10 Lakes with Certified Diving Courses and What You Can See Underwater | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Lake diving offers diverse underwater experiences.
  • Courses are available across the U.S. for certification.
  • Inland waters hold surprising ecosystems to explore.

Looking to plunge into a new adventure?

Scuba diving in lakes offers unique underwater experiences, often just a stone’s throw from your backyard.

Whether you're intrigued by the idea of exploring submerged forests, peeking at freshwater fish, or even discovering underwater sculptures, lake diving provides an incredible variety to your underwater adventures.

Diving courses available at lakes across the U.S. unlock a different world beneath the surface, from the clear waters of Lake Tahoe to the mysterious depths of Bonne Terre Mine.

Becoming a certified diver in these lakes means not only gaining new skills but also the opportunity to encounter the unexpected in fresh waters.

As a certified diver myself, I've been enamored by the diverse ecosystems housed within these inland waters.

It's my pleasure to guide you through the process of certification while highlighting some of the jaw-dropping sights you may encounter along the way.

Quality instruction, safe practices, and a community of fellow diving enthusiasts await you.

Ready to take the plunge?

Table of contents


Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada)

Planning to dive into something extraordinary?

Well, Lake Tahoe is your sparkling gem!

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, straddling California and Nevada, it's not just about the ski slopes – underwater adventures await!

If you're chasing your next big dive, local dive shops offer certified diving courses tailored for all levels.

Imagine descending into the clear waters where visibility often exceeds 60 feet!

It's an aqua playground, and you're invited.

What's hidden beneath these azure waters, you ask?

Here's a sneak peek:

  • Submerged Trees: Sentinels of the deep creating surreal underwater forests.
  • Rock Formations: Nature's architecture at its finest.
  • Sunken Boats: Wrecks peacefully resting - spooky? Maybe. Intriguing? Absolutely.

But it's not just about what you'll see.

Lake Tahoe is deep – like, second-deepest-in-the-U.S. deep at 1,645 feet!

Those depths are calling out for explorers.

Isn't the underwater world just fascinating?

Remember to stay safe and respect this magnificent natural wonder.

So grab your fins, dive buddy, and a sense of adventure, because Lake Tahoe's underwater spectacle is something you simply can't miss.

Who knows what stories the lake will whisper to you?

Bonne Terre Mine (Missouri)

Have you ever imagined diving in a mine?

At Bonne Terre Mine in Missouri, your underwater adventure comes with a twist of history.

This submerged wonderland is a mecca for dives with an affinity for the unique.

Dive into History Once a lead mine, this site now hosts the world's largest subterranean lake, with over a billion gallons of crystal-clear water.

Are you ready to explore an underwater maze of mining history?

Here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Certification: You'll need to be a certified diver, but don't worry, you can dive right in with on-site courses and guided tours.
  • Reservation: Plan ahead! Dives are available on weekends by reservation.
  • Safety First: New to Bonne Terre? Stick to Trails 1, 2, and 3 for your first splash.

Here's What You'll See:

  • Flooded Mine Shafts: Glide through the silent passages where miners once toiled.
  • Historic Equipments: Spot sunken treasures like equipment left behind.
  • Geological Wonders: Be astonished by the natural formations grown over centuries.

Statistics brag of 15,000 divers annually, seeking the oddly consistent 58-degree waters and visibility over 100 feet — a dream for any diver!

Whether it's summer or winter, the conditions remain diver-friendly.

Tours at Bonne Terre descend to about 200 feet below ground, offering a unique way to understand Missouri's mining past.

With over 24 dive trails, your experiences can be as diverse as the lake itself.

Remember, Bonne Terre is not just a dive; it's a journey through time.

Are you prepared to make a splash into the past?

Devil's Den Spring (Florida)

Have you ever dreamed of exploring an underwater world that feels like it's straight out of a prehistoric era?

Well, guess what?

At Devil's Den Spring in Williston, Florida, you can do just that!

This hidden gem is not your typical lake, but a subterranean spring inside a dry cave that has been around since prehistoric times.

Now, you might be curious, how can I dive into this ancient underwater marvel?

Don’t worry, there are certified diving courses readily available from local dive shops that'll equip you with the skills and knowledge to safely navigate the underwater delights of Devil's Den.

It's a fantastic opportunity to learn and dive in a truly unique environment.

Here's what you'll find when you slip beneath the surface:

  • Prehistoric limestone cave: The cavern's rock formations will transport you back in time!
  • Fossil beds: Marvel at the history etched into the very ground beneath you.
  • Crystal-clear spring water: Immerse yourself in the stunning clarity of these pristine waters.

What's more, certified divers can dive without reservations during the day.

For any night diving adventurers, make sure to book in advance!

As for pricing, it’s separate from your accommodation, with average nightly stays for camping between $35.00 to $38.00.

And for those bringing along a furry diving enthusiast – four-legged friends are welcome, but they must be leashed.

So, what do you say?

Ready to take the plunge and experience one of Florida's premier prehistoric springs?

