Tired of diving in the same old places? Looking for an exciting new Scuba Diving thrill? Well how about going for a dive in the sleepy town of Midway, Utah,to dive in a crater containing mineral rich 96 degree geo thermal spring water, while it is snowing outside? Sound interesting enough?
The Homestead Crater is located at Homestead Resort at Midway (Wasatch County) is a 55 foot dome formed out of beehive-shaped limestone rock which is filled with crystal clear thermal spring fed water. The large rock dome has a hole at the top which lets in the natural sunlight and air. The entrance to the crater is through a man-made tunnel through the side.
The Crater while a big attraction to tourist who spend their time relaxing in the warm waters after a day of skiing or mountain biking, is also a huge dive attraction, drawing several thousand of scuba divers and certification courses to its warm waters year round.
Diving in the crater is a unique experience. While there is no aquatic life to speak of, as the water temperature is 96 degrees there is still much to explore and the soothing warm water itself is worth diving in. The spring is around 60 feet wide, with a depth 65 feet. Visibility is around 40-50 feet and the hourglass shaped cavern has interesting walls formed by mineral deposits to look at. The bottom of the cavern at 65 feet is silty and divers can spot bottles and dropped coins and other baubles, however divers are asked to limit their depth to 45 feet to avoid stirring up the silt. Underwater lights have been mounted at 20 and 40 feet inside the spring, however it still gets rather dark, so it would be advisable to carry a dive light.
The homestead crater has a fully equipped dive shop housed in the tunnel leading to the crater that offers scuba diving equipment rentals, and scuba and snorkeling classes. With the water temperature so warm, a wetsuit is simply not necessary, and one can dive in their swimsuits. There is an entry fee to the crater; certified scuba divers are charged $22 and $27 on weekends for a 35 minute dive. Equipment rental is an additional $25 and $7.50 for a tank only. There are several scuba lessons, and tune-up/refresher classes one can opt for, and non-divers and those wishing to just snorkel, have different entry rates.
For an ideal vacation, you can stay at the Homestead Resort, spend your days cross-country skiing, snowmobile or sleigh riding, ride horses ,play golf, go mountain biking, and go for soothing dives in the crater afterward. Who’s going to believe you when you when you tell them you went skiing and scuba diving in the same trip? And that too in Utah!
Photos by: celikins