United States » Shangri-la Springs

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Rated 2.7/5 stars (506 ratings)

Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Portions of the following information were taken from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66.

Shangri-La Springs is located near the west bank of Merritts Mill Pond, 5 miles east of Marianna. The spring is accessible by canoe or small boat from the public boat ramp on Hunter Fish Camp Road. From Marianna head east on US 90 to the intersection with SR 71, approximately 1.4 miles. Turn north (left) onto SR 71 and travel 1.2 miles to the intersection with CR 164. Turn east (right) onto CR 164 and travel approximately 1.7 miles to the intersection with Hunter Fish Camp Road. Turn south (right) on Hunter Fish Camp Road and travel approximately 0.6 mile to the public boat landing. The spring vent is approximately 1.5 miles upstream. Just after passing the recreation area buoys, look to the left. The spring is in a cove adjacent to a vegetated, car-sized boulder. There are a few dozen metal poles that stick out of the water near the vent. Alternatively, the spring is 2,100 ft downstream from Jackson Blue Spring and can be accessed using Blue Springs Recreation Area boat launch.

Description - Shangri-La Springs is situated between a large boulder and a 20 ft high vertical limestone bluff on the west side of Merritts Mill Pond and forms a 40 ft diameter spring cove with native aquatic vegetation and little algae. Shangri-La Springs vent is 7 ft deep and sand-bottomed with exposed limestone. Another vent is situated in a limestone fissure 50 ft to the east. The water is light blue and clear. A prominent boil is seen over the vent near the bluff. A lone scraggly cypress tree stands in the open waters of the mill pond, 100 ft southeast of the main vent. The bluff face, boulder, and surrounding area are lush with ferns and other vegetation. Merritts Mill Pond is a 5 mile long impounded spring run. Several springs feed into the pond along the edges or directly from the pond bottom. Jackson Blue Spring forms the headwaters of Merritt’s Mill Pond.

Utilization - The spring is surrounded by private, forested land on one side and Merritts Mill Pond, a popular fishing area, on the other.
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Latitude: 30.790055
Longitude: -85.142825
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 40'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Merritts Mill Pond
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
5/31/2014 Victor Zamora Unlimited Great vis, great cave. Unfortunately, the graffiti is truly gross. I don't know when it started, but there's a lot of it. Gorgeous cave besides that. Flow was high, but not intolerable by any means.
3/8/2012 Hunter Sutton unlimited Shangri-la is a beautiful little cave but I spent a good deal of my time with my bottles out in front of me.
11/27/2010 James Garrett 100ft Crystal clear, no flow (like JB right now). very tight SM system.
10/30/2010 Louis 100 Very small boll. Cavern was great but the first restriction is a bit much for me. Line was broken, so I patched it. Unless some one moves it more out of the way people will keep breaking/tearing in going though the first restriction.
10/13/2010 Brandon Cook 100' Great vis. Curious what's down that line beyond the restriction? Got some video of the cavern at http://vimeo.com/15795362
8/21/2010 Kim Mace 100' Nice cavern with perfect viz until we attempted a couple of the restrictions and silted it out...Saw some bones (fish?) near where the line starts.
7/4/2010 Randy Fountain 100 Water was gin clear throughout the cavern zone and as far as I could see past the first restriction. Line has been installed from OW to well past the first restriction.
3/30/2010 Jason Bockelman 75 Great little cavern dive. It was an interesting place to poke around in. Made me want to get out some no mount gear and have a go at all those tiny passages. The line is in need of some attention, but not so much as to warrant any additional precautions. Bottom time-20 minutes, depth-25 feet.
3/6/2010 Iowa Cave Diver 100 basin extremely clear, strong boil present at surface... spectacular cavern... line ran from enterance in a few feet, broken and the other end flapping in the flow from inside the first restriction... not sure if this is intentionally part of the permanent line, but I disregarded and ran my own for the dive... tight cave!
12/16/2009 Mathew Bull 30' 30' and slightly milky
12/5/2009 Brian Hamilton crystal Cavern and cave were crystal clear.
6/14/2009 David Todd 50" Next was Shng ra li, cool cave and vis was beter but still only about 50".
4/5/2009 Mathew Bull 3 Didn't dive it. It was springing very milky water that wouldn't have allowed for any sightseeing.
3/29/2009 Mathew Bull 100' Crystal clear in the system.
3/22/2009 Mathew Bull 100' Cavern and Cave as clear as it gets!
3/8/2009 Shirley Kasser 100 Air clear doesn't even cover it, as air is rarely this clear! This cavern is awe-inspiring and very photogenic, above and below the water. We spent a half hour poking into the many different holes in the cavern, but didn't squeeze through into the "cave." My 108's would have been more than a little squeeze. This place is very aptly named.
9/22/2005 J 100 line continues approximately 100 feet beyond cavern zone through three major restrictions- passed with a single y valve 40. Passage continues less than 6" tall. No place to turn around, must be able to pass restrictions feet first.
9/17/2005 Mathew Bull 50' Shangri-La is a little spring head with a small cavern and at least somewhat of a cave, near Jackson Blue. Visibility was great in the OW section and cavern section, I don't know how it looks beyond that and I'm not sure how extensive the cave is anyway - I think I read that it didn't go very far regardless…
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Description Type Date Author Remarks
 Video Vimeo 2010 Brandon Cook
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