10 Best Lakes for Practicing Scuba Diving Skills | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Dive spots like Lake Jocassee boast exceptional visibility.
  • Homestead Crater offers the warmest scuba diving in the US.
  • Diving in lakes can provide unique experiences and skill-building opportunities.

Ever considered diving into a lake to refine your scuba skills?

It's a splash!

Freshwater lakes offer a unique, calm environment ideal for honing diving techniques and buoyancy control.

Trust us, exploring hidden underwater worlds in these serene freshwater havens is not just about the dive—it's a full-on adventure for your senses and skills.

Table of contents


Bonne Terre Mine, Missouri

Ever thought about a scuba diving adventure that goes beyond the typical ocean dive?

How about exploring the submerged labyrinth of a former lead mine?

Welcome to Bonne Terre Mine, Missouri, a diving spot unlike any other that takes you into the depths of the Earth.

Here's what’s cool:

  • Crystal-Clear Water: What could be more thrilling than diving in water so clear, it's like floating in air?
  • Underwater Structures: Your inner explorer will love navigating through the tunnels littered with artifacts from the mine's heyday.
  • An Underwater Boat: Yes, you read that right! Discover the eerie yet fascinating sight of a sunken boat.

Dive Trails: You start your adventure on dive trails 1 through 3, ensuring that you get the full experience before moving on to the more advanced paths.

Did you know there are around 50 dive trails in total?

That's like a new adventure waiting for you each time you visit!

Practical Info:

  • Diving days: Weekends score you a ticket to dive (remember, reservations are a must!)
  • Depth range: A comfortable 40-80 feet dive depth, with a consistent temperature of 65 degrees.
  • Diving times: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Thinking about the budget?

Well, it's nicely affordable!

Packages can start at around $370, including a stay at a charming local lodging option.

Be sure to book in advance, though – it’s a favorite spot among divers!

Ready for your next quest under the Missouri soil?

Can you imagine the stories you'll share after diving in a mine?

Bonne Terre Mine awaits, fellow adventurers.

Don your wetsuits, check your gear, and dive into history at this underwater time capsule!

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to explore underwater worlds where clarity meets the adventure?

Well, Lake Tahoe is your answer!

Shared between California and Nevada, it’s not just a skier’s paradise; it's a scuba diver’s dream too with its crystalline waters.

Now, let's reel off some cool features about Tahoe:

  • Unbelievable Visibility: You can see clearly now, the silt is gone! Expect up to 70 feet of visibility—sometimes even more!
  • Diverse Dive Sites: Are you into rocky reefs, looking to swim alongside fish near underwater cliffs, or fancy snorkeling over a sunken forest? Lake Tahoe has it all.
  • Depth for Days: Get this, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,645 feet. But no worries, there are spots perfect for beginners too.

Here’s a splash of what you can expect underwater:

  • Sand Harbor: It's not just a pretty face above water. With shallow areas around 20 feet, it's ideal for newbies.
  • Rubicon Wall: For the more daring among you, the wall drops to an impressive depth and is a spectacle of geological formations.

Whether you're kicking off your diving journey or adding new dives to your logbook, Lake Tahoe is open all seasons.

So, why not dip your fins into this watery wonderland and see for yourself?

Just remember, altitude diving is a different kettle of fish, so make sure you're prepared.

Ready to take the plunge?

Devil's Den, Florida

Have you ever fancied a dive through time?

At Devil's Den, nestled in Williston, Florida, you're not just exploring deep waters, but also traveling back to the Florida Ice Age.

It's like a prehistoric playground submerged under clear waters.

Imagine being surrounded by underwater rock formations and ancient fossil beds—pretty cool, right?

Features to Look Out For:

  • Crystal-clear water, perfect for visibility.
  • Intriguing fossil beds and geological formations.
  • A cave-like environment that's just waiting to be explored.

Now, let's talk logistics.

Diving at Devil's Den costs $38 per diver, which is a small price to pay for such an extraordinary experience.

Night dives have their own charm and vary in price: $10 per person from November 7 to March 13, and $15 per person from March 14 to November 6.

These require a group minimum ($100 for the former, $250 for the latter), so round up your diver friends for an ethereal night experience!

But what if you have buddies who aren't keen on diving?

No worries!

They can come along for just $7 and stick to terra firma while you take the plunge.

It's a win-win situation.

And yes, they accept both cash and credit cards, so you can leave that old piggy bank at home.

This site isn't just for seasoned divers; the Scuba Dive Training Center located there means beginners can take a splash into scuba diving too.

So, whether you're an experienced diver or just starting, Devil's Den welcomes you with open arms (or fins).

Got your snorkel and fins ready?

Good, because this is one dive site you don't want to miss on your scuba diving bucket list.

Who knew a trip to Florida could take you all the way back to an Ice Age adventure?

Blue Hole, New Mexico

Imagine diving into the depths of a natural artesian spring with the sun casting ripples of light through crystal-clear blue waters.

Are you picturing it?

