We spent a cold January weekend diving in the warm water of Homestead Crater in Midway, UT, in order to complete our PADI open water diver certifications. This review lists the pros & cons of diving Utah’s Homestead Crater, so you can decide if this scuba location is for you.
- It’s convenient & inexpensive. Homestead Crater is just a cheap flight or road trip away from many U.S. locations. And it is way less expensive than a boat dive at a tropical local. Plus, there is a reasonably priced dive shop for rental gear, as well as on-site lodging and dining at the Homestead Resort.
- The warm water is wonderful! In winter, the warmth of the crater is a welcome relief from the chilly temperatures outside. And the mineral-rich water, which is about 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit, makes you feel like you are diving in a giant bath.
- There are a lot of nearby activities. Midway is a short drive from Park City, which is known for skiing and other winter activities. And Salt Lake City isn’t too much further.
Midway itself is home to an awesome ice castle in winter, plus hiking trails and an ice skating rink. There is even a horse drawn carriage ride that picks up at the Homestead Resort. If you are road tripping to the crater, you can take the scenic route and hit up some national parks, too!
- There isn’t much to it. If you are looking for a dive that will provide you with amazing views, this isn’t it. The crater is an interesting place to dive, but aside from an old wagon wheel there isn’t much to see. However, if you want to get your certification or if you happen to be in the area, it’s worth checking out.
- Visibility may not be very good. The bottom of the crater is lined in silt, which can cause poor underwater visibility if stirred up. And on gloomy days, it can be extra hard to see, so a flashlight may make the dive more enjoyable.
- It gets pretty busy (reservations needed). Especially on dive certification weekends, the crater gets really busy. If you want to go on additional dives, spend some time swimming or take part in a SUP yoga class, you will want to make reservations ahead of time. On weekends, dinner reservations are likely necessary since the few restaurant options nearby fill up quickly. Also plan ahead for other special activities, like the ice castle (which was totally booked out when we tried).
Overall, Homestead Crater isn’t going to be the same epic diving experience as a tropical locale. But it made for a relaxing and unique weekend of diving with some great memories. And it was a good excuse for an awesome winter road trip (which we extended to hit up Arches & Canyonlands)!