Balmorhea State Park Overview:
Balmorhea State Park is known for having one of the best swimming holes in Texas which is also the world's largest artesian spring fed swimming pool at 77,053 square feet. The springs also fill a 'cienega' (desert wetland) and the canals of a refugium, home to endangered species of fish, assorted invertebrates, and turtles. You'll also find a motel and campsites.
This 49 acre park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's and opened to the public in 1968. San Solomon Springs has provided water for travelers for thousands of years and today 22 to 28 million gallons of water flow through the spring-fed swimming pool each day.
The terrain if flat and dry and shade trees are limited. The Park is very clean and well maintained.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
The attraction at Balmorhea State Park is the spring fed swimming pool. The pool is 1 3/4 acres, up to 25 feet deep, and has over 3.5 million gallons of cool (a constant 72 to 76 degrees) clear refreshing water. You can swim, scuba dive, or snorkel with a wide variey of aquatic life - the visabilty is fantastic.
The Park has reconstructed a cienega (desert wetland) with a short trail and an underwater viewing area.
If you want to camp there a total of 24 RV and tent sites - some with a shade shelter and water and others with water and electric. Thirteen of the sites are pull-throughs with water, electricity, shade shelter, and cable TV hookups.
If you're not camping, San Solomon Springs Courts is perfect and offers three different types of rooms including some with kitchens. Some of the other amenities at the park include:
- restroom and showers
- Park Store and bathhouse
- playground and basketball court
- picnic area
- historical marker
- group dining or meeting hall
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
We stopped at Balmorhea State Park as part of our two week trip exploring west Texas including Monohans Sanddunes, Big Bend, Lake Amistad, Sonora Caverns, and much more. To read more about this fun trip, click here.
It was late October, but a swim in the pool was cool and refreshing - on a hot day, we could spend a few hours here. The water is really clear and refreshing. We also took the time to walk around the desert wetland (couldn't really see much) and check out the rest of the park. On a hot day, Balmorhea would be a welcome stop for a few hours.
Cool Nearby Activities:
Balmorhea State Park is about 3 miles south of Balmorhea and we're not aware of much to see and do in town. Lake Balmorhea is nearby and it is a small 550 acre lake that is ok for fishing.
Ft Davis is about 30 miles away as is Davis Mountains State Park - a fantastic park with great camping, hiking, and biking. Some of the other nearby fun things to see and do include:
- take a fun and informative tour of McDonald Observatory
- explore Fort Davis Historical Park
- drive the 74 mile scenic loop
- historic Ft Davis is fun to explore
- the scenic Limpia, Madera and Musquiz canyons are nearby
- the ghost town of Shafter is worth a visit
- check out Marfa and play golf at the highest elevation golf course in Texas
- and you're about 120 miles from from Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Additional Pictures of Balmorhea State Park
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more