Dive Rubicon Wall

at D.L. Bliss State Park

Rubicon Wall is massive. It stretches miles to the south and drops down hundreds of feet, often in dead-vertical craggy granite cliffs. The formations look like sunken castles. What’s typically called Rubicon Wall is the section just around the corner (south) from Calawee Cove at D.L. Bliss State Park, although the actual wall just keeps going (see Steller Cove a mile further south).

It’s quite a swim to get all the way out to the wall from Calawee Cove, but it’s one of Tahoe’s best surface swims. Massive boulders line the shore to your right as you swim out over schools of thousands of Lahontan redside shiners. The water is that perfect Tahoe teal, too. It’s still about a 30 minute swim, though, so be prepared for that.

Once you round the corner, you can swim a little ways out and drop reasonably far down the wall. I prefer to swim a bit further south to where there are near vertical cliffs out of the water leading directly down into it. Here you can back up from the wall a bit over blue water and drop fast. This wall goes down hundreds of feet at a very steep angle, so get a good handle on your buoyancy before attempting this super fun drop into the depths or drop sooner within sight of the bottom and gradually work your way down.

Even if you don’t want to head over to the wall proper, the rocks in and around Calawee Cove are amazing to explore. You’ll even find passthroughs if you look hard enough. This area is great for beginners, just watch out that you don’t get hooked from someone fishing from the rocky shoreline above.

If you enter at Calawee Cove, you’ll have to schlepp your gear up and down the stairs built into the hillside, equivalent to several flights. If you have a scooter, you can put in at Lester Beach, where you can park very close to the water.

Fast facts

  • Access: 250 feet and a few flights of hillside stairs from Calawee Cove lot to the water, park closes in winter
  • Surface swim: About 900 feet to the wall
  • Parking: $10 for the day, fills up fast
  • Crowds: Very high
  • Dive experience level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Highlights: The wall, the formations, and the fish

Rubicon Wall depth

Depth in feet

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

Shore dive: Rubicon Wall