Navajo Lake is a high altitude (approximately 7,228 ft) reservoir which acts as a major water source for irrigation throughout the region. The dam is located on the southern-most part of the lake, located in New Mexico.
The entire lake fills a large valley surrounded by sandstone structures. There are few, if any (depending on lake level) locations for walk-in diving. Walk-in can be done at the dam if the lake level is high enough, near the spillway. It does require hauling gear down a relatively steep hill leading from a parking lot to the spillway.
In the summer, surface temps are low 80s. Thermocline is found around 35 feet in which temperature will drop to low 60s. Visibility on a good day is 10 feet. Typically visibility will be around 5 to 6 feet.
For the purposes of optimum visibility, early morning during the middle of the week is ideal. This is especially true if there have not recently been strong winds or rain in the area. Strong winds are common, although rain is much less common. By going mid-week, one can avoid the water disturbances of watercraft.
The area tends to experience high winds later in the day, making early morning ideal. Be mindful of the heat and intensity of the desert sun. One should use sunscreen frequently to avoid serious sunburn and take plenty of fresh water to avoid dehydration.
There are no nearby stores. Be sure to stock up on sunscreen, water, food, etc., prior to getting there.
On the New Mexico side, Navajo Dam Road is located on the east side of Aztec, NM and connects to US Hwy 550. Turn onto Navajo Dam Road and follow until you reach an intersection just past a gas station and boat storage facility. Turn left at that intersection. Continuing down this road will take you to the dam. The road leads up the side of the dam and connects to another road. At this location, there is a large parking lot (non-paved) on your right. This will be the only potential walk-in dive location.
Continuing on the road heading north, you will find the turn to the marina on the right. Be aware that parking at the marina costs $5 per vehicle for the day. The marina offers boat rentals. Diving around the marina is not permitted and strictly enforced.
This page wouldn't be possible without contributions from the following PADI members: Jesse Kuzma (PADI pro). Disclaimer