A visit to the Homestead Crater in Heber Valley, Utah, makes for an amazing experience. The geothermal hot spring is housed within limestone rock in the shape of a beehive. The crater began formation some 10,000 years ago and is filled with rich minerals deposited by the heated spring water, making it the largest mineral dome in the area.
The 55-feet high crater is now easily accessible through a tunnel, built for easy access. If you visited the crater before the tunnel was built, you’d have to rappel through the hole at the top of the crater to reach the water. Today visitors to the crater enjoy activities like scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, therapeutic soaks, and yoga.
Take a Tour of the Crater
It’s free to have a look around and you absolutely must make use of this opportunity. Climb to the top of the crater and have a peek down to the hot pool. Or make your way through the tunnel to the inner area and get a firsthand view of the inside of the crater. The staff at hand is helpful and eager to answer any questions you may have. Learn about the history, geology and unique features of the crater.
Swim, Soak or Snorkel
For a fulfilling experience at the Homestead Crater, sign up for one or all of the activities on offer. Since it is a small location, it’s wise to make your reservations in advance. Guests can enjoy swimming or soaking, snorkeling or paddleboard yoga inside the crater. There is a different time slot for each of the activity so be sure to check for availability.
One of the main popular activities at the Homestead is scuba diving. Offering the only warm scuba diving destination in all of continental US, the crater is a favorite with new and advanced scuba divers. While there is no aquatic life, the walls are covered with mineral deposits. The spring reaches a depth of about 65 feet
For those wanting to learn scuba diving, courses are offered for beginners. There is a fully equipped dive shop on site where you can rent equipment for your dives. You can avoid wearing a wetsuit for your dive since the mineral water ranges from 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit.
Best Time to Visit
Weekends are busier so the best to visit is during the week. Everyone is required to wear life jackets inside the spring; however, there is an area for soaking called the ‘hot tub’ where you can remove your life jackets and seat yourself on the benches and soak in the thermal springs. Ideal for when you’ve just returned from a skiing trip.
Homestead Crater Resort
The Crater with its geothermal spring is located within the Homestead Crater Resort complex. The crater is open to the public for a fee or is included with a resort package. The resort also features indoor and outdoor pools that are heated with warm mineral water pumped in from the crater. Website.
Heber Valley is south of Park City and 40 miles from Salt Lake City in northern Utah. Also in the area is the Heber Valley Railroad. A tourist train takes passengers on a 16-mile round trip journey from downtown Heber City.