There are few better ski destinations in the world than Utah, where eight major resorts surround Salt Lake City. The state is famous for its deep, dry powder, it is among the most accessible and easiest to get to ski destinations, and as if all that wasn’t enough, there are tons of non-skiing activities of note, from bobsled rides on the Olympic track from the 2002 Winter Games to food tours of Park City. But while you can ride bobsleds in other places, and do things like dogsled rides and fat tire winter biking at many ski destinations, there is one amazingly cool thing you can only do in Utah: stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga in a hot spring inside a cave.
For more than a century people have trekked to the 10,000-year-old hot spring in Homestead Crater for the touted restorative properties of its therapeutic, mineral-rich, 90-96 degree waters. Combining this warm pleasant setting – especially in winter – with an hour of rejuvenating yoga asanas is a very enticing prospect, and the folks at Park City Yoga Adventures claim there is no other warm water paddleboard yoga site like this in the entire country.
Utah is known as the Beehive State, and fittingly, the crater is set within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped space hollowed out within a limestone rock formation. This space in turn is filled with 65-foot deep naturally heated mineral water, originating two miles below the surface, with colors evoking the Caribbean, and you can even go Scuba diving here if that is more to your liking – I do dive, but I’ll stick to yoga for my winter ski break.
The crater is 35 minutes from Park City and roughly equidistant from the ski resorts of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Outfitter Park City Yoga Adventures rents the crater exclusively for its classes, which are scheduled twice daily during the week, and once on weekends, with extra sessions added over busy holiday periods. The rates start at $75, based on a minimum number of participants, and they also have 3-hour combos of sunrise or evening guided snowshoes hikes with the 60-minute paddleboard yoga.
Back in Park City, the same company also offers 3-hour snowshoe and yoga classes, where you can discover the quiet peacefulness of wooded trails on a two-hour guided adventure followed by an hour of yoga in the studio. For a more challenging adventure, they also offer a 5-hour Snowshoe and Yoga Yurt trip in the Uinta Mountain wilderness (conveniently located just 15 minutes from Park City’s Main Street). This includes a 2-hour trek to a Norwegian yurt, where you practice restorative Anusara Yoga for an hour in front of a roaring fire before putting your snowshoes back on for the 2-hour return. It even includes hot cocoa!
If you love skiing and love yoga (I do), this is definitely a unique experience to put on your to-do list for your next trip to Utah’s snowy slopes.