Dive Sand Skirt

On the western side of Crystal Bay, a large, steep swath of sand spills down the hill, splitting massive boulder fields on either side. This eponymous sand “skirt” makes navigation back to shore a no-brainer: just follow the sand back up to where you entered the water.

Down around 40 feet, you’ll come upon a huge, up-ended tree resting on the slope and stretching down to around 80 feet. This tree acts as an artificial reef with different types of fish hanging around it at varying depths. I’ve seen Lahontan cutthroat trout hunting juvenile Mackinaw here on multiple occasions, and it’s epic. In the rocks to the sides of the skirt, you can find Paiute sculpin.

To really experience the beauty of this site, you need to paddle in. The little cove here has that beautiful Tahoe teal water with a small sandy beach and plenty of good rocks to set gear on as you get ready. This spot on shore is mostly blocked to passers by rocks in the shallows.

Fast facts

  • Access: Paddle in for shore dive from the secret beach, boat access for site generally
  • Surface swim: Minimal to non-existent from boat
  • Crowds: Minimal, kayakers and SUPers occasionally stop here for lunch
  • Dive experience level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Highlights: Big tree reef, schools along rocks
  • Dive flag: Required in Nevada
Sand Skirt
5:33 am8:29 pm PDT
Feels like: 46°F
Wind: 7mph WSW
Humidity: 54%
Pressure: 29.79"Hg
UV index: 0
64°F / 36°F
72°F / 45°F
75°F / 48°F

Sand Skirt depth

Depth in feet

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

Shore dive: Sand Skirt