Intro to Diving in Homestead Crater, Utah
Homestead Crater is a 55-foot tall beehive-shaped limestone formation that houses a geothermal spring. Located about 45 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, diving Homestead Crater is a popular activity due to the consistent 95-degree water. Learn more about our scuba experience here on my related story.
Physical Properties of the Crater
Over thousands of years, water seeped into the Earth’s warm interior and then percolated upwards. Dissolved minerals formed layers of deposits that built the limestone formation as the warm water gurgled upwards.
In the 1800s, Swiss immigrant Simon Schneitter settled on the land in an attempt to farm it. Although he discovered that the hot, mineral-laden water was incompatible with farming, his family soon managed to change directions to create a tourist magnet.
Today, a hole at the top of the Crater allows fresh air and sunlight to circulate in the crater while visitors peer in from above. Read more about this natural phenomenon here.
Accessing the Crater
Arriving on site, divers must register at the Activity Center and present their certification card. After dressing in the parking lot or restrooms, divers carry their gear through a tunnel to access the 67′ deep pool in the center.
First, check in at the Activity Center at Homestead Crater. It was a beautiful scene in early October!
Pros of Diving Homestead Crater
- It’s more convenient and less expensive than most other warm-water diving options for American residents. Staging areas (shown below), training platforms, and an in-crater compressor for air fills make this an excellent training site.
- The warm water (90-96 degrees year-round) is excellent for low-gear diving. For example, our Open Water scubility students greatly appreciate not having to deal with the exposure suits that are required for Pacific Northwest diving.
Cons of Diving Homestead Crater
- Beyond the initial novelty, there is not much for divers to explore. The pool does not have any wildlife (besides bachelorette parties) or additional underwater structures. Staff have suspended a platform, lines, lights, and PVC pipes underwater for training purposes. The most interesting structures are a wagon wheel (found in the Crater) and various “gag items” like a plastic skeleton, miniature alligator, lobster, and Batman figurine.
- Options for divers with disabilities is limited. The wheelchair-accessible path to the entrance is not convenient and is broken up by many tree roots. The only wheelchair-accessible restroom is in the hotel. Changing areas are not large enough for divers with wheelchairs or those needing a helping hand. The pool does not have a lift- divers must be manually lifted in and out of the water.
- Visibility varies due to a silty bottom, poor overhead lighting, and lots of activity in the Crater. A flashlight is helpful.
- Especially during peak season, reservations are necessary for the Crater and nearby activities. Since this is an altitude dive and you must increase your altitude over a pass to return to Salt Lake City, prudent divers spend at least an hour on the surface before leaving the area.