Top 18 Best Swimming Holes in Texas

texas swimming holes

Best Texas Swimming Holes

Summer in Texas is regarded as a forgettable period of sweltering heat, sweat-soaked clothes, and sunburn. This season can be brutal if you are more than a few feet away from an air conditioning vent, from the deserts of El Paso to the pine forests of East Texas. Don’t worry, my fellow traveler; there are plenty of places you can go to get away from the heat. Texas has a plethora of natural swimming holes, including spring-fed rivers and lakes, that combine refreshingly cool water with scenic beauty. Here are some of our favorites….

Inks Lake State Park – Devil’s Waterhole

Burnet, TX – Hill Country

We’re continuing our list of favorite watering holes with Devil’s Waterhole, which is tucked away in Inks Lake State Park. The views of beautiful rock formations from this reservoir on the Colorado River are well worth the short hike.

You can either take a short hike to it (following clearly marked signs within the park) or paddle to it. This swimming area features the park’s large rocks, which have ledges that rise up to 40 feet above the water. Please keep in mind that, while diving and swimming are permitted at the waterhole, there is no lifeguard on duty, so you must swim at your own risk. In other words, please exercise caution!

Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool

Lampasas, TX – Hill Country

Hancock Springs is a free-flowing pool, which means that the water enters from the cold, artesian spring, fills the pool, and then runs out the other side into Sulfur Creek! This keeps the pool water cool, around 72 degrees!

It feels amazing to be in cold, clear, chemical-free water! Because of the naturally occurring sulfur in the water, there is a slight odor. People have been drawn to these springs for centuries because of the high mineral content of the water, which is thought to have healing properties.

Secret Beach

Austin, TX – Hill Country

Secret Beach in Austin is ideal for taking the kids out during the day or gathering a group of friends for a campfire at night. We’re glad this eponymous beach’s location wasn’t kept a secret for too long. Here’s how to find this must-see local attraction. While the beach’s water isn’t as deep as the swimming holes mentioned, it does have a secluded feel to it, making you feel as if you’ve found a spot to call your own. Even if there are a lot of people, you will feel as if you have stumbled upon a private gathering.

Jacob’s Well

Wimberley, TX – Hill Country

Jacobs Wells serves as the entrance to Texas’s longest underwater cave system. The hole itself is small, only 12 feet across, but nature has carefully crafted it to create a deep enough (35-foot) splash point for those brave enough to leap from the rocks above.

The water is crystal clear and perfectly reflects your intended landing zone. If you prefer to observe this daredevil behavior, the shallows and shade provided by the surrounding trees will keep you cool.

Blue Hole

Wimberley, TX – Hill Country

The Blue Hole is a natural swimming hole fed by Cypress Creek and located just minutes from downtown Wimberley. Blue Hole’s waters are crystal clear, and the combination of the beautiful water and the shade provided by the bald cypress trees that line the river creates an incredibly peaceful atmosphere.

If you’re visiting Blue Hole for the first time, keep in mind that it’s a simple park to navigate. Unlike other swimming holes in the area that require hiking to get to the water, Blue Hole has plenty of parking and a short paved pathway in. Simply check in at the front desk and get wristbands for everyone in your party.

Rio Vista Park

San Marcos, TX – Hill Country

Rio Vista Park is an excellent place to launch a kayak and paddle upstream, or simply swim in the deep watering hole. It’s not uncommon to see people surfing the rapids and sunbathing on the river’s banks.

Rio Vista Park
image via naturerocksaustin.org

This is also where the Lions Club Tube shuttle departs from. Bring your own tube or rent one from the Lions Club at City Park upstream. Restrooms, tennis courts, a half-court basketball court, picnic tables, benches, a pavilion, a city swimming pool, bike and bike trails, and trash cans are among the amenities. There are no entrance or parking fees.

Deep Eddy Pool

Austin, TX – Hill Country

Bring the kids to Deep Eddy, where the water temperature is around 74 degrees all year. This pool is divided into two sections, one of which is emptied into the adjacent Colorado River each night and refilled with fresh, clean water from the Edwards Aquifer. Because the water is changed so frequently, no chlorine or other chemicals are used, which is greatly appreciated by regular swimmers.

There are many regular swimmers, but there are also many newcomers. Lifeguards are on duty at the pool to keep you and your family safe. Although the 74-degree water may appear cold at first, it is easy to adjust to and is extremely refreshing on a hot, sunny day. Deep Eddy was originally a private resort, but the City of Austin has owned it since 1929. A tile mural depicts the pool’s history over the years, and the tree-shaded grass is appreciated by the many families who visit the pool on a regular basis.

Balmorhea State Park

Toyahvale, TX – Big Bend Country

This popular West Texas swimming spot is located approximately six hours west of Austin and is a popular addition to Big Bend vacations. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the San Solomon Springs-fed structure in the 1930s, and it is billed as the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. It has a capacity of 3.5 million gallons and can reach depths of up to 25 feet. The pool is home to two endangered fish species: the Pecos gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish.

Balmorhea Pool has been called the world’s largest spring-fed pool, but that’s debatable, so I’d just say Balmorhea is the best pool in the world. With a constant water temperature of 72-78 degrees and astounding underwater visibility, it’s a literal oasis in the desert, providing a natural, chlorine-free experience that leaves all cement ponds in the dust.

Blue Lagoon

Huntsville TX – Piney Woods

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful swimming spots in Texas, located five miles north of Huntsville and about an hour and a half north of Houston. The Blue Lagoon consists of two crystal clear pools. Two former limestone quarries were used to create these pools. The water here is clear and blue-green, making it ideal for swimming and scuba diving.

Blue Lagoon
image via facebook

The Blue Lagoon looks like it belongs in a tropical location, with its crystal clear blue waters. This swimming hole, on the other hand, isn’t as alive as a typical tropical swimming hole. The Blue Lagoon is devoid of vegetation and aquatic life. Only one species lives in these waters: the dragonfly nymph, which resembles a shrimp.

Pedernales Falls

Johnson City, TX – Hill Country

I took the short hike to the “scenic overlook” that extends out toward the falls, which provided an amazing view. I then made my way down the steps to the rocks at the falls/river. Keep in mind that if you’re out of shape or don’t exercise much, those steps can be difficult to climb back up. I finished my time there and drove to the pool. Very pretty, but there are a lot of rocks in the swimming area. Restrooms and a picnic area are also available. Just be aware that the trail to the swimming area can be quite steep at times.

Krause Springs

Spicewood, TX – Hill Country

Krause Springs  is a man-made pool fed by 32 springs that produce a constant flow of 68-degree water that spills over the edge of the pool, off a steep cliff, and into a grotto below. A staircase leads down to the swimming hole, where the time-honored ritual is revealed: Bake on the smooth river rocks until done, then cool off in the cool waters shaded by towering cypress trees, and repeat all day.

Rio Vista Park – San Marcos River

San Marcos, TX – – Hill Country

About an hour’s drive north of San Antonio in San Marcos, just off I-35, is home to the Rio Vista Park. