Prepare to take a flying leap – Balmorhea Pool in West Texas finally reopens June 26
Jun 19, 2021

Pam LeBlanc swims at Balmorhea State Park in West Texas. Photo by Chris LeBlanc


Swimming hole connoisseurs: Prepare to take a flying leap into the world’s largest spring-fed pool.
Texas State Parks officials announced this week that the pool and day use area at Balmorhea State Park will reopen on June 26.
The opening comes as refreshing news to locals and visitors who flock to the 3.5-million gallon oasis in Toyahvale, an hour’s drive west of Fort Stockton, to rinse off the dust and swim in the same water as the endangered Comanche Springs pupfish. The pool has been closed since September 2019, and before that was open only sporadically since May 2018, when a concrete apron beneath the diving board collapsed.
The enormous V-shaped pool with a natural bottom will remind Austinites of Barton Springs, plopped in the middle of a prickly desert, but the water’s a little warmer. The site once served as a watering hole for Native Americans, Spanish explorers, and American soldiers. The Civilian Conservation Corps transformed the fragile desert wetland into a pool in the 1930s.
Jumping off the high dive into the pool’s clear water is a right of passage for many Texans. Walking the length of the springy board feels like walking the plank of a pirate ship, and splashing into crisp waters of San Solomons Springs is like landing in a giant aquarium. Look down deep – you’ll see catfish swirling in the depths.
Light construction is still ongoing in the pool area and the San Solomon Courts, campground, and cienegas remain closed to the public for now. Crews are restoring the motel to its 1930s appearance, minus the carports, and are replacing plumbing, repairing the roof, and rewiring the electrical system. The campground is getting a new bathroom and showers, too.
The pool is open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or sunset, whichever comes first. Day passes are available for purchase on the Texas State Parks Online Reservations Center. They can be purchased up to 30 days in advance.
For more information go to the park page on the TPWD website.

Follow Austin Travels


Austin Travels is a women-owned, Austin-based travel magazine committed to highlighting destinations in Texas and beyond through the lenses of diverse and talented writers.

Subscribe

@austintravelsmag

More Stories

Eight beginner-friendly places to paddle in Central Texas

Eight beginner-friendly places to paddle in Central Texas

Treasuring time in the Pacific Northwest’s Olympic National Park

Treasuring time in the Pacific Northwest’s Olympic National Park

The Green O: Mother Nature’s Posh Playground

The Green O: Mother Nature’s Posh Playground

Explore the great outdoors in little Castell, Texas

Explore the great outdoors in little Castell, Texas

Fishing, golf and more in the Santee region of South Carolina

Fishing, golf and more in the Santee region of South Carolina

Getting back to nature at the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary

Getting back to nature at the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary

Six places to park your campervan in Texas this Spring

Six places to park your campervan in Texas this Spring

Private Paradise: Diving into French Polynesia’s Dreamy Manihi

Private Paradise: Diving into French Polynesia’s Dreamy Manihi

Last Call: Cat Skiing at Colorado’s Keystone Resort

Last Call: Cat Skiing at Colorado’s Keystone Resort

Secret Sundance: Uncovering the unexpected in Heber Valley, Utah

Secret Sundance: Uncovering the unexpected in Heber Valley, Utah

Diving into French Polynesia

Diving into French Polynesia

Hiking and Swinging through French Polynesian Paradise

Hiking and Swinging through French Polynesian Paradise

A rare glimpse at pearl farming in Tahiti

A rare glimpse at pearl farming in Tahiti

Squeezing in every snowy moment at Solitude Mountain Resort

Squeezing in every snowy moment at Solitude Mountain Resort

A river adventure to reset your life: Rafting the Grand Canyon

A river adventure to reset your life: Rafting the Grand Canyon

Fishing up old memories and making new ones at Inks Lake State Park

Fishing up old memories and making new ones at Inks Lake State Park

Discover the diversity of LBJ National Grasslands

Discover the diversity of LBJ National Grasslands

Here’s what’s new at resorts for the 2021-22 ski season

Here’s what’s new at resorts for the 2021-22 ski season

A guide to the best kettle ponds on Cape Cod

A guide to the best kettle ponds on Cape Cod

Central Texas Camping Guide

Central Texas Camping Guide

A fall paddle down the Devils

A fall paddle down the Devils

Fort Collins: Paddling, Hiking and Biking, Oh My

Fort Collins: Paddling, Hiking and Biking, Oh My

Women, wind and waves: Surfing for adventure

Women, wind and waves: Surfing for adventure

Explore the gravel roads around Fort Collins on the FoCo Fondo bike ride

Explore the gravel roads around Fort Collins on the FoCo Fondo bike ride

Mountain biking mecca Mesa Verde Country is a must-ride

Mountain biking mecca Mesa Verde Country is a must-ride

Bike to Bentonville for 150 miles of trails and much more

Bike to Bentonville for 150 miles of trails and much more

Colorado’s Calling –– Take a summer trip to this cool state now

Colorado’s Calling –– Take a summer trip to this cool state now

Set your sights on Steamboat Springs this summer

Set your sights on Steamboat Springs this summer

Discovering hints of home in Red River

Discovering hints of home in Red River

Diving into the history of falconry at The Broadmoor

Diving into the history of falconry at The Broadmoor

Becoming a birder at Galveston’s FeatherFest

Becoming a birder at Galveston’s FeatherFest

Adventures Await: Roaming the road in a campervan

Adventures Await: Roaming the road in a campervan

Seminole Canyon’s world-class rock art is a lens to history

Seminole Canyon’s world-class rock art is a lens to history

For every season: A house divided over Estes Park, Colorado

For every season: A house divided over Estes Park, Colorado

Plan Your Outdoorsy Adventure

Plan Your Outdoorsy Adventure

Discover history and simple pleasures in Baffin Bay

Discover history and simple pleasures in Baffin Bay

Escape crowds and capture memories in snowy Southwest Montana

Escape crowds and capture memories in snowy Southwest Montana

What to know before you book a ski trip during a pandemic

What to know before you book a ski trip during a pandemic

Go to Red Mountain for $10 cat skiing, a barrel-shaped sauna and zero crowds

Go to Red Mountain for $10 cat skiing, a barrel-shaped sauna and zero crowds