The spillways are just to the west of the 10 lane boat ramp. It’s kind of an unofficial campground for people with travel trailers and RVs because it is cement. There are two, one dirt, one cement.
We checked out Desert Tort. but that place was a zoo. So we went over the ridge to Two Cow instead, the cove is ok, we found the road and followed it north hit about 60 feet or so (65 max Nitek), found some walls not much else. Second dive we swam out towards Deseert Tort. followed the road, saw a big Catfish and the viz got real bad fast as we went around the bend.
This site is heavily used by dive shops for there classes. It is starting to be discovered by “non-divers”. It can get quite crowded as the morning goes by.
There is a channel that is accessible during the late summer/fall (low lake level) months, when you can drive to the far east end of desert tortoise/two cow (facing burro island). Dive NNE towards the Sheriff’s docks and you will find a walls at about 60′ that drops to over 100′. Found it with Rob (dive-aholic) one year, forgot about it, then stumbled across it again last year (I think that was my last lake dive ). It’s probably accessible right now.
If you remember where that big sinkhole was a couple years ago, the walls are NNE of it starting around 60-70′ Garrett
It’s a little more NW of the star but you can see the contour lines in the pic. Nice walls, overhangs, etc.
I’ve done 180′ by the Dam (not the old dam), diving next to the main (south) marina boat ramp. (Winter) I’ve done 150′ diving in the marina (Spring)I’ve done 140′ at Vista Point (Winter and Summer) The best I have gotten on the west side is 70′ over by Desert Tortoise Road. (Spring)
New dam, Please keep in mind that this was during the winter, thus ramp traffic is SIGNIFICANTLY less. It’s almost impossible to do this in the summer. And, summer weekends are out!
You drive about half way down the ramp. Drop off your equipment on the left hand side. Drive back up the ramp and park in the parking lot by the sailboat repair shop. Walk down the ramp to your equipment. Hump your equipment down the hill (in the winter it is about 20 to 30 feet below the ramp). Dive in!
At about 30′ (Winter/Spring), there is a channel. Follow the channel to Southwest. You will then come to the riverbed, turn south.
As you get close to the dam, it will get darker. You want a powerful light. A lot of debris at the surface almost makes this an overhead environment.
Since the flow runs toward the dam, debris collects in the area. Silt is pretty thick on the bottom, although the water is fairly clear (usually).
This is typically an expert level dive for qualified tech divers. Do not try this dive without the proper training and equipment. Be cognizant that this is a working dam!
BE EXTRA CAREFUL WITH SURFACING…HEAVY BOAT TRAFFIC AREA…IT’S RIGHT NEXT TO THE MARINA ENTRANCE AND EXIT.
ps – boat fishing is very popular in this area. The debris almost acts as an artificial reef.
Courtesy of John Flanders Academy of Scub
East of Vista Point [also known as sunrise Cove]
The spring canyon area would be optimal for an OW student as that cove has at least 200′ of length between 10 – 25′ in depth before it drops off. This is not good for AOW if you going to do a deep dive because you burn lots of air just swimming to and from the length of this channel. However, with all the boats putting in there, unless you could get all your training dives done by 10:00 a.m. (or maybe even earlier) I would not risk it.
-We found a deep trench that was a lot farther out than I remember now that the lake level has come up. At the end of our second dive we were coming up from the trench again. The “banks” of the trench are at about 30 feet. We were swimming about half way up the side of the trench looking up into the sunlight. We saw a huge shadow swim across our path along the top of the trench. Then it swam back. Further on we got close enough to see the size of the fish. It was huge. I think it was a bass but I don’t know my fish that well. It seemed to be guarding it’s nesting area. When we were almost to the top of the trench wall we saw 4 or 5 smaller fish trying to get past the big guy. There must have been a ladyfish thereabouts We hovered for a while watching the whole thing play out. The little guys finally gave up and swam further along the top of the trench to a rock wall where they joined a few more unlucky bachelors.
We ended up moving around closer to the real Vista Point area for our third dive. There were just to many boats at the landing. They were either launching or coming back in. Dive flag violation seemed to be the sport of the afternoon.
Steve – ScubaSteve2000
The old topo above is before the old 1922 dam was breached. As you can see, Vista Point is roughly in the shape of a dogs head (in red current shore line). “The Trench” (in yellow), is a ravine that ran down to the river. The dark lines are 100’ apart, each line 20’. The area in green is now about 180 to 240 feet deep (when the water is up). Green indicates trees. Yes, they are still down there. As you can see, depth can be had quickly here.
“The vista point is out of the natural boating lane. It also has a nice gradual drop off so you can work on skills at 15′ – 25′ without swimming far from shore. However, we saw depths of 75′ without to much of a swim, probably 50 yards max. I know it goes deeper”. Steve Sharp
“The problem with Vista point is that there is one dirt cutout (it is not even a road) that gives you direct access to the water line. If someone is parked on it then you have to park on top of the road and hike down a fairly steep embankment (about 10′) to get to the water line. That is what Steve and I had to do. Kind of a pain with all your gear, but it can be done.” Michael RudBob
I would still favor the east side over say desert tortoise. The water seems to always be clearer on that side. Plus you can find depth easier.
You can only get in on the North side. Drive up the hill at the entrance of the Marine docks and drive around to the north side. There is a “driveway” into the water at the west end but is usually filled with students on the weekend. I personally like to go to the East end of the road just before the road starts going back up.
If you take a heading to the end point of the opposite bank (I think its about 330) you will get into a slot that goes out to a ledge which drops from bout 80 to 110.
Hope to see you guys out there. I’m out there pretty much every saturday morning. My partner and I dive CCRs so we are hard to miss.
Last dive 75min
Bob F.“ Dove Vista Point this morning with Clay and Mike. Beautiful morning, little wind and few boaters. Water was warm down to 25 feet. Visibility 15 to 25 feet. Water level a few feet lower than last week at this time.
Came across a monster catfish lying under a fallen tree. The head on this thing was at least a foot wide, maybe 40 to 50 pounds. Alot of bass in the shallower water.
Just north of the point, we came across what appeared to be a natural wall. However, at the base of the wall, we discovered part of the paved boat ramp. Never-the-less, it was more structure than I have seen anywhere else in the lake.”
PhxSki – Bill W “Hi you guys , if you go down the wall at Vista Point and keep heading west you will run into a track. My friends and I figured it must extend to the marina. at first we thought it was a rail road track , but on further investigation it seems to be some sort of an I-beem. It runs North and South. Have fun Rick P.S. If you start your dive from the table and head west to NW you will find it with no problem.” Desert Eel
RonI ” get quite an adrenaline rush by searching out the large catfish that hide inside the deep holes and crevices along the rocky walls of the lake in early summer.”