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Yellowstone National Park - Jackson WY

Yellowstone National Park is a fresh water dive site, located in Jackson, WY. The maximum depth is over 150ft/46m. The average visibility is 11-15ft/3-5m.

Elevation: 7,783 feet
Skill level: Intermediate-advanced
Access: Shore or boat
Dive support: Jackson, WY. Cody, WY
Best time of year: July and August
Visibility: Poor to moderate (10 to 30 feet)
Highlights: Clear water, thermal vents, dramatic geology
Concerns: cold water, thermal vents, and altitude

The basic feeling of this park extends beneath the surface of the lakes. The water feels crisp and cold to the touch, much like the sharp morning breeze that touches your face on a sunny Yellowstone day. The lake water is clear, the bottom sediment softly rolling except where the same sort of geothermal features that dot the land are submerged. The temperature of Yellowstone Lake in July and August ranges between 40° and 60°F.

Now imagine elements of this surreal scene underwater. At 7,733 feet and 390 feet deep, the 125-square-mile Yellowstone Lake is among the world’s largest high-altitude lakes, harboring a wizard’s chest of geothermal features. Sites like West Thumb Geyser Basin are cold (temperatures range between 40 and 50 degrees F in midsummer) and clear at the top of the water column, but follow the contour of the lake bed, and wary divers will spot vertical spires and hot vents where water temps go from drysuit cold to scalding within the space of inches. And then there’s Steam Boat Point. Its shoreline is a minefield of seeping hot springs that continue into the lake, and as its name suggests, echoing underwater “booms” result from the huge volumes of pressurized hot water and gases as they escape.
As if this phenomena isn’t enough, divers can look forward to logging another first here when they fin through large fields of escaping geothermic gas bubbles — aptly described as swimming in champagne.

Many visitors are surprised to discover how much submerged land is within the park’s boundaries. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world, covering 125 square miles at an elevation of 7,733 feet. Yellowstone is not the sort of place you would list as the ultimate diving destination for a cross-country trip but if you live nearby, or are passing through with your scuba gear, it is worth considering. Depending on what turns you on, the diving ranges from fair to quite good

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