Bonne Terre Mines
Bonne Terre Mines Invites Travelers to Experience One of the
Show-Me State’s Most Unique Adventures.
Why travel all the way to Grand Cayman or Cozumel when
you can experience some of the best deep earth scuba diving right here in Missouri?
just 45 minutes southwest of St. Louis in Bonne Terre, Bonne Terre Mines is the world’s largest
freshwater dive resort and one of the most unique dive locations in the world.
The lead mines, which were worked for almost 100 years by the St. Jo Lead Company,
closed in 1961 when the demand for lead dwindled.
At that time, the pumps that kept the mines
dry were turned off. Over the years, fresh ground water seeped into the mines, not only filling
this man-made wonder, but also covering the tools and equipment left behind by the discouraged
miners and creating a spectacular underground wonder.
Bonne Terre Mines’ 17 miles of underground shoreline honeycomb the earth under the
city and comprise of 1,500 stadium-sized rooms covering 80 square miles. The rooms are linked
together by a series of chutes, passageways and ore dumps. With a constant and comfortable
water temperature of 58 degrees and more than 100 feet of visibility, the mines are open yearround
and welcome both experienced and novice divers.
The views of the mine from underwater are breathtaking. Under the crystal-clear water –
illuminated from above by electric lights – divers can see the remnants of the mining days,
including ore carts, dynamite boxes, tools, drills, staircases, railroad tracks, elevator shafts –
even a timekeeper’s shack and a steam locomotive left behind when the mine was abandoned.
The Bonne Terre Mines are open year round