Did you know? The only warm water SCUBA diving destination in the continental United States is in… Utah.
The Homestead Crater is a geothermically heated pool inside a limestone dome on the property of the Homestead Resort. The pool is 35 feet deep, and the water is 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round. Visitors are invited to see, soak or SCUBA dive in the Homestead Crater.
Here’s what you need to know before you go.
You can take a self-guided “tour” of the Homestead Crater for free. The Crater’s website says that it is open for public viewing every hour on the half-hour. Swimming and diving reservations begin on the hour, so that timing should help you avoid crowding in the narrow tunnel. I suspect that you could walk in and take a look any time it isn’t busy.
It’ll probably take 15 minutes or less to see the Homestead Crater. There is a tunnel, floating dock and geothermal pool inside a natural limestone dome. Seeing the Crater is worthwhile if you’re at the Homestead Resort, but it probably won’t take you long.
This is what we did at the Homestead Crater. It was a cool February evening, but it felt like we were swimming in a giant bath tub. Paddling around in the deep, warm mineral water was a unique experience, and my kids loved it. On one side of the dock, a floating “hot tub” has been built. Here, swimmers can take off their life jackets and sit on benches in the water for a relaxing soak.
We tried snorkeling, but found that there wasn’t much to see except SCUBA divers. It was a good opportunity for my kids to practice, but otherwise, I would not recommend paying extra for snorkeling gear. Another time, I’d like to try a paddle board yoga class.
All swimmers and snorkelers are required to wear life jackets, except in the “hot tub” area. Life jackets are included in the cost of your soak. All children are welcome, with swim diapers. Soak sessions are 40 minutes, though you may be allowed to swim or soak longer if it isn’t busy. We swam for about an hour, and it was more than enough time for us.
SCUBA diving is the main attraction at the Homestead Crater. There were two beginner SCUBA classes happening on the Friday night we were there. These calm, warm mineral waters attract divers from throughout the U.S.
The SCUBA introduction class at the Homestead Crater is $100 per person, including equipment. If you are already certified, you can dive in the Crater for $22 for 35 minutes, plus equipment rental. If you would like to become certified, classes are available for that too. Visit the Crater’s website for more information. Be sure to make reservations!
Good to Know
Where: 700 North Homestead Drive, Midway, Utah. The dome and parking are easy to find. The check-in and restrooms are in a separate building nearby.
When: Year-round, 7 days per week. Reservations are required. See the website for details.
Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in and sign liability releases. Weekdays are less crowded and less expensive.
- See: FREE
- Soak: starts at $11 per person
- SCUBA: starts at $22 per person
- Discounts may be available through Homestead Resort Crater packages or Groupon.
How Long: About one hour
Amenities: Changing stalls, life jackets, SCUBA and snorkel equipment rental. Small lockers are available, but you need to bring your own padlock. Unsecured shelves are available to hold your towels, shoes and clothing.
Storage space is limited, and the changing stalls are small. I recommend bringing as few personal items into the Homestead Crater as possible. Leave valuables at home or in your hotel safe.
Restrooms are available in a separate building, near where you check in. In the winter, it will be a cold, wet walk, so be sure to use them before you get in!
Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the Homestead Crater for the purposes of review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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