Grab your snorkel or your diving gear, and let’s dive into history at Devil’s Den!

Blue Hole (New Mexico)

Ever wondered what it's like to dive in a desert?

New Mexico's got a surprise for you!

At the Santa Rosa Blue Hole, diving becomes an unexpected adventure amidst the arid landscape.

Don't worry about the gear; local dive centers have got you covered with everything from suits to tanks.

Got your certification card?

Great, because you'll need it to dive into these alluring depths!

Now, let's talk numbers.

This artesian well boasts a steady 61 degrees F all year.

You're in for incredible visibility with a clear stretch up to 100 feet ahead of you.

Imagine exploring the hidden nooks that lie beneath those vibrant blue waters.

Underwater Attractions:

  • Crystal formations
  • Hidden caves
  • Freshwater sponges
  • A variety of fish including turtles and catfish

Diving Details:

  • Depth: Up to 300ft at nearby sites
  • Constant Temperature: 61°F
  • Visibility: 100 feet

Dive centers such as Santa Rosa Dive Center are your go-to for both equipment and air fills, even though courses might not be on their list.

But keep your eyes peeled for others offering full certification courses.

You can contact them at (575) 472-3370.

Remember, the Blue Hole isn't your average lake.

It's open from 7 AM to 7 PM, giving you ample time to explore.

Plus, it's not just a dive site; it's a snapshot of geological history.

Who knows what stories lie beneath those waters?

So, pack your dive log, because every dive here is a new entry waiting to happen!

Ready for a splash?

Lake Travis (Texas)

Have you been dreaming of diving into the heart of Texas?

Well, Lake Travis is calling your name!

Located by Austin, it's not just a popular spot for its scenic beauty but for Scuba diving too.

Curious about what lies below the surface?

Imagine gliding past sunken boats and underwater structures that are teeming with life.

It's an aquatic playground where you can marvel at the diverse fish species calling Lake Travis home.

With visibility that can sometimes extend to about 25 feet, depending on weather and temperature, it's an adventure you don't want to miss.

Thinking about diving in but not quite certified yet?

No worries!

Local dive shops around Lake Travis offer certified courses to get you geared up and ready to explore.

These experts have got your back, whether you're just starting out or looking to polish your skills.

For example, you could be earning your Open Water certification or even get specialized with Night Diving or Peak Performance Buoyancy.

Example prices for some advanced courses include:

  • Advanced Open Water - $450
  • Enriched Air (Nitrox) - $250
  • Deep Diver - $400

Excited to take the plunge?

Local outlets such as Lake Travis Scuba will sort you out with all the necessary equipment.

Say you need a light or a knife/cutting tool; they've got a range of supplies to ensure you’re prepped for your aquatic adventure.

Ready for a unique experience?

Picture this: diving within a decommissioned missile silo like the Valhalla near Midland, TX, which is just one of the quirky underwater sites near Lake Travis.

So, you up for it?

It's time to take that dive and make unforgettable memories at Lake Travis.

Just remember, friendly fish may greet you, but they don't do handshakes!

Homestead Crater (Utah)

Have you ever wanted to dive where the water is as welcoming as a soothing bath?

Let's talk about Homestead Crater in Utah, your next dive destination!

Imagine slipping into a natural geothermal spring, enveloped by an ancient limestone dome.

Pretty cool, huh?

Certified Diving Courses:

Yes, right at the site!

You can get fully certified while exploring Homestead Crater's warm underwater world.

No shivering here – the crater's waters stay a balmy 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit all year round!

What’s Underwater?

  • Warm geothermal waters
  • Visually striking mineral deposits
  • A unique limestone dome architecture

Stats and Facts:

  • Depth: 65 feet deep
  • Base: 400 feet across
  • Dive Times: 35 minutes of an unforgettable experience

Gear up, guys and gals, because Homestead Crater isn't just any old dive site.

It's the only warm scuba destination in the Continental US where you can dive comfortably without the chill!

Entry Fees & Equipment Rental:

  • Weekday Diving: $22
  • Weekend Diving: $27
  • Equipment Rental: Additional $25
  • Tank Only: $7.50

Now, maybe diving's not your thing.

That's alright!

Snorkeling and paddleboard yoga can add to your Crater adventure.

Just dip in, the tranquil, mineral-rich water is waiting to embrace you.

Remember, whether you're lunging into an underwater adventure or just taking a serene soak, Homestead Crater is a treasure in the mountains of Utah.

So, are you ready to make a splash in your diving logbook?

Dutch Springs (Pennsylvania)

Have you heard of Dutch Springs?

It's a gem nestled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where you can dive into not just water but also a world of underwater exploration.

Fancy a dive with sunken treasures?

Lake Hydra, formerly known as Dutch Springs, is your go-to spot.

Certified Diving Courses Ready to take the plunge?

At Dutch Springs, you're in good hands.

On-site certified diving courses are waiting for you.

Whether you're just beginning or looking to advance your skills, they've got you covered.

Imagine the thrill of diving independently, with a bright blue underwater world awaiting you.

What's Beneath the Surface?

Curious about the underwater scene?

Check it out:

  • Sunken aircraft: Ever wanted to swim alongside a submerged plane? Now's your chance.
  • Vehicles and platforms: Practice your navigation skills around these intriguing structures.
  • A vivid aquatic community: Spot the shimmering scales of bass and bluegill as they dart through the cool waters.

Remember, to dive here, you'll be diving with a place rich in history and submerged stories.

This is where adventure meets aquatic life, and it's all there for you to discover.

So, why wait?

Dive in at Dutch Springs – your underwater adventure starts at 4733 Hanoverville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020.

Ready to create some bubbles?

Lake Michigan (Michigan/Illinois/Indiana/Wisconsin)

Are you thinking about diving into a big adventure?

Lake Michigan offers a spectacular underwater world waiting just for you, and guess what?

There are plenty of certified dive shops sprinkled along its shores ready to gear you up!

Now, let's talk about what's hiding beneath those waves.

Certified Diving Courses?


No matter if you’re just getting your feet wet or you're as seasoned as a Lake Michigan sturgeon, there's a course for you.

With diving centers across Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, you're never far from the next step in your dive journey.

Picture this: you’re submerged in the cool, freshwater expanse of Lake Michigan, surrounded by a treasure trove of historic shipwrecks.

From wooden schooners to steel freighters, these underwater time capsules are a doorway to our maritime past.

And it's not just about the ships; you’ll get to discover intricate rock formations and come fin-to-fin with an array of diverse aquatic life.

  • Ready to be mesmerized by schools of colorful fish?
  • Keen on spotting a lurking Northern pike or a stealthy muskie?
  • Fascinated by underwater landscapes that feel like another world?

Then Lake Michigan is your must-dive destination.

It's a big lake, with big opportunities for underwater explorers.

So grab your gear, buddy up, and dive into history, nature, and the sheer thrill of discovery.

Remember, there's a whole other world down there, just waiting to be seen.

Who knows what you'll uncover next in Lake Michigan’s depths?

Morrison Springs (Florida)

Ever imagined visiting a real underwater oasis?

Well, say hello to Morrison Springs, one of Florida's most enchanting natural attractions.

Known for its crystal-clear waters, this is a place where you can plunge into a surreal world of aquatic beauty.

Want to take your love for diving to the next level?

Local dive shops offer certified diving courses that are perfect for both beginners and experienced divers.

Fancy meeting some fishy friends and exploring nature's artwork?

You're in luck!

The spring waters are not only clear but home to spectacular limestone formations and schools of freshwater fish that'll leave you in awe.

  • Water Clarity: You'll be mesmerized by the nearly perfect visibility.
  • Underwater Life: Watch out for the freshwater fish that call this place home.
  • Diving Courses: Available for all skill levels, thanks to the local dive shops.

The water in Morrison Springs is refreshingly cool, emerging from a below-ground aquifer.

It's like swimming in a giant, natural aquarium!

Plus, did you know that this spring produces about 48 million gallons of water daily?

Yeah, that's a lot of water!

But it's not just about what's beneath the surface.

Around the spring, you've got amenities like boardwalks, a diving dock, and a boat ramp.

And with the park being managed by Walton County, you get to enjoy all this at no cost.

So, ready to dive into the adventure?

Pull on your wetsuit and take the plunge at Morrison Springs—your underwater escapade awaits!

Lake Ouachita (Arkansas)

Have you ever wondered what it's like to explore an underwater wonderland right in the heart of Arkansas?

Lake Ouachita is your go-to destination, boasting some truly spectacular diving experiences.

Imagine immersing yourself in water so clear, you could easily mistake it for air.

OK, maybe not that clear, but it's pretty darn close!

Curious about what you'll see once you dive in?

How about underwater forests that seem like they're straight from a fairy tale?

Or perhaps you're into greeting the local fish species that call this lake home.

Plus, with visibility sometimes reaching up to 50 feet, you just might spot something truly unforgettable.

Now, you’re probably thinking, "But wait, I'm not certified!" No worries, my friend!

Local dive shops offer certified diving courses so you can safely learn the ropes before exploring the depths.

Both beginners and seasoned pros will find something to love at Lake Ouachita.

Here's a snapshot:

  • Certified Diving Courses: Check out options such as Ocean Extreme, a PADI Five Star Training Facility.
  • What You'll See: Crystal-clear waters, underwater forests, and friendly fish.
  • When to Go: Spring brings clearer waters, though summer offers warmth and clarity at depth.

Whether you're planning to spend your time admiring the underwater forests or scouting for the perfect fish to photograph, Lake Ouachita won't disappoint.

Grab your gear, or rent some on-site, and dive into an experience you'll never forget.

Just remember to bring a suit that suits the season: a cozy 7mm for the deeper dives or a breezy 3mm for the shallows.

Ready to dive into your next adventure?

Lake Ouachita is waiting for you!