Life at the Lake: Summer Scuba Diving

August 9, 2016

With August water temperatures sitting right around 70 degrees in the wet stuff at the Aurora Reservoir, scuba diving is a popular pastime. Water temperatures will drop in September (to 55 degrees), so if you haven’t yet scoped out the marine life and the plane wreckage, make plans now!

The separate scuba beach has covered picnic tables with changing rooms, work- benches for your equipment, lockers and an “outdoor restroom” for your, er, convenience.

Scuba Diving Scenery

scuba diving

The underwater wildlife you’ll see includes crawdads (some are big enough to eat!) and small fish. If you plan to catch anything amphibious, though, be sure you have your fishing license with you!

The intentionally submerged Cessna 310 sits at a depth of about 45 feet, and the wreckage is marked with a buoy. The city of Aurora prohibits motorized boats in the lake, which supplies drinking water to Aurora residents, and that helps with visibility. The divers we checked with report being able see between 7 and 10 feet in any direction.

Want a preview before you grab your gear? Here’s a YouTube video from 2011 of a scuba dive to the wreckage and surrounding underwater flora and fauna.

Scuba Diving Lessons

The reservoir dive spot is a favorite for diver training and PADI® (professional Association of Diving Instructors®) certification. If you envision more exotic beaches in your future, check out Colorado Divers or Denver Divers. Both rent equipment for day and week-long dives, from BCDs (buoyancy control devices), regulators and scuba tanks to dive watches and wetsuits.

You’ll pay the $10 entrance fee to the reservoir, and for an additional $15 you can get a scuba gate key and placard to drive directly to the beach to load and unload gear.

And don’t forget to pack water and snacks. Diving seems effortless in the cool blue water, but according to, you’ll be burning an average of 200 calories on a 30-minute dive – more than a fast walk by the lake!

Life at the Lake, only at Southshore…where else can you live within minutes of a panoply of water wonders?

Aurora Reservoir, 5800 S. Powhaton Rd., Aurora
Every Day 5:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Until October 1)
Day Pass: $10, Scuba gate key $15