Scuba Diving Arizona: Dive Sites in Arizona

scuba diving arizona
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Arizona is well-known for its many attractions, including the Grand Canyon.

However, many forget that it is also home to a few dive spots.

Although it's not the same as some of the more tropical diving locations worldwide, these underwater experiences can be unforgettable.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the best scuba diving Arizona you can visit year-round.

Scuba Diving Arizona Waters

Planning to go scuba diving soon? Here are Arizona waters you can explore:

1. Parker Canyon Lake

You'll find Parker Canyon Lake nestled in Cochise County, Southeastern Arizona.

It's one of the lesser-known dive spots but is regularly frequented by fishing enthusiasts statewide.

It's bustling on the weekends, so if you can head out during the week, it's preferable.

When the lake is filled, you can access depths as deep as 80 feet, while the rest of the lake is approximately 25 feet.

The only entrance from the shore is near the boat ramp, or you can use a boat for diving from anywhere.

For the deepest diving, we recommend venturing closer to the dam. It's not the best regarding visibility, depending on the season and traffic.

On average, you'll have up to 10 feet of visibility, but it's the allure of Parker Canyon Lake that makes it a great choice.

Supposedly, many people have lost valuables in this area, which makes it more entertaining to explore.

You'll also love the display of wildlife, as there's plenty of trout, catfish, sunfish, and largemouth bass.

For safety, it's recommended you bring a knife with you because there is some chance of entanglement.

2. Lake Mohave

If you've ever heard about Arizona, you've likely heard of Lake Mohave.

It's often referred to as the best dive spot in Arizona, making it one of the most popular locations.

When full, the lake is at least 100 feet deep and offers visibility up to 50 feet, making it ideal for beginners.

There are also plenty of options for shore access, but specific locations are only accessible by boat.

Before the dam's construction, this lake was a canyon, which means there's plenty of fantastic things to explore.

Divers will find steep sides, beautiful walls, and extreme underwater views they aren't likely to find elsewhere.

You'll also find the temperatures can get extremely low the deeper you go, regardless of the season.

On average, the water is between 50 and 60 degrees, which is excellent for the summer heat.

Divers will find one of the more unique attractions in the lake at about 35 feet, known as Cabinside Point.

There, you'll find a sunken bus, boat, and van at the south end of the cove.

The van is noticeable first at 35 feet, with the bus at 50 feet and the boat at 80 feet.

There's also plenty of wildlife, including trout, bass, crappie, sunfish, and carp.

Families and groups looking to book an overnight diving trip will love the Lake Mohave campsites.

Also, there are two resorts in the area, which also boosts the site's popularity.

scuba diving arizona

3. Ringbolt Rapids

One of the most popular locations in Lake Mohave is the Ringbolt Rapids. They're a swift and turbulent experience best suited for experienced divers.

With good visibility, it's an experience you won't soon forget, as long as you have access to a boat.

Some divers have noted it feels like an underwater rollercoaster full of unique thrills.

It's important to note the significant experience needed to navigate the rapids.

The water can reach up to 16 miles per hour with depths up to 70 feet, which is why it's suitable only for advanced divers.

4. Saguaro Lake

For residents and visitors close to Phoenix, Saguaro Lake is a fantastic diving experience.

There are plenty of boat ramps that let you enter the water quickly, as well as a few sunken wrecks for exploration.

One of the unique attractions is a helicopter located about 40 feet below the surface.

Like Lake Mohave, you'll also find a sunken bus at 80 feet.

The maximum depth of Saguaro Lake is 120 feet, and although it has low visibility, it's worth the trip.

It has the lowest visibility of the three lakes we've explored this far, at only five feet.

You can guarantee there's plenty of fish to see here, including tilapia, walleye, trout, yellow bass, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass.

Divers will have to plan if they intend to visit this lake, as there's plenty of boat traffic.

It's recommended you contact the Arizona Department of Fish and Game to determine the busiest days of the year.

5. Antelope Point

Antelope Point is located on Lake Powell and has maximum depths of over 150 feet.

The average visibility is between 21 and 25 feet, which is excellent for lake exploration.

There's a likely chance you'll be able to view some aquatic life, and it's an excellent place to visit year-round.

If you're looking for a cliff dive, this is one of the top-recommended spots to consider.

You'll have plenty of depth and a ton of unique natural underwater canyons to view.

The two main attractions in this area are treasure hunting and depth-seeking, especially for those looking for a thrill.

6. Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant is an excellent choice for divers searching for diving variety.

It's also home to plenty of freshwater fish, including bluegill, carp, and catfish.

Some of the most popular diving spots at this lake include Old Waddell Dam, Tech Island, Beismeyer Point, and Scorpion Bay.

If you're visiting during the winter, you'll need a wetsuit, as temperatures can dip a little below 50 degrees.

During summer, you can typically forego your wetsuit, which makes it useful for all types of divers.

Also, visibility can range anywhere from 40 to 60 feet, depending on how deep you travel.

The depths in Lake Pleasant vary significantly from 60 to 100+ feet if you're entering from the shore.

If you have a boat, you can easily find spots over 200 feet deep, which is ideal for tech divers.

Lake Pleasant is very popular for enhancing your diving skills, as the depth ratings vary.

Final Thoughts

Scuba diving Arizona waters offers plenty of unique experiences for beginner and advanced divers.

From sunken wrecks to the allure of sunken treasure, there's a ton of attractions for you to enjoy.

You'll also see plenty of freshwater wildlife, which adds even more entertainment.

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