Montana is a great place to go for scuba diving. Flathead Valley is a wild place where the majesty of the scenery underwater matches and even seeks to surpass that of the mountain peaks that surround the valley.
Montana has the biggest freshwater lake in the region and has over 500 other aquatic attractions. From enormous submarine labyrinths to beautiful placid lakes, this region has something to appeal to every kind of diver.
However, scuba diving in the area today is at the same level as many other fringe sports like skydiving.
The squab diving tradition is still considered hugely important in the area. The tradition draws partly from the one of a kind natural wonders and sunken treasures found in the area. Also adding to that is the majesty of Flathead Lake and the wild waters in the Glacier National Park.
The diving culture has been dormant for a long time now due to the blows that the recreation industry was dealt by recession. Many dive shops closed down due to the economic downturn, but things are getting better now as a new family has opened shop between Whitefish and Kalispell and is trying to start a resurgence in the activity.
The towns used to have a huge number of dive enthusiasts who would organize events every summer. These ‘Dive Fests’ were great attractions for people from all over Montana who would go there to dive.
The new shop called ‘Rock Bottom Divers’ is a hub where all the valley’s divers can meet and interact with each other. It has a 12 foot deep pool with warm salty water in it. The pool is mainly for use by people who want to start the sport. Rock Bottom Divers trains people who want to specialize in all types and levels of scuba diving.
Just last month, local residents restarted their ‘Dive and Dine’ events, where local divers look for lakes to dive in and then have dinner together. The McGregor lake was selected as the site of the first meeting. McGregor is considered to be one of the loveliest diving areas because of the clarity of the water, its warm temperatures and lots of opportunities to sightsee.
Sightseeing attractions inside the lake include huge underwater cliffs, enormous submerged logs and the unique ‘Geodome’, which is a structure that is very memorable.
The ‘Dive Fests’ used to attract more than thirty diving enthusiasts from all over the region. The first meeting after the reformation attracted only three people, but that number is likely to increase as more and more people get to know about the fests.