i loved all the places that we visited on our road trip, however, Heber Valley captured my heart. Heber Valley is made up of a few small towns, Heber City, Midway and Daniel. All together, they are referred to as Heber Valley, and are located just south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, nestled in a valley among beautiful mountains. the towns have small town charm and the scenic landscapes are gorgeous. this is one place that i would love to further explore, as we only had one day of adventure there.
in the city of Midway, Utah, you will find The Homestead Resort, where the Homestead Crater can be located on the property. this Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. it took over 10,000 years for this Crater to be formed by melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains. the melted snow seeped deep within the earth, two miles below the surface where the earth’s interior heated the water. as the water was then percolated upward, it picked up minerals that were then deposited on the surface. eventually it formed this volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater.
the Crater is open to the public, and for a small fee, you can swim inside of it. people of all ages, even babes can enjoy this experience. imagine, swimming inside a mountain under the ground. so cool. and since it is a natural warm spring, the water is hot and also has the smell of sulfur, but it isn't too bad.
here is the entrance that leads you into the Crater.
when you get inside, there are changing rooms and an area where you can get life jackets or rent scuba equipment. you can choose to either soak, swim, or snorkel in the warm 90º-96ºf natural mineral water. certified divers can explore the warm waters of The Crater for a maximum of 35-minutes and a depth of 35-feet. the Crater's water is about 60 feet deep.
my husband and older son were most excited to jump right away into the water. it is dark within the crater (the do have dim lights on), which was a little creepy to my younger boys. my youngest son, Vann, decided he didn't want to swim.it took Kyle a little bit of time to get up the courage to jump in the water, but he finally made it in and had a blast. you have to be careful when entering the water because there could be scuba divers in the water below. you can not see down into the beautiful crystal clear blue water, is very dark below.
the little one and i watched the boys having fun and explored the inside of the Crater. it's hard to describe how interesting it was to be underground, swimming in one of natures phenomenas, but it was soooo cool.
guests can also take a short hike up to the top of the Homestead Crater. there are stairs that lead you to the top. the hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air into the Crater while the interior stays heated by mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit. at the top, you have a view of Heber Valley that is so beautiful. the mountains surrounding the towns, the blue sky and puffy white clouds are what made me fall in love with Heber Valley.
the Crater's naturally warm water is pumped out of the crater and down the side of the beehive shaped rock. if it wasn't pumped out as the natural springs filled the crater up, the water would fill the crater to the top and spill out of the hole shown in the picture above. pumping the water out makes it possible to swim inside, and allows people to have an experience unlike any other.
swimming and exploring The Homestead Crater was a great experience for our family, not only was it fun and interesting, it was also educational. we had a wonderful time and will definitely swim in the Crater again on our next visit to Heber Valley.
check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:
Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village - Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street - Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab - Utah
Historic Parry Lodge - Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House - Herriman, Utah