Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area

First Employee   Feb 04, 2024

(Yellowtail Dam to the locals)

Located 90 miles south of Billings, the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area is a great dive location.  The reservoir was created by a hydro electric dam built on the Big Horn River.  The canyon walls are steep and continue past the water level, creating a interesting topography.  The fish are timid, but can be found if patient.  Typical fish to be found are carp, ling, wall eye and small mouth bass.  The reservoir is  50 miles long, the southern end is in Wyoming.  The area is a popular spot for fishermen and water skiers. The canyon has many little coves off the main canyon that allow the divers and fishermen to get away from skier traffic.

Boats are necessary to access the dive sites. Boat rentals are available at the marina.  Air fills from the Montana end are available at Adventure Scuba in Billings. Nitrox is also available.

Water Temperature ranges between 65- 75 degrees, visablity of about 10 – 30 feet during summer, better in the fall.  Thermo clines should be expected.  Recommended exposure wear would be 7mm wetsuits or dry suits.

All dives in Montana are high altitude dives and proper training in dive planning for altitude is recommended.  Local orientation dives available through Adventure Scuba.