Also known as the Mid-Way Crater Hot Spring, the Homestead Crater is one of Utah’s most unique thermal pools and is conveniently located only 47 miles from downtown Salt Lake City. Much more than a simple hot spring, the Homestead Crater invites visitors to submerge in the complex’s natural mineral waters while embracing the additional luxuries of the onsite resort.
Along with a massive variety of amenities and services, the Homestead Crater features one of the country’s most pristine and surreal hot springs. Encompassed by a 55-foot limestone dome, the natural thermal pool has formed over 10,000 years and offers intrepid explorations of its ancient depths.
While the cave pool is the best way to experience the natural serenity of the site, the resort also features several other ways to engage with the complex’s therapeutic waters, including more controlled soaking experiences in maintained pools and hot water tubs.
Whether day-tripping from the city or staying directly onsite in one of the resort’s accommodation options, this thermal pool is one of the best ways to unwind after engaging in the state’s more arduous activities. From the top nearby attractions to the best soaking practices, this is everything you need to know before visiting Homestead Crater, Utah.
History of Homestead Crater
The Homestead Crater Hot Springs owes its origins to ancient snowfalls over 10,000 years ago in the Wasatch Mountains. When these snows melted, they percolated two miles below the Earth’s surface, where the planet’s interior geothermal activity began warming the water.
As it heats, the water shoots back up through the Earth’s crust, which is then deposited into the hot spring of the domelike crater. Along its journey through the planet’s crust, the natural water accumulated high concentrations of minerals which serve to provide the spring with its therapeutic properties.
Located within the Heber Valley, Homestead Crater is surrounded by several similar thermal pool complexes. As such, the area quickly became famous among early settlers in the region, who dubbed the domed thermal pools ‘hot pots.’ And at 400 feet wide and 55 feet high, Homestead Crater Hot Spring is the largest of these hot pots in the region.
While the hot springs have existed for millennia, early Euro-American settlers only made it to the region at the end of the 19th century. The hot springs’ earliest owners were Simon and Maria Schneider, Swiss Immigrants that, like many others, were attracted to the area thanks to its unique rock formations and fertile soils.
Recognizing the tourist potential of their property, the couple established Schneitter’s Hot Pot Resort. During its early years, the resort was frequented primarily by the region’s miners who sought the soothing spring waters after their rigorous work days.
Over the past century, the hot springs have passed between ownership and undergone several development projects. The resort that operates the facility today was first established in the 1990s and offered visitors the modern comforts of a luxury accommodation complex while providing traditional immersion into the rustic thermal pool.
Homestead Crater Facilities
While several primitive thermal pools are waiting to be uncovered in the pristine countryside of Utah, the Homestead Crater Hot Spring stands apart from the rest as a premier hot spring resort.
It boasts a massive variety of services within its complexes that enhance the overall serenity of the picturesque thermal pool.
The Crater Thermal Pool
The most significant draw to the resort’s extensive property is the opportunity to soak in the same natural thermal pool located in the domelike rock formation that had first made the region famous amongst 19th-century homesteaders.
One of the most distinct hot springs in the country, the Homestead Crater thermal pool is encompassed by a 55-foot tall beehive-shaped limestone rock shell formed over the millennia from natural mineral deposits left behind by the ancient mineral-rich waters that have filled the pool.
The result is a unique isolated submersion into the spring, separated from the rest of the world and the bustling resort. In addition, 135,000 gallons are pumped into the pool through the underground aquifer daily, providing a fresh and clean swim for every guest.
From the source, the water averages 90 degrees Fahrenheit but can reach 95 degrees throughout the year. Additionally, the pool is about 65 feet deep and allows scuba diving into its historical depths. As a result, it is the only warm scuba diving destination in the Continental United States.
The Homestead Crater resort features an onsite restaurant that serves delicious brunch and dinner menus throughout the day. Named after the original owner of the resort, Simon’s Restaurant continues Schneitter’s traditions of friendly hospitality and features a variety of dishes highlighting Utah’s flavors with locally sourced ingredients.
Also offered on the property is the Milk House ice-cream parlor and coffee shop. Operating out of a restored 19th-century dairy storage, the Milk House is a great spot to grab dessert and offers a wide selection of ice cream cones, fudge, and pastries.
While it is easy to visit Homestead Crater and relax, the resort also offers a wide array of onsite recreation for more active guests. The resort offers scuba diving, snorkeling adventures, and even paddleboard yoga classes within the Crater Pool.
Alternatively, visitors can opt to swim in a more controlled environment in one of the brand-new pools and hot tubs within the resort, or they can choose to play a round at the complex’s famous par 71 golf course.
Accommodations Options at Homestead Crater, Utah
For the greatest convenience, visitors can stay directly on the Homestead Crater in one of the resort’s luxury guest rooms or suites. Each of the hotel’s accommodation options boasts modern amenities that provide comfortable stays that enhance the overall tranquility of the complex’s experiences.
The Homestead Crater resort’s accommodation options range from a modern guest room with a king bed and sofa sleepers to an extensive modern condo that boasts three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a living room with a private fireplace.
All rooms at the resort feature top-of-the-line comforts and premier amenities, including private outdoor terraces, cable TV, tea and coffee stations, and traditional period stylings.
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Getting to the Homestead Crater, Utah
Located only 50 miles from Salt Lake City, the easiest way to reach Homestead Crater is by private vehicle. From the city, guests head east along Interstate-80 to exit 146 in Park City. Taking the exit, visitors will then turn right onto U.S. Route-189, which they will follow for another 15 miles.
After crossing over the Provo River, take the next right along River Road. Passing through Midway, visitors will turn left onto Homestead Drive, which they will follow to their Homestead Crater, Utah.