That's what you'll experience at Blue Hole, located in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Isn't it fascinating that even in the desert, there's a place where you can dive all year round?

Here's what you need to know about this desert oasis:

  • Visibility: Expect up to 100 feet, which is pretty exceptional, if you ask me!
  • Water Temperature: It's steady, making your dive comfortable.
  • Depth: A solid 80 feet—the perfect playground for honing your scuba skills!

For those planning a trip, you should know that the Santa Rosa Dive Center is your go-to spot for gear rental.

They've got you covered with everything from scuba gear to diving suits and tanks, not to mention air fills.

Keep their number handy: (575) 472-3370.

Just remember, they're open weekends from 8 a.m., staying available until the last diver wraps up their underwater adventure.

And hey, if you're looking to dive midweek, no sweat!

Give the owner, Stella Salazar, a ring; she's known to open up for certified divers and groups by appointment.

Before you plunge into the Blue Hole, a heads-up that you'll need to sign a permit and release form – safety first, right?

Alright, you adventurous souls, that's the lowdown on Blue Hole.

Strap on your fins and embark on a dive that defies the desert!

Ready to take the plunge?

Homestead Crater, Utah

Heard of a dive spot that's comfy all year round?

Let me introduce you to Homestead Crater in Utah!

Nestled in a 55-foot tall beehive-shaped limestone dome, it's a geothermally heated oasis that keeps a steady 90-96°F, no matter the season.

Think of slipping into a warm bath, except it's a natural hot spring perfect for honing those scuba skills.

What's on Offer:

  • Warm Temperatures: Say goodbye to chilly dives! The water's always just right.
  • Depth: At 65 feet deep with a 400-foot base, there's plenty to explore.
  • Accessibility: Open year-round, it’s a diver’s delight even when there’s snow on the ground.
  • Unique Experience: It's not every day you get to dive in a natural hot spring inside a limestone dome, right?

Details for Divers:

  • Entry Fees: A dive costs $22 on weekdays and $27 on weekends for a 35-minute session.
  • Equipment Rental: Need gear? It's $25, and that includes everything but the tank, which is an extra $7.50.
  • Classes: Whether you're a newbie or brushing up, they've got classes too.

But the Crater isn't just about diving.

Fancy a swim, or maybe snorkeling?

They've got you covered, and you can even try Paddleboard Yoga if you're up for a challenge on the water.

Just remember, due to its unique nature, reservations are a must!

Cruising at an altitude just above 5,000 feet, this site is a must-visit for scuba enthusiasts.

So, pack your swimwear and prepare for a divinely warm dive at Homestead Crater – Utah's not-so-hidden gem for underwater adventurers like you!

Dutch Springs, Pennsylvania

Have you ever wanted to explore an underwater world without leaving the comfort of the USA?

Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, PA, might be the scuba training ground you're looking for!

This 50-acre, spring-fed freshwater lake has something for every diver, whether you're just starting out or polishing up your advanced skills.

Why Dutch Springs?

It's a scuba haven with visibility ranging from 40 to 60 feet on a good day, thanks to the filtration from zebra mussels.

You heard it right, no murky waters here!

Plus, think about diving to a depth of 100 feet where the water's as clear as your ambitions to conquer the deep.

  • Depth: Up to 100 feet
  • Visibility: 30-60 feet
  • Attractions: Vehicles, Aircraft, Training Platforms

Imagine gliding over sunken treasures like vehicles and even aircraft, or practicing your buoyancy control on specially designed platforms.

And with the attractions situated at depths between 20 to 60 feet, there's a lot to explore before you even get close to the bottom.

So, you're wondering about the basics?

Here are the quick deets:

  • Location: 4733 Hanoverville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • Facilities: Bathrooms, Airfills, and Camping Options
  • Entry: All-day dive pass is around $40
  • Extras: Annual passes available for the frequent diver

Now, who wouldn't want to dive in what's lovingly dubbed as the Pennsylvania Caribbean?

From a flooded limestone quarry in the 1930s to a top-notch diver's playground today, Dutch Springs has a robust history to match its exciting present.

So suit up, dive in, and enjoy this controlled, clear, and utterly captivating underwater world right in Pennsylvania!

Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

Have you ever imagined scuba diving in a lake where the waters are so clear you feel like you're exploring an underwater crystal palace?

Well, you can stop dreaming and start planning your trip to Lake Jocassee!

Nestled in the mountains of South Carolina, Jocassee is a scuba diving gem known for its remarkably clear waters and a diverse submarine landscape that caters to divers of all skill levels.

What makes Lake Jocassee stand out?

It's not just its pristine conditions; it's also what's beneath the surface:

  • Submerged forests
  • Intricate rock formations
  • Remains of historical buildings

Imagine gently gliding over submerged forests, where the interplay of light and shadow creates a magical scene right out of a fantasy movie.

Or exploring remains of old structures, getting a rare glimpse into a watery world where nature has reclaimed its territory.

You're not just diving; you're time-traveling.

And let's talk stats for a moment:

  • Surface Area: 7,565 acres
  • Mean Depth: 154 feet
  • Maximum Depth: 351 feet
  • Shoreline: 75 miles of exploration potential

This underwater playground boasts a variety of dive sites that cater to both recreational and technical divers.

So, whether you're here to casually float among fish or you're in it for a serious deep dive, Lake Jocassee has got you covered.

Plus, you can find schools or rental shops nearby, offering all the gear and guidance you need.

Fancy a night dive or feeling adventurous about cavern diving?

Explore Lake Jocassee's darker side or twist and turn through its caverns.

Who knows what hidden secrets you'll uncover?

So, pack your fins and mask, and get ready for an unforgettable dive adventure at Lake Jocassee.

See you underwater, fellow explorer!

Gilboa Quarry, Ohio

Have you ever imagined diving where you can encounter sunken treasures?

Well, at Gilboa Quarry in Ohio, you're in for that kind of adventure!

This once bustling limestone quarry has transformed into a diver's paradise.

With its crystal-clear waters and a wide array of submerged wonders, Gilboa is a hit for divers of all levels.

Key Features:

  • Clarity: Thanks to the quarry’s limestone walls, the visibility is absolutely top-notch.
  • Depth: Offering a range from 5 to 135 feet, there's something for everyone, from newbies to tech divers.
  • Attractions: Prepare to explore everything from submerged aircraft to vehicles, and even training platforms. It's an underwater playground!
  • Training Center: Ideal for dive training, numerous certification courses are held here.

Feeling the itch to try out new diving equipment or polish your underwater photography skills?

You won’t get a better backdrop than this.

Not to mention, the friendly and welcoming dive community here is always ready to share tips or team up for a dive.

Fun Fact: Gilboa Quarry's waters are renowned for their unusual blue hue, which makes for a stunning visual treat.

And with a daily entry fee as affordable as $6, why not take the plunge?

Remember to bring your dive log, because you'll want to jot down every mesmerizing detail.

Whether it's the weightless dance through an underwater archway or the thrilling encounter with a sunken vessel, Gilboa Quarry promises to leave you with memories worth a lifetime.

So gear up, dive in, and discover why this Ohio gem is deemed the region's best spot for scuba perfection.

See you underwater!

Lake Travis, Texas

Have you heard of Lake Travis near the vibrant city of Austin?

It's a scuba diver's playground!

This enormous reservoir on the Colorado River is not just for boating and swimming; it's perfect for exploring underwater treasures.

With a mix of clear and murky areas, Lake Travis's varying visibility is just the challenge you need to sharpen those diving skills of yours.

Let's dive into what makes Lake Travis so unique:

  • Underwater structures: Imagine navigating through a cluster of sunken boats. Got your interest yet?
  • Rock formations: They create natural labyrinths that are both beautiful and exciting to maneuver around.
  • Rock on at Windy Point Park: Offering boat wrecks, metal sculptures, and more. There's even a detailed map to guide your underwater excursion!

But wait, there's more!

This lake isn't just a one-trick pony.

With great spots for both beginners and advanced divers, you'll find an adventure suitable for your level.

Plus, local dive shops like Dive World Austin provide all the gear and guidance you'll need.

Ever wanted to do something out of the ordinary?

How about visiting the Lake Travis Scuba Landing?

Book a dive and become one with the aquatic life as you practice your skills and create lasting memories.

With several dive sites to choose from, Lake Travis is truly a place to nurture your inner diver.

Ready to take the plunge and experience what lies beneath?

Lake Travis is calling your name!

Clear Lake, Oregon

Have you ever marveled at the idea of diving into a world suspended in time?

Picture yourself at Clear Lake in Oregon, where you can experience just that!

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this exquisite lake isn't just crystal clear—as its name suggests—but it's also a leap back in time with its underwater forest.

  • Visibility: Imagine having over 100 feet of clear water around you. Got your attention? Well, that's what you can expect here.
  • Depth: The lake dives deep, reaching depths up to 175 feet, offering both novices and pros ample space to explore.
  • Surface Area: With 142 acres at your fin-tips, there's enough lake for everyone.
  • Temperature: Don't forget your wetsuit! The lake is known for being one of the coldest in the Cascades.

Now, let's talk about what makes this place really special:

  • Sunken Forest: Dive amongst trees that were submerged long ago by a lava flow. It's eerily beautiful and completely unforgettable.
  • Volcanic Potholes: On the lake's bottom, you’ll find potholes where spring water surges through, creating a surreal underwater landscape.

What's the draw, you ask?

Aside from the unmatched underwater clarity, you’ll discover intriguing volcanic rock formations and the stillness of a preserved natural environment.

And the best part?

You're just a road trip away from cities like Portland, Eugene, and Bend.

So, grab your dive gear and prepare to be enthralled by the underwater marvels of Clear Lake.

Get ready to make bubbles in one of the purest waters in Oregon!

Remember to respect the serene environment, keeping it pristine for fellow divers and future generations.