Did you know that you can go scuba diving right here in Utah? Not only that, you can do it in a huge geothermal crater. Homestead Crater (or caldera) formed 10,000 years ago from mineral deposits from rising spring water. The crater stands almost 60 feet tall and looks like a big beehive.
In 1996, they drilled a hole into the crater and opened it up to the public. The hole makes a tunnel into the center of the caldera. The warm aquamarine water looks like those pictures of the beach in the Bahamas and stays a constant mid 90 degrees. You can swim or scuba dive, but we took a free, self-guided tour.
To check out Homestead Crater, just walk in. The tunnel is on the north side, and we walked right up. There is a platform that extends over the water, and there were a few people swimming or soaking. It seems like you’re inside a volcano with the opening high above. After a few minutes, it starts to feel like you are in a very humid volcano. We were almost gasping for air after 5-10 minutes!
You can also climb to the top of the crater. There is waterfall on the southwest side, which is perfect for a photo, and stairs lead up the south side. There are around 70 steep stairs that lead to the wide, flat top of the crater. A bridge takes you right over the opening (Don’t worry. There’s a net so you can’t fall or drop anything down on the swimmers.)
Homestead Crater is definitely worth a stop if you are in the Heber City area. If you want to swim, make sure to make reservations before you go because they only allow so many people in at a time.
To get to the crater from Utah Valley, head up Provo Canyon. When you pass Deer Creek turn left onto Highway 113. This will take you directly into Midway (about 4 miles). When you get to Midway Main Street, turn left. Go 2 blocks and turn right (north) onto 200 West. This road will turn into Homestead Drive which goes right past the crater.
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Thanks for this post. I didn’t realize you could see the crater without paying for swimming.