pillar Coral, and Elkhorn Coral.


This website is a loving tribute to our fish and other sea life comrades and the gorgeous colorful sea world they inhabit.