Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   




Swim With the Fishes

At Balmorhea’s San Solomon Springs, the water gushes forth at a rate of 15 million gallons a day. In the desert, this invaluable resource sustains unique wildlife and human habitation. That’s no mirage.

It’s enough to fill over 300,000 bathtubs or provide 10-minute showers for over 500,000 people. But, come on, we know that’s not the highest and best use of these crystal-clear waters. Instead, they fill the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.

Those waters, which stay at 72 to 76 degrees year-round, feel especially refreshing on a hot summer day.

Snorkeling is one of the best ways to experience Balmorhea, offering an up-close look at the pool’s underwater world.

Snorkelers can swim with turtles, pupfish and schools of minnows, and look for catfish patrolling the deep. It’s like swimming in an aquarium. The dive mask provides a clear view through the water; the snorkel means you don’t have to come up for air and can have uninterrupted time gazing at underwater life.

As you snorkel through the 1.3-acre pool, you’re likely to come face to face with a fish, and if you dive down, you can explore the pool’s rocky bottom. The pool, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is up to 25 feet deep.

San Solomon Springs has provided water for humans and animals for thousands of years. After the water leaves the pool, it flows downstream through cienegas (desert wetlands) and canals, providing habitat for several endangered species. 

Hooray for Balmorhea

Balmorhea State Park hosts thousands of visitors each year, most of whom come to cool off in the pool. At present, only the swimming pool and day-use areas are open. The rest of the park is closed for renovations.


Have a picnic

Spread out a blanket or grab a picnic table to enjoy lunch outdoors while you take a break from the pool.


Jump off the board

Cannonball! Jump or dive off the CCC-built big board or two shorter ones for a big splash into the pool.


Shop the store

The park store sells T-shirts, souvenirs and swimming and snorkeling accessories to enhance or commemorate your visit.

Balmorhea State Park

  9207 Texas Highway 17,
Toyahvale, TX 79786

  Park Admission $7;
Kids 12 and under: Free


  (432) 375-2370

Day passes purchased in advance are recommended for summer months, weekends and holidays.

 Russell Roe   Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

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