1. Balmorhea State Park – Balmorhea, TX
If you happen to be driving 60 miles west of Fort Stockton and find yourself desiring a nice way to cool down, you’ll be in luck. You’d be around the corner from Balmorhea State Park; the world’s largest spring fed pool. Not only is it huge, it’s in the middle of the desert. Along with providing humans 72 degree water, year-round, it’s home to fish, turtles, and various other creatures.
There are even retro motor-court style cabins for folks who’d like to spend a few days at the park. Admission is $7, which considering you’re in the desert, is a small price to pay to escape the west Texas heat.
2. Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, TX
This spring-fed swimming hole in northwest Wimberley, Texas still flies under the radar after all these years. On any given summer day, you won’t find more than 20-30 people down here, which is a great thing. Nestled in a thick area of trees and shrubs, there’s plenty of shade from the hot Texas sun if you just want to watch folks who decide to take a big jump in to the well.
The opening of the well is about 12 feet wide, and it descends 35 feet, before descending another 120 feet at an angle in to caves. Diving in to the underwater caves isn’t recommended though, even for experience SCUBA folks, so if you do go, stick to swimming and enjoying the pool this spring has created.
3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX
At first glance, Hamilton Pool looks like it belongs on another planet. We’re always saying Texas is like nowhere else, and this is exactly why. Hamilton Creek spills over the top creating a 50-foot waterfall in to the shaded pool below. Bring a towel to grab some sun on the shore, or some goggles to swim. Either way, don’t leave your sun-block at home. Sunburns are no fun.
On occasion, the pool is closed due to weather or trail conditions, so it’s always smart to call ahead at (512) 264-2740 to verify that they’ll be open that day.