Tag Archives: Mountain Spaa

Midway Utah- part 2

midway city utA bit more history about Midway Utah- last week we finished up another year of Swiss Days in which our no-stop-light-town fills up with 30,000+ visitors, it’s a weekend of yodeling, local musicians performing, craft, lederhosen and Swiss pride. I love it all- the Swiss-themed signage and architectural details around town makes me smile.

swiss tower clockIn the town building there’s this cuckoo clock, it reminds me of the welcome to Duloc scene from Shrek– except it’s in real life.  I always feel lucky when I’m around on-the-hour to see the tiny doors open up, the figurines pop out, rotate and music plays.

Schneitter's Hot Pots, Midway UTBack to some history…I’m not sure what year this invitation/business card is from but these hot pots are still in use and haven’t fallen into disrepair like Mountain Spaa.

The Crater, Midway UTSome original settlers of Midway, perhaps the Schneitters themselves, in front of the crater in the late 1890’s. The Crater is the biggest and most amazing natural phenomenon in town. Currently, the Crater is part of the Homestead Resort.

homestead crater midway utHere is how the Crater and the Homestead look today.

stairs to the top of the craterThe stairs to the top of the Crater, slightly improved since the early 1900’s.

top of Homestead craterIn the last year or so, the Homestead has added a nice bridge and improved netting system for those who want to get a good look down into the Crater from the top. The view of the whole valley is great from this vantage point.

looking down into the craterLooking down into the Crater from above- can you see the feet of swimmers in the patch of sunlight?  The scene in 127 Hours when James Franco and girls jump into the pool was filmed right here.

inside the crater midway utInside the crater- accessed from a ‘tunnel’ that has been carved out of the rock at the bottom. The water is crystal clear and continually 95 degrees. At 60 feet deep, it’s a popular spot for scuba divers with marks every 20 feet until you reach the sandy bottom. To keep swimming organized, you’ve got to schedule a session in advance. I’ve been meaning to sign up for a paddle board yoga class in this spot. Awesome.

For part 1 of Midway history, including more on the Mountain Spaa resort look here.

Midway UT, Swiss Days and some history…

Midway UtahAhh, my hometown of Midway, settled by Swiss immigrants in the 1800’s- in its current late summer glory- we’re coming up on the annual celebration of Swiss Days, August 30-31. A weekend of art, craft, food, music and even the coinciding sheepdog trials at Soldier Hollow. I’m sewing like a madwoman, stitching handmade goods since I’ll have a booth and pedaling my wares again this year.

1st annual Midway Swiss Days 1953I ran across this invitation in a locally published book, apparently the 1st annual Swiss Days was in 1953, making this the 60th year- so exciting folks! This book was full of fascinating historical images, in part because of the geothermal wonders of the area and structures that still exist today and have had us guessing at their age and how the appeared in their heyday.

Map of Midway UT, historicalI love this map, dates and notes, familiar and unfamiliar names.

Lukes Hot Pots, Midway UT, historicalOne of the most historically intriguing places in Midway is what is currently known as Mountain Spaa, formerly known as Luke’s Hot Pots.

Lukes Hot Pots 1910, Midway UT

archival, hot springs Midway UTThe early days of Midway, one of the larger crater hot springs and a local family.

Midway UT hot pot, historicalI think the 2 fellas to the right (in the water) must be twins. What do you think?

Mt Spaa hot pot Midway UTI think this is the crater hot spring where the previous two pictures were taken. Today, for whatever reason, it only has a bit of water in the bottom, about 15 feet down.

Craters like this one but in various sizes, dot the landscape for a few square miles in the heart of Midway. Most are dry and currently only two are available to swim in. The most famous and largest is the crater at the Homestead Resort, and I think a smaller hot pot can be soaked in at the adjacent Zermatt Resort as well.

Outdoor pool at Luke’s Hot Pots, 1930:
Mountain Spaa Midway UT 1930 The buildings and pools still stand, although currently in a state of extreme dilapidation. Curiosity (and the need for an interesting location for a photo shoot) got the best of us and we wandered around the place a year or so ago, snapping pictures and trying, in vain, to piece together the history of the place. When I found the book on the history of Midway, these photos answered some of our questions but still felt no less like looking at the Titanic in the former glory and then it’s current state.

empty poolThe same pool from the above picture, empty in early spring 2011. I’ve talked to friends who remember swimming in this pool in the 1990’s. It was fed by warm water from the hot spring (previous picture) which is just up the hill.

hot spring fed outdoor pool Midway UTHere’s the outdoor pool in 2013.

Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTOne of the most intriguing and only interior photograph I could find is of the dining room- a little stage for live entertainment and all, I’m not sure what year the picture is from, but here’s how it looks today:
Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTWandering around this place I kept trying to visualizing it in it’s prime… I’m picturing Kellerman’s in the movie Dirty Dancing.

Lukes hot pots, Hotel 1910 Midway UT
abandoned houseThis former hotel, built in 1890, has actually held up very well and is still looking sturdy and sound for it’s formidable 113 years. I hope when something becomes of this place, this building will be restored and not torn down.

For more photos of Mountain Spaa and the afore mentioned photo shoot, look here.

Mountain Spaa photo tour

As a quick recap, this past weekend we wandered about the remains of the derelict Mountain Spaa Resort not far from our house and peaked into all the rooms, into the craters, got a little grossed out and took lots of pictures. Here are a few of my favorite images, more photos can be seen here.