Lake Pueblo State Park, Juniper Breaks Cove
Enter the North Entrance to Lake Pueblo State Park, where you may show your State Parks pass or purchase a $6.00 day pass. Proceed East and stay to the left at the turns where a road goes to the North Marina. Proceed East away from the Marina until you get to the Juniper Breaks Campground. Turn right and then a quick left into the campground. Proceed Southeast to the third camping loop and park near campsites 180-182. Walk Southeast down to the water site pictured. You may set up gear on the rocks near the water. This will be shale rock which provides comfortable flat surfaces for gearing up.
You will look across the cove to a forty foot limestone and granite wall. Lake Pueblo in early May has uncharacteristically good visibility. Look for visibility of ten feet or more. Water temperatures are reasonable at 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. You would not be able to dive this location with good visibility any time later in the Spring or Summer.
A Note about visibility— The water in Lake Pueblo ‘exchanges’ in January and February as the lake fills with fresh water from the mountains. The visibility is not good as the reservoir fills. Then in March and April there is a settling, and visibility gradually improves until “run-off” in mid-May. After that, visibility will be poor through-out the summer due to run-off waters, algae blooms, and heavy boat activity. In the fall the reservoir will be low and cloudy, making the Juniper Breaks site unfavorable or dry.
Enter the water on the right of the shore area facing South. Take a compass heading toward the point to the South, approximately 150-180 degrees. This will be your course below the surface. You will clear submerged trees below you and then dive to twenty feet as the bottom slopes off quickly. Take your time to get relaxed, check buoyancy and equipment. There will be no current, some decrease in water temperature as you submerge below ten feet. Proceed on your heading toward the point, passing along the deepest part of the dive, 36-40 feet in the center of the channel. Visibility may be poor at around thirty feet and below. Take your time examining the bottom and watching your heading. You will reach the wall near the point and find an abrupt change in depth signaling that you have reached the wall. You may proceed further South near the point if you wish. You will then proceed on a heading of approximately 70-90 degrees, North along the wall. Let the wall and any interesting features govern your depth and direction. You will not return to the center of the channel unless you go beneath thirty feet. Stay at depths of good visibility to view bottom features. There will be large rocks, rock piles, some driftwood rubble, and a few submerged trees. Look for large freshwater clams, a few black bass, walleye, or trout and an occasional carp or a Whiper (striped/white bass mix). The bass are the curious fish and may follow you. The wall will curve gradually North and then a little West as the dive becomes gradually shallower. I have found anchors and other boat equipment and personal items along this wall. When low on air or time and ready to return, take a Southwest compass heading (approx. 225 degrees) and cross the channel again at thirty feet or less until reaching the exit shoreline as the water depth declines. Do your safety stop and then surface. Orient yourself to shore and swim above submerged trees to your exit point.