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Scuba Diving Lake Minnewanka In Banff National Park

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Alan Keller decided to kick off summer with two days diving in Banff National Park at Lake Minnewanka.

Lake Minnewanka (“Water of the Spirits” in Nakoda) is a glacier lake in Banff National Park, Canada, located about five kilometers (3.1 miles) northeast of the Banff Townsite. The lake is 21 kilometers (13 miles) long and 142 meters (466 feet) deep, making it the second longest in the Canadian Rockies’ mountain parks (the result of a power dam at the west end).

According to stone tools and a Clovis point spearhead unearthed by archaeologists, Aboriginal people inhabited the area around Lake Minnewanka as early as 10,000 years ago. The area is abundant in animal life (elk, mule deer, mountain sheep, and bears), and the simple availability of rock in the hilly terrain was crucial in the development of hunting weapons.

Damn at Lake Minnewanka

Dams were erected in 1912 and 1941 to provide hydroelectric power to the town. The most recent dam, built-in 1941, increased the lake by 30 meters (98 feet) and buried the Minnewanka Landing vacation village, which had been there since 1888. The lake is popular among recreational scuba divers because of the submerged settlement, underwater bridge pilings, and underwater dam.

Dive Report

Alan’s Video showcased the ruins of the 1895 dam in Lake Minnewanka which was built to raise the water level slightly to improve the shoreline at Minnewanka Landing.

The depth of the dive on the weekend was 17m (55 feet) but it is normally about 23m (75 feet) deep once the reservoir levels are back up. The Water temp was 4°C (39 degrees F) Visibility on this dive was from 1 metre (3 feet) to 5 metres (16 feet) but Alan said it varies during the dive season.

Alan Keller

Thanks to Alan Keller for sharing his video with us.

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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