Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Texas

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The Scuba Ranch

Texas, USA Mid

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A great local dive site near the DFW Metroplex. It is a spring fed 22 acre lake/quarry. Visibility is usually good. It is limited to divers and snorkelers--no boating or fishing. Catfish and perch abound. There are a number of interesting objects to discover underwater--an American Airlines plane, a boat, and an artificial shark are all marked with buoys but there is also a casket that you might just find while out exploring. Air fills on site. Picnic shelters. Camping. Hot showers in a bath house. www.clearspringsscubapark.com--is their website From Dallas: Take Hwy. 80 East to Terrell exit. Once you exit, you will proceed 7 miles passing through the downtown area of Terrell and turn left at the Exxon (429 North). Travel 7 miles to Cedar Grove Road (Cty Rd 346) and tur4n right. Go 1 mile and the gate entrance is on our left. Be sure to look for the Dive Flag sign.
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Balmorhea Springs

Texas, USA Mid

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Oasis in the middle of nowhere, Texas. This natural spring is 72 degrees year round! Texas has a wonderful state park system, and Balmorhea State Park in West Texas is no exception. Located a few hours southeast of El Paso, Balmorhea boasts a large natural spring with views of the Davis Mountains. Stay in the cabins or camp on location. This is a great place for year round scuba diving and swimming (if you're really motivated!) where the water is consistently 72 degrees. Divers will see a variety of fish, and a rather feisty turtle. Entry is free for State Park Pass holders, and is otherwise $7. Pool hours are 8am-7:30pm. Check it out!
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Twin Lakes Scuba Park

Texas, USA Mid

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Though it's better known as a training spot for scuba divers, Twin Lakes is the perfect place to cool off without having to fight the traffic, and the crowds, in Galveston. Just 20 minutes south of downtown off the farm roads of 288, this aquifer-fed pool is clear enough for the aforementioned training and features five sunken fishing boats, a school bus and an Airstream trailer. Above ground there are floating docks, picnic tables, overnight campsites and a snack bar. Bass, catfish, turtle and perch live in the water, and if you're not there to dive admission is only $5. Just note that no alcohol or glass containers are allowed on the property. 31 acre lake, bass, catfish, turtles; 50ft deep, 20 ft viz; campsites, picnic tables, air fills; About 20 minutes from Houston, go south on hiway 288 to hiway 6, go east for 1.8 miles to the park.
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Aquarena Center At Spring Lake

Texas, USA Mid

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To dive in Spring Lake at Aquarena Springs you have to take a special certification class as a scientific diver. The lake is the habitat of 5 endangered species as well as home to archeological digs uncovering history from 10,000+ years ago. Visibility is as good as the Caribbean. Once you are certified you get to come back and do work dives for free. There are no purely recreational dives as it is an endangered habitat. Here's the website http://www.aquarena.txstate.edu/Divingscience.html From Austin, go south on I-35 to San Marcos, take Exit 206, Aquarena Springs Drive, turn right and go through 2 stop lights; immediately after rail road tracks see entrance and sign to Aquarena Center on right side of the road, take a right into golf course, follow the road to the left to the park entrance. From San Antonio, take I-35 North to San Marcos, take exit 206, Aquarena Springs Drive, go left under I-35 and through 3 stop lights; immediately after railroad tracks on right side of the road, see entrance and sign to Aquarena Center, turn right into golf course follow the road to the left to the park entrance. The San Marcos River can be accessed from the town without having to go to Aquarena Center
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Canyon Lake

Texas, USA Mid

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North Park on Canyon Lake is a public park with primitive camping available. There is a protected buoyed area for an easy shore entry. A short swim from shore will take you to a low bluff wall with cars, boats and the like at the bottom below the bluff. Continuing into the lake will take you to across a short flat area and then down another steep slope to standing timber. Visibility is typical of Texas lakes and can run from near none to rarely more than 10 - 12 feet above the thermocline. The deeper colder water may offer better visibility. Canyon Lake is about 30 miles north of Austin. Take Hwy 306 from New Braunfels, Tx to Caynon Lake. North Park is the first access to the lake and is the most popular dive site
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Lake Travis, Austin

Texas, USA Mid

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Lake Travis is an exciting destination for amateur and technical divers alike. Destination dives include the Shaker Plant, which was used to process the construction materials used to build the lake’s dam, with some features at recreational depths and others extending beyond 100 feet deep. In addition, there are walls and grottoes to explore, along with forests of sunken pecan trees. Along the aptly named Wreck Alley, you’ll find a permanent line that leads to a series of wrecks ranging from houseboats to sailboats. As you make your way from one site to the next, you’ll find yourself in the company of yellow spotted and channel catfish, perch and bass, tilapia, and crappies. Visibility averages 8-10 feet, and charters are available. Located just 14 miles northwest of downtown Austin, this is a great place to spend a day or make several dives over the course of an extended period of time.
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Possum Kingdom Lake

Texas, USA Mid

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One of the oldest inland scuba diving destinations in Texas, Possum Kingdom Reservoir attracts multitudes of divers each year as a training ground for new divers in the clear waters of the lake. It’s also a popular treasure-hunting site. About 75 miles (120 km) west of Fort Worth in the Palo Pinto Mountains of North Central Texas, the reservoir emerged after the construction of the Morris Sheppard Dam in 1941, which was built to help control the flooding of the historic Brazos River and provide hydropower to the region. The narrow lake follows the winding, snakelike path of the river for 65 miles (104 km) with about 17,700 acres (7,080 hectares) of water, but the deep waters closest to the dam, with its clear visibility, is what attracts divers. “Most of the lake in the upper portion is shallow with low visibility, but the closer you get to the dam, the more exceptional the diving, with visibility ranging up to 100 feet (30 m),” says Todd Burns of Scuba Point Dive Shop, which has operated as a training site and air fill station on the lake since 1959. Among the key features of the lower section of lake for divers are the sheer rock walls with numerous cutouts and caves bordering the former river valley, Burns says.
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Port Aransas and South Padre Jetties

Texas, USA Mid

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These two sites are especially interesting since in the summer time there are various tropicals such as damsels and butterflyfish, as well as game fish such as snook and sheepshead. There is a lot of algae, barnacles, and crabs on and in the rocks, and at South Padre, I have personally seen 10 sea turtles (most of them Kemp's Ridleys, but a couple of greens too) in just and hour and a half while snorkeling there one July. The south jetty at Port Aransas, TX (channel side) is a good shore dive/snorkeling spot for late spring to early fall with visibility in the 5-25ft. range with an incoming high tide. Depths are about 7-14ft. along the large granite boulders. Also the north jetty at the southern tip of South Padre Island is a good shore diving/snorkeling spot (Gulf side, but may be good channel side too) with similar visibility and depths along the rocks.