Rainbow River

Rainbow River
USA East


Site Review by
Date: 03/22/2011


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Anonymous Entry:    3.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   Reef:    3.00
State:   Animal:    4.00
Country:   Plant:    5.00
Diving:   20 years Facilities:    5.00
 Dives:   250 Solitude   5.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    4.19
This is not a traditional shore dive in that you'll need a kayak to paddle upstream to get to the start of the drift dive. Many divers simply pay to have American Pro or Birds scuba shops located in the city of Crystal River take them upstream; however, you can rent kayaks in the county park or you can bring your own. This was a dive on my bucket list and while I am glad I did it and enjoyed the dive, I won't be rushing back in the next year or two: after about 10 or 15 minutes of diving, the underwater topography all sort of looked the same to me: lots and lots and lots of river grasses. Depths ranged from 5 feet to 21 feet, though most of the diving seemed to be at 5-7 feet with an occasionally area or hole that dropped to 20 feet or so and an occasional area less than 5 feet deep in which divers had to nearly surface to avoid dragging their bodies across the river grasses. The visibility was outstanding the day I dove: probably 75 feet +. The river is filled with common freshwater fish such as bass, some of which are quite brave and will come right up to a divers mask. Twice I caught site of a gar during the dive. One of the divers saw a freshwater turtle though I did not. The current is very mild compared with an ocean drift dive in an area like Jupiter Florida or Cozumel Mexico. The springs enter the river in several different ways: through long fissures or cracks in the river bed, through roughly round shaped holes with significant water pressure and most interesting to me, through patches of sand where very modest pressure from the springs caused the sand to bubble, almost like lava. All of these springs keep the water clear, the temperature at a desirable 71-72 degrees and break up the endless sameness of the sea grass covered bottom. The dive is well worth doing; but after checking it off of my 'to do' dive list, I won't be back unless I feel the absolute urge to get wet again if I am traveling in the area. The setting of the park is beautiful and there are showers and rest rooms.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    5.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    4.00
Advanced:    1.00
Night diving:    2.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2011
Visibility:    5.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    1.00

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