Diving into the warm waters of Utah’s Homestead Crater

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MIDWAY, UT (ABC4 News) It’s the only geothermal hot spring in Utah – and it’s open for swimming, relaxing and scuba diving. We’re talking about the world famous Homestead Crater. And as part of our pop up studio tour – we decided to take trip into the crater, it’s history and its warm waters. 

Scuba diving or just relaxing in the 90 to 95-degree mineral water – this is what the Homestead Crater has offered visitors for the past quarter century.

Craig Simons helped open it up to the public back in the mid-90s. “It’s Caribbean blue – that comes from the minerals that are in the water. This time of year – May and June – the way the sun comes in – its just a beautiful color of blue.”  

Simons and his family knew about the warm waters in this crater, but there wasn’t really access unless you wanted to drop in from up top and try to climb a rope or depend on friends to pull you out.

“We approached the resort and they said if we paid for it – we could do it. Thinking probably we would go away.”  But they didn’t go away. Craig and his family moved forward creating a tunnel to gain access to this geothermal wonder.

“It took us four months and fifteen tons of dynamite just to get the tunnel in.” Then they started on improvements like electricity, phone lines, a dock and locker rooms to change.

And when they opened the door to the crater – Craig’s memory is just two people showed up that first day.

Fast forward a few years and the Homestead Crater has become a world known destination. “We’ve had folks come from as far away as Russia specifically seeing us on the Travel Channel – ‘Sunset’ magazine.”

Craig says two-thirds of the visitors come to just swim or relax in the warm mineral-rich water. The other third – come here to scuba dive.

In fact, ABC4’s Don Hudson joined the divers during a recent visit.  Heading down to one of the underwater platforms – checking out the jagged crater walls and just gliding through the clear blue water.

Craig says “This is a unique geological formation that you won’t see anywhere else.” Craig says a spring 65 feet below the surface – pumps in 135-thousand gallons of water every day into the crater.

That’s about 100 gallons per minute. As new water comes in – old water spills out.

“It goes out on the golf course for pond and streams and water features.”  And Craig says while the water stays between 92 and 97 degrees year round – the inside of crater has seasons.    

“In the summer it is nice and warm and humid like Florida. In the winter, its steamy cause you have 90 plus water when its 20 degrees outside and there are two feet of snow.”  

Craig and his family opened the crater to expand their scuba diving business – and scuba dive shops from seven surrounding states come and use the crater waters put divers through the certification process.

Still, Craig says its popularity with the public today is a sweet surprise. “For me, one of the neatest thing and also surprising things is the reach of the reach of the reputation of the crater.” 
        
Before Craig and his family came around – the only way into the crater was through a hole at the top of the mound. As mentioned, a dangerous way to try to get in and out. That has been blocked off for years for safety reasons. So much water flows through that the water can’t get stagnant because it basically changes every two to three days. 
      
Some of the proceeds from visitors fund Hope Projects charity – which Craig’s parents run. Https://www.hopeprojects.com/ You can learn more online, but in a sentence – it helps people in Peru access clean water. 

For more information on the crater: https://homesteadresort.com/utah-resort-things-to-do/homestead-crater/ 

It’s best to call ahead and set up a reservation. The crater is open 10am-6pm and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends.

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