Blue Hole and Santa Rosa State Park in Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Blue Hole and Santa Rosa State Park in Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Imagine scuba diving in the middle of a desert with cacti surrounding the lake in which you are submerged. It is possible at New Mexico's Blue Hole, near the city of Santa Rosa and the Santa Rosa State Park. With several lakes and Blue Hole, the Santa Rosa area has become a popular scuba diving destination. The state of New Mexico operates the Santa Rosa State Park to ensure this natural heritage is maintained for generations to come.

Blue Hole Facts

The Blue Hole is an anomaly in the desert. The Hole is a bell-shaped lake with a depth of 80 feet. The temperature stays at an almost-constant 64 degrees Fahrenheit. When the waters and bottom sediment are not disturbed, the Blue Hole has clarity of up to 80 feet, making for clear dives and exploration. The bell-shaped lake is 80 feet in circumference at the surface and 130 feet at the bottom. The Blue Hole is at an altitude of 4,600 feet above sea level, making the lake bottom equivalent to 100 feet of depth in the ocean.

Scuba Diving

There is a private dive center and shop next to the Blue Hole. If you have a PADI or NAUI scuba certification card, the center will fill your tanks. The center also offers rental gear and lessons, certification classes and guided dives. You need a permit to dive in the Blue Hole; permits are available at the dive center, online or at the Santa Rosa City Hall.

New Mexico Scuba Center
7618 Menaul NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Camping and the State Park

The Santa Rosa Lake State Park is seven miles from the Blue Hole and Santa Rosa, and offers lake swimming, other opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, mountain biking and camping. Tent and RV sites are available, making the park a solid base camp after a day spent diving in the Blue Hole. There are fire rings, picnic tables, showers and toilets, as well as fresh water for drinking and cooking. Pets are allowed if leashed. Check for current restrictions before starting campfires.

Santa Rosa Lakes State Park
P.O. Box 384
Santa Rosa, NM 88433

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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