Texas Scuba Diving: The 5 Best Dive Sites in the Lone Star State

0

Texas Scuba Diving is one of our best dive sites in the world

Scuba diving in Texas isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you mention the Lone Star State. In fact, most divers would never imagine a decent dive in the state and the buoy!! Would they be wrong! Texas is vast! The size of France, and some with a huge coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that it is home to unique and amazing diving experiences.

Although you won’t find tropical coral reefs in Texas, there are still some great freshwater and saltwater diving and unique experiences you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere but Texas.

Location

The Texas Clipper

The first thing that comes to mind when diving Texas lawn mower is that it is huge. This former 473 ft / 144 m troop carrier and attack vessel has an imposing silhouette and makes it one of the highlights of a Texas scuba diving trip.

The Texas Clipper was finally sunk in 2007 as an artificial reef 17 nautical miles northeast of South Padre Island, Texas. The vessel rests on its port side on the bottom at 134ft/40m, while the top of a wreck rises up to 65ft/19.5m, giving you an indication of how big this is. wreck. You can dive the wreck all year round, although the best visibility can be found from March to October.

The size of the Texas Clipper takes your breath away, especially when swimming past the huge propellers. Besides its size, the wreck has been colonized by a variety of fauna over the years. There are numerous molluscs, lobsters, and creatures on the wreck, and thousands of pinfish and spadefish, among others, can be seen around the wreck.

Due to the depth of the wreck it is more suitable for experienced or advanced divers, and as most of the time will be spent below 65ft/19.5m it can make for an excellent nitrox dive.

Blue Lagoon in Huntsville

It will come as no surprise that the Blue Lagoon just outside Huntsville takes its name from its gorgeous turquoise blue waters and sandy shoreline that would be more at home on a tropical island than half an hour north. of Houston.

The site is an old limestone quarry which has been flooded to create an idyllic dive site. The site is a great experience above and below the water. A visit for a dive or two and a barbecue is one of the most fun days of scuba diving in Texas. The dive site is very shallow, with a maximum depth of around 30ft/9m. making it ideal for beginners, experienced divers who haven’t dived in a while and want to get rid of a few cobwebs, and photographers who want to experiment and play with their gear before a big trip.

Several platforms around the site make the dives more interesting since there is not much marine life to see.

Athens Dive Park near Athens

Another purpose-built scuba diving facility is one of the stars of the Texas scuba diving scene. Athens Dive Park is about 75 miles north of Dallas and has a lot to offer including 35 wrecks to name a few. The lake is seven acres in size and was established as a dive park in 1987. Like many lakes, the Athens Dive Park is not deep, with a maximum depth of around 35ft/10.5m . The park stands out for its fantastic visibility, which ranges from 30ft/9m to 80ft/24m.

The visibility is mainly due to the fact that the bed of the lake is entirely made up of white clay. This prevents the formation of algae and creates exceptional visibility on the site. Slipping below the surface, there is much to explore and experience. Over the years, several objects have been sunk, including many airplanes, a huge barge, and Greyhound buses.

The star of the show at Athens Dive Park is an 18m long Beechcraft Hawker 125-600 aircraft. The plane is a joy to explore and is even used by local firefighters and police to train for disaster rescue situations.

You can even improve your skills or experience cave diving due to the existence of a vast cavern that runs along one of the walls of the site. The site is regularly used at night to practice technical diving and penetration in a dark environment. If you are planning a scuba diving trip to Texas, Athens Dive Park is definitely worth the experience.

Central Texas Waterways

The waterways of central Texas allow for exciting and varied diving. There are several locations, each with its unique and interesting offer.

The San Marcos River and Spring Lake

San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake are great places to dive if you want to experience some truly unique Texas wildlife. The US Fish and Wildlife Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife have designated both sites as critical habitats.

While diving in these areas, you have the chance to encounter several endangered species and a host of other species. You may encounter alligator snapping turtles, spotted gar, yellow-bellied slider, San Marcos salamander, San Marcos mosquitofish, and Texas blind salamander while diving San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake.

Scuba Diving in Texas with the Alligator Snapping Turtle

Comal River

The Comal River offers excellent scuba diving opportunities in Texas. With exceptional fauna and a complex ecosystem, in practically crystal clear waters. Drift diving in the river is a great experience with plenty to see including crayfish and a host of other small fish.

The Comal River holds two distinctions at 2.5 miles/4 km; it’s one of the shortest rivers around, and due to the flow of the water, it’s the best drift dive in Texas. The river is very shallow, with a maximum depth of 15ft/5m. the river is located at Hinman Island Drive, New Braunfels.

Although some adventurous divers have taken the plunge, the river has a tube chute that shouldn’t be attempted in scuba gear. The Comal River is a hidden gem of the Texas scuba diving scene with great life and excellent conditions.

River crayfish are one of the species you can encounter while scuba diving in Texas
River crayfish are one of the species you can encounter while scuba diving in Texas

Scuba Diving in Texas Unique Valhalla Missile Silo Experience

One of the most unique and exciting scuba diving experiences in Texas is the Valhalla Missile Silo. Located in Abilene, the Cold War relic is a fascinating dive and inside tour. The silo was once part of a 12-silo complex that housed Atlas intercontinental ballistic missiles during the height of the Cold War.

The site is divided into two parts, a two-storey sile which was the command and control center for the silo. Visiting this part of the renovated missile silo gives you an exciting insight into the history and how close the world was to nuclear annihilation for a long time.

The second part of the silo is where the missile and fuel were housed and measures a whopping 180ft / 54m from the base to the blast doors. This part is mostly empty and flooded with water up to 130ft/39.5m. the bottom is littered with pieces of equipment that were not removed when the silo was decommissioned, including a small shack on the wall with gauges inside.

While some lights are mounted above the water, you’ll need dive lights to reach the bottom and fully explore this fascinating dive site. Although there is no marine life or other objects that divers are typically interested in, ding and exploring a nuclear missile silo is an experience unique to scuba diving in Texas and is nearly impossible to recreate n anywhere.

Click here for more of the world’s best dive sites

Presented by

Suunto - Conquer new territories #suuntodive

Our Top Dive Sites of the World guide is brought to you by Suunto. We recommend using a Suunto dive computer scuba diving or snorkeling at one of these dive sites. Suunto is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of dive computers providing dive instruments for recreational, technical and freediving. You can learn more about Suunto.com.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.