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 & cons of diving Homestead Crater in Midway, Utah, so you can decide if this PADI dive certification scuba location is for you.
Information on Homestead Crater
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 Homestead Crater. You are also able to just take a leisurely swim/soak, snorkel and even sign up for one of their Paddleboard Yoga Classes.
You can stay at Homestead Resort and book a room and soak in the crater if you would like. They also do allow you to just book a soak in the warm mineral water, however, you must call and make reservations, as walk-ins are not welcome due to capacity restraints.
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 to be snowing outside of Midway Crater and toasty warm inside.
- There are a lot of nearby activities. 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 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 midway crater, you can take the scenic route and hit up some national parks, too!
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, so a flashlight may make the dive more enjoyable.
- It gets pretty busy. Especially on dive certification weekends, the crater gets really busy. There were 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 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. 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)!