We spent a cold January weekend scuba 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 and cons of diving Homestead Crater in Midway, Utah, so you can decide if this PADI dive certification scuba location is for you. Or maybe you’d like to just go for a dip!
What to Expect at the Homestead Crater in Utah
Homestead Crater, or Midway Crater, is part of the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah. The crater is open year-round and is 65 feet deep with a base of 400 feet. The constant 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit mineral-rich water feels amazing even in winter.
You also have other options than just diving in Homestead Crater. You are able to just take a leisurely swim/soak, snorkel, or even sign up for one of their Paddleboard Yoga Classes.
You can stay at Homestead Resort which includes a soak in the crater if you would like. They also do allow you to just book a soak in the warm mineral water without being a resort guest. However, you must call and make reservations, as walk-ins are not welcome due to capacity restraints. You can book a reservation at UtahCrater.com.
Pros to Diving Homestead Crater
- 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. It is nice when it is snowing outside of Midway Crater but toasty warm inside.
- There are a lot of nearby activities in Midway. Homestead Crater is a short drive from Park City, which is known for skiing and other great winter activities. And Salt Lake City isn’t too much further.
Midway is also 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 Midway Crater, you can take the scenic route and hit up some national parks, too! (Like Arches and Canyonlands if driving from Denver.)
Cons to Diving Homestead Crater
- 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 Homestead 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. A flashlight may make the dive more enjoyable.
- It gets pretty busy. Especially on dive certification weekends, the crater gets really busy. There was actually another group doing dive certifications while we were, on top of a handful of people snorkeling as well.
- Reservations are needed. 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 also likely necessary since the few restaurant options nearby fill up quickly. Plan ahead for other special activities like the ice castle (which was totally booked out when we tried).
Homestead Crater FAQ
Are there fish in the Homestead Crater?
No. There is no underwater life inside the Homestead Crater.
Can you swim in the Homestead Crater?
Yes! It’s extra nice in winter when it is cold outside, since the water is warm.
How much is a soak at Homestead Crater?
It costs $15-18 per person for a soak or swim in Homestead Crater.
How deep is the water in the Homestead Crater in Utah?
The Homestead Crater is 65 feet deep (and about 400 feet wide).
How do you dive at the Homestead Crater?
To dive at the Homestead Crater, you need to sign up to go with a group or bring or rent your equipment and reserve a time.
What is the appeal to go scuba diving in Homestead Crater?
Homestead Crater is the only warm scuba destination in the Continental U.S.
How much is it to scuba dive at the Homestead Crater?
It is under $30 per person for one-hour of scuba diving in Homestead Crater id you have your own gear!
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. In the end, we completed our PADI Open Water Dive Certification in Homestead Crater, which was our goal. And it was a good excuse for an awesome winter road trip (which we extended to hit up Arches & Canyonlands)!