Texas Travel

5 Magical Natural Springs in Texas

By Peter Simek 8.26.19

Texas’ lugubrious, hot, lazy summers start early and drag on long into the months where in other states the leaves are beginning to turn. That means Texans have an opportunity to relish the joys of summer longer than most. And there are few better hot-weather pleasures than taking a dip in one of the state’s natural springs.

The crystal clear water of Texas’ spring-fed swimming holes offers some of the most picturesque spots to cool off in the world. So whether you find yourself in bustling Austin or in far West Texas, you’ll find a refreshing spot nearby to take a plunge.

Dive into these five natural springs in Texas for a splash of pure magic.

Barton Springs
Photo by Andrew Fisher

Barton Springs, Austin

You might mistake it for a pool, but Barton Springs’ clear waters are fed from the Edwards Aquifer. That means these spring waters remain a cool 70 degrees year-round. Enjoy them from the shady, picturesque grassy slopes or from the rocks at the pool’s southern edge, where you can spot rare salamanders.

Jacob’s Well, Wimberley

Perhaps the spookiest swimming spot in Texas, the spring-fed pool called Jacob’s Well boasts a dark, circular hole that’s an entrance to the longest underwater cave system in Texas. Just 12 feet across but stretching 23 feet deep (before curving underground and stretching to much farther depths), the well looks like a portal to another dimension. It is only used by daredevils who leap into the deep waters from the towering cliffs above.

Hancock Springs Pool
Photo by Kristy Acevedo

Hancock Springs Pool, Lampasas

Perhaps what lends Hancock Springs Pool its charm is that it hasn’t been as overrun with swimmers as some other natural springs in Texas, although it is Texas’ oldest spring-fed pool. But like Barton Springs and Balmorhea, Hancock is one of the few pools in Texas fed by an artesian spring that fills the pool with cool 70-degree water. When it’s still September and inching close to 100 degrees, nothing feels better.

Balmorhea State Park, Balmorhea

It has been called the single greatest swimming hole in Texas (it’s also the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool), and yet it remains a hidden gem, thankfully, because it takes most Texans a long time to get there. Balmorhea State Park’s 1.3-acre freshwater pool is fed by the San Solomon Springs. A steady flow of water that remains constantly in the low 70s creates a true desert oasis.

Photo by Laura Sacedo

Krause Springs, Spicewood

The 115-acre property where Krause Springs pool sits has been privately owned by the Krause family for more than 50 years. But the family has allowed Texans to retreat to its shady Hill Country oasis for swimming, camping, and relaxing at this perfect spring-fed spot.

Find more of Texas’ natural pools here.

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