Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homestead Crater

Okay, I thought I was done with caves for the winter, but I couldn't resist going to another, and this time I dragged my dear husband with me. Fortunately this cave was warm and we were able to walk into it.

This is Homestead Crater, located in Midway, Utah, and it's a tourist attraction with a pleasant resort built next to it.

I liked how the light made my husband seem to glow. He didn't manage to levitate, though.

The real attraction in the crater is the 95-96 degree water. It is used for soaking, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. In fact, this is the only year-round scuba diving destination in the continental U.S.

Here's a soaking section, watched over by an alligator.

The tunnel into the crater was built in 1996.

The water in the crater is over 60 feet deep, but divers are advised to dive no deeper than 35 feet for 35 minutes due to the altitude and sediments at the bottom.

The tunnel is filled with tanks, regulators, buoyancy aids, and more.
The outside of the crater isn't so remarkable. A mound of tufa rises slightly from the surrounding terrain. This is the largest of about 35 "hot pots" that are found in the area. Originally 20 of them had water in them--I'm not sure if that many still do. The water comes from the Wasatch Mountains and then is heated deep in the earth. Apparently the hot pots are only about 10,000 years old--quite young by geologic standards.

We hiked up the stairs to the top of the crater. From above we could look down at the steamy water and see the scuba divers.

The views from the top of the mound are really nice, with mountains in all directions. Although we missed most of the fall colors, we enjoyed seeing the snow at the higher elevations.

In the resort, there's a display about the history of the area.

We found that the ducks like the warm water.

And the pool and hot tub were exquisite. There are also outdoor versions, although the outdoor pool was closed for the season.

To get ready for Halloween, there was a scarecrow convention on the front lawn with many creative entries.

Homestead made for a slightly different getaway, and I'm looking forward to going back someday.
Thanks so much to the cousins and aunt and uncle who watched Desert Boy so we could have a getaway weekend!


The Incredible Woody said...

Ah, soaking in that warm water sounds divine!!

Sarah said...

I've heard about that place! Glad you had a good time. Will you try scuba diving next time?

Annette said...

I love the area around Midway. So pretty. That crater looks really cool! I'd never heard of it before.

Caroline said...

I'm always amazed when I come to this site! Very cool!

A said...

How nice that you got some time alone together!

xlpharmacy said...

This is something really special, I want to go there right now because I love the different emotions, and the adrenaline of staying in that place, I'd love it.

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