Nature’s Jewel: The Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Known as ‘Nature’s Jewel,’ the Santa Rosa Blue Hole appears in the midst of the desert like a blue gem. This deep sinkhole, with remarkably clear water, defies the semi-arid land of broad mesas surrounding it. The Blue Hole is the geological wonder that defines Santa Rosa, one of seven sister lakes connected by underwater passageways.
Origin of the Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Seemingly out of place in the desert scenery, the Santa Rosa Blue Hole formed through hundreds of thousands of years of erosion. This formed a large basin and a wetland area. Eventually, the basin dissolved and the ground collapsed, creating a large sinkhole. This sinkhole became a true geological phenomenon, fed by a natural spring. There are six other sinkholes like this, creating the network of sister lakes. These lakes include Hidden Lake, Twin Lakes, Perch Lake, Bass Lake, Post Lake/Swan Lake, and Rock Lake. The Blue Hole is constantly refreshed from the underground aquifer which creates a temperature of 61 to 64 degrees throughout the year.
New Mexico’s Most Popular Diving Destination
While New Mexico isn’t exactly the ultimate destination for divers, the Blue Hole is a popular scuba diving spot thanks to the excellent visibility under water and a consistent temperature. What makes it even more appealing is that nobody knows how deep this scenic body of water really is. Divers come from throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Utah to investigate the depths of the Blue Hole and uncover its mysteries.
Of course, the unexplored underwater network of caves is full of danger, so these missions are not for beginners. At least two people have died after getting lost or stuck in the tunnels. There is now a grate to guard the entrance to those caves, 81 feet deep, and nobody knows what lies beyond it.
Are You Going?
The Santa Rosa Blue Hole is one of the coolest places to go in Northern New Mexico. It’s something every New Mexican should see at least once and it’s the perfect destination for vacationers too. There are just a few things to know before you go:
- You can swim, dive, and take scuba diving lessons with a permit.
- Aquatic life thrives here, but fishing is strictly prohibited.
- You can bring your pets, but fees may apply.
- A 7-mil wetsuit is the minimum thermal protection for diving.
Visibility in the Blue Hole is extremely clear for divers, and you can get your diving gear from the Santa Rosa Dive Center. Many come for the scenery and prefer to walk and relax around the lake; others come to learn to dive and explore its mysterious depths. What do you plan to do?