“Naturally occurring underground hot spring”
When finding a place to relax, the right setting is super important. Somewhere secluded and serene, with the right lighting, and maybe a nice place to hang out is ideal-- and Utah's Homestead Crater nails all of the criteria-- it's a massive hot spring inside a cave. So how did this magical natural wonder come to be? It all started when pure melted snow began to seep and erode into the Wasatch Mountains ten thousand years ago (give or take). Miles below the Earth's surface, it was warmed up by geothermal heat and began to percolate back up. As it bubbled over, it picked up all kinds of minerals which were deposited above it-- these minerals form the roof of the crater. You know how travertine springs form from minerals around hot springs? Same idea. The water in the pool, which is usually around a warm 90 degrees, is an impressive 65 feet deep-- and that's not counting the 8-14 foot-deep layer of silt that covers the floor of the crater! The silt is of particular interest to archaeologists; they're in the process of examing the mud to dig up things that have been tossed or dropped into the crater. They've discovered all kinds of things so far, from guns to old coins! The dome itself is 55 feet tall and has a hole in the top, which lets in the perfect amount of sunlight and fresh air. For many years, the only way to reach the hot springs was to rappel through the hole in the top of the crater, but in the 1990's, the property owners decided to blast a tunnel through the rock to make it easier to reach the water (but if rappelling sounds like fun to you, it's totally still an option!) They also added a wooden deck and designated soaking areas. It's not only great for swimming and soaking-- it's also the only warm-water scuba site in the country! Whether you're looking to get scuba certified or just want to do some solo exploring, it's a really unique and comfortable environment in which to dive. You can even do paddleboard yoga in the crater's pool-- and finish off your workout with a soak in the mineral-rich water. The crater has attracted so much attention that a resort, the Homestead Resort, has been built around it, and even though you can visit the crater without booking a room at the resort, it's totally worth checking out. The rustic-chic Homestead Resort evokes a simpler time-- it's especially great to visit in the winter when you can take advantage of the dogsled and sleigh rides around the historic property, the nearby ski resorts, and the fact that the crater is warm enough to remain open year-round! -Roadtrippers One of the most unique activities at our Midway Utah Resort is our one-of-a-kind Homestead Crater. The Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock located on the Homestead property. Over 10,000 years in the making, The Crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep within the earth. Two miles below the surface, the earth’s interior heated the water. As it percolated upward, it picked up minerals, which were then deposited on the surface -- eventually forming the volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater. The hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air while the interior stays heated by the mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit. But no need to worry -- you don't have to rappel through the top to enjoy all the fun. We've created a tunnel through the rock wall at ground level, lending access to our custom-built decks and a soaking area where guests can enjoy the crystal-clear mineral water. Once inside, you can go swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, enjoy a therapeutic soak, or even take a paddle board yoga class. The Crater is the only warm water scuba diving destination in the continental US and attracts many diving enthusiasts from ac cross the country wishing to get certified in a comfortable environment. You do not have to get wet to have a one-of-a-kind experience inside The Crater. Many guests of our Utah Resort Hotel just enjoy the self-guided Crater tour, the history, geology, and archeology of this unique natural phenomenon.
I loved this place. They weren't too strict on the 1 hr limit which was nice. An hour is plenty of time but it was nice not feeling like we were going to get kicked out on the dot. They had changing rooms and cubbies for your towels. The life vests they had were really worn down to the point that none of them fit me properly. (Summer 2012)
We didn't get in the pool but just seeing this crater filled with beautiful blue warm water is really interesting. The view from up above is nice, seeing the snow covered Mountains. And looking is free.
Homestead Crater hours: Monday through Thursday 12:30pm to 6:30pm
Friday & Saturday 10:30am to 6:30pm
Sundays 10:30am to 4:30pm
Pricing: Soak Only$16
Snorkeling equipment: $5
Reservations are required: 435-657-3840.
This was a stop over on a road trip a few years back. Was interesting to see. My daughter got out prior to the 1 hour being up. She said she felt weird with people snorkeling under her. They weren't strict with time. You do need reservations, you have to wear a flotation device supplied by staff at the Crater and there are changing areas and cubbies/lockers to store your personal belongings. Great little Italian/pizza place down the road ... name of the place escapes me.
Note that reservations are required for all crater activities. Contact the Midway Utah hotel Activity Center at 435-657-3840 for availability. Please arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to your appointment to check in at the Activity Center.
Not worth a visit unless you are up for swimming with a life vest in a small dark area among strangers.
I had such a great experience here swimming in a crater. The water is warm and dark blue color. The staffs are friendly and very professional on their work.
I suggest this place for adults who love swimming specially divers because the water is too deep.
My little kids and I had a great time. It is a unique and fun experience, one that they still talk about two years later!
Unique experience. You must make a reservation. We went on a weekday and showed up about 30 min before they opened and then had to wait an hour for our time slot. The community is very wealthy and fun to drive around a look at. We also drove up to a national park with stunning mountain views. You must wear life jacket, which was very uncomfortable for me as I could not find one that fit properly. You can also dive and snorkel in the crater. Not as fun as other stops on our road trip but still interesting.
Super fun to see and a little creepy to swim in. The crater is very deep and you never know what will be down there.....
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The Homestead Crater
- Mon - Thu: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
- Fri, Sat: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Sun: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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- 2:00 pm
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