Dive D.L. Bliss Underwater Park

A cliff band stretches from Rubicon Point south almost to Emerald Bay, and it’s home to Lake Tahoe’s most dramatic wall dives. The D.L. Bliss Underwater Park boasts 14 different sites in about 2.5 miles of shoreline. Most all of these sites get deep quickly and have monstrous dropoffs, so buoyancy control is a must.

You’ll find cliffs dropping in dead-vertical 70-foot steps hundreds of feet into the deep, granite buttresses and pinnacles jutting out from the walls, and massive stacks of house-sized boulders replete with huge overhangs. In the warmer months, schools of Lahontan redside shiners gather at the lip of the cliffs in schools hundreds strong. Trout are often cruising the (minimal) shallows in the morning looking for breakfast. Crawdads cling to the cliffs year round and will waggle their claws at you as you pass. As you get closer to Emerald Bay, you’ll hit a shallower and more beginner friendly site on the south end of the park: Whiskey Cove.

Each site is spectacular in its own way. That said, due to their proximity, similarities, and inclusion in the park, I’m listing all 14 sites on this page with GPS coordinates and describing the ones I’ve visited. A few sites have dedicated pages linked below.

D.L. Bliss Underwater Park dive sites

Listed from north to south:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
1

Two Rock

2

Rubicon Wall

3

Ridder Cove

4

Cable Mark / Jonathan Lee

5

Gibson Shot

6

Midwall

7

Chestnut Point

8

Fallen Tree Nook

9

Chiarella Hangout

10

Steller Cove

11

Two Tree Dropoff

12

Cable Mark II

13

Deep End

14

Ferrell Falls

15

Whiskey Cove

Fast facts

  • Access: Most of these sites require a boat, either to dive from or to get you to the shore nearby (I canoe myself with my gear and shore dive)
  • Surface swim: 900 feet if you’re diving Rubicon wall from Calawee Cove, most other sites have an almost nonexistent surface swim
  • Parking: $10 for the day at D.L. Bliss
  • Crowds: Very high if diving from Calawee Cove, very low or nonexistent at most other sites
  • Dive experience level: Mostly advanced with opportunities for beginners at Whiskey Cove and diving Calawee Cove without going all the way to Rubicon Wall
  • Highlights: Tahoe’s best granite, epic cliffs, house-sized boulders, buttresses and pinnacles, steepness, deepness, fish during warmer months
  • Dive flag: Not required

Rubicon Point
41°
Sunny
6:56 am4:39 pm PST
Feels like: 37°F
Wind: 4mph SW
Humidity: 45%
Pressure: 30.09"Hg
UV index: 2
MonTueWed
36/12°F
37/18°F
41/23°F

D.L. Bliss Underwater Park depth

Depth in feet

Source: NOAA Chart 18665 (1975) (2016 – depth in meters)

Shore dive: Rubicon Wall