Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and is one of the most popular recreational destinations in the region. Lake Mean was formed by the Hoover Dam and has existed for almost 90 years now. Over that time, it has been busy collecting various boat wrecks, plane wrecks, and more. As the level drops, various things emerge from the lake (like ghost towns that were submerged by the lake).
As strange as it may seem, it is possible to go scuba diving in Lake Mead while in Las Vegas. Divers discover airplane wrecks, boats, and various other attractions close to the waters of the lake. Lake Mead is popular for boating, swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and waterskiing. But for a few, there is also scuba diving.
UPDATE: 2023/02/11 23:01 EST BY AARON SPRAY
More Scuba Diving Sites In Lake Mead
Lake Mead is one of the top freshwater dive sites in the United States. It has a full range of great dive sites for visitors to choose from. This article was expanded with more great places to scuba dive in Lake Mead. Lake Mead is full of all manner of prehistoric sites, submerged things related to the construction of the dam, and skunked boats and aircraft.
Lake Mead Scuba Temperatures, Visibility, & Other Diving Conditions
A company offering guided scuba diving tours of Lake Mead is Las Vegas Scuba. The water temperature of the lake varies significantly with the seasons – so in the winter, it may be a bit chilly. The visibility of the lake also changes, as does the water level. Lake Mead’s water level famously can be quite low in times of drought. The lake is around 10 feet deeper in the winter.
In the summer, divers can expect the bottom water temperatures to be somewhere in the 60s while the surface temperatures get up to the 80s. During the winter, the temperatures of the bottom get to the 50s, as do the surface temperatures.
- Summer Temperature: 60s-80s
- Winter Temperature: 50s
Visibility is best in the winter. In the winter, the visibility can be really good and gets to over 100 feet. In the summer, visibility is around 10 feet (although better than most lakes).
- Summer Visibility: Around 10 Feet
- Winter Visibility: Around 100 Feet
Dive The Hoover Dam Aggregate Classification Plant
There are plenty of things to dive in the lake. Discover the remains of the Hoover Dam aggregate plant, which was left behind as the dam was completed and the plant was inundated by the newly formed Lake Mead. It is one of the favorite dive sites on the lake that’s spread out over an area of over 8 acres.
Divers can discover abandoned tunnels, train tracks, track hoppers, underground rooms, four massive aggregate piles, and more. See the plant and materials that built the dam itself.
There are 2 different dive sites at the Aggregate plant.
- Depth: Between 85 feet to 100 feet
Another Hoover Dam dive tour is the Hoover Dam drift dive tour, which is suited for divers who come with non-divers (so that they can also have something fun to do). Non-divers enjoy a boat ride through the canyon, the hot springs hike, and kayak to the dam.
Dive Military Aircraft & Military Boats Lost To Lake Mead
Dive WWII Higgins Craft
Picture the opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. The many transport craft the American soldiers are storming the beaches is the Higgins craft. The Higgins craft was designed for amphibious landings and was made famous in the Normandy Landings.
- Depth: 45 Feet to 60 Feet
But there is also a Higgins Craft lost in the bottom of Lake Mead that was used to survey the Colorado River. It was later sold to the marina and then suck. Today it is a dive site.
Dive The Lake Mead B-29 Superfortress
One of the greatest attractions in Mead is a lost B-29 Superfortress. It crashed in 1948 in the lake while conducting tests. All five crew survived and were rescued. They were then ordered to remain silent about the crash, and the Lake Mead B-29 Superfortress was a classified secret for the next 50 years.
- Depth: 100 Feet to 115 Feet
Today people can dive into the B-29 Superfortress, but only experienced divers. The minimum requirements to dive the B-29 are Aow and Nitrox.
Dive The PBYCatalina Flying Boat
The year after the B-29 crash in Lake Mead in 1949, a PBYCatalina also crashed. It attempted water landing in Lake Mead’s Boulder Basin area. But the landing gear was still down, and the plane flipped and broke into two pieces.
- Depth: 150 Feet to 160 Feet
Diving the PBYCatalina is only for technical divers. Minimum requirements PADI Tech 50 or equivalent Deco procedures.
Learn about more dive sites on Las Vegas Scuba.
Other Dive Sites In Lake Mead
One of the most exceptional dive sites in Lake Mead is the Cavern. It is a manmade cavern and is thought to have been formed during the construction of the Hoover Dam and is located near Rock Slide.
Fortunately, the Cavern is marked with a cable so that divers can navigate it easier. It is located 50 to 70 feet below the surface (depending on the level of the lake) and the entrance is 40 feet. The cavern itself extends for around 60 feet. This dive is great for training sessions and there is no silt-out conditions. Dives of the Cavern are offered by Dive Las Vegas.
A powerboat cruising on Lake Mead
The Dam Crack
Fortunately, the crack is not as scary as it seems (the Hoover Dam is in no danger of breaking). The Dam Crack is found in the Black Canyon and is the closest one can get to the famous Hoover Dam. The tour starts with a ride through the Black Canyon behind Hoover Dam to where few people get to see the dam.
See where high scalers once swung as they blasted away at the canyon walls. People see a range of cracks, crevasses, sheer walls, and rock formations not many visitors ever get to see. The dive site is a multilevel site that’s suitable for every level of diver. The depth of this dive ranges from 20 to 150 feet.
Another top freshwater place to go scuba diving in the United States is Lake Eerie – famous for its shipwrecks. Just as Lake Mead has many secrets hidden in its depths, so too does Lake Michigan (which is also worth visiting).