Fifty-five feet below the top of a limestone, beehive-shaped dome, is a mineral spring that stays at temperatures ranging from 90 - 96 degrees Fahrenheit no matter the weather outside. The Homestead Crater is a unique, natural wonder that’s not only a great spot for a vacation but also a one-of-a-kind experience.
The crater has been around for 10,000 years, formed from melting snow that flowed from the Wasatch Mountains. The snow is heated two miles below the earth’s surface and rises to the surface, creating this crater and a pool of water within its hollow core. As the water travels up through the cracks and rock sediment, there is an influx of carbon dioxide that heats the water.
Located on the Homestead Resort property, the crater was an integral part of the hotel’s history. Swiss settlers first discovered the crater’s mineral spring pool around 1886. The original hotel, located on the property for guests to see, was host to Swiss settlers, miners and travelers who would bathe and soak away their aches and pains from work.
Later, in 1996, the Crater was opened for public use and was given the publicity and recognition that it has today. This was also when many projects were completed on the crater to make it more easily available to travelers.
Photo Courtesy of Outdoor Adventure Crew
The 110-foot tunnel that visitors enter through to enjoy the therapeutic nature of the water for themselves, was a project that took three months to complete.
Inside the crater, Dr. Jerry Simons directed an archeological and geological project. The floor of the crater contains 8,000 to 10,000 years of history in its layers. Thousands of coins, bottles, marbles and other interesting artifacts are gathered at the bottom of the 65-foot deep spring.
The crater is the perfect place for scuba diving in the land-locked and desert landscape that Utah is known for. It’s a very unique experience for anyone looking to train or become scuba certified.
Dr. Simons, an experienced scuba instructor said, “there exists no other warm-water scuba site as unique as The Homestead Crater in the interior of the United States, and possibly the world, where divers also have the amenities of a resort with lodging, excellent food and other recreational activities.”
Walking through the 110-foot tunnel, many visitors enter the crater to enjoy soaking and swimming in the therapeutic water. As you float you can look up to see the sky through a hole at the top of the dome letting sunlight and fresh air in.
Not everyone has to get wet to have a good time at the crater. Many guests enjoy a self-guided tour around the crater to learn about the history, geology and archaeology of this natural phenomenon. Capture panoramic views of the Heber Valley atop of the Crater by climbing the steps on the south side of the dome, walk inside and touch the water if you don’t want to soak.
If you are interested in enjoying the Homestead Crater hot spring, reserve a time during your next visit. No matter the season, the crater is open year-round.
Reservations are made by the hour by calling the activities desk at 435-657-3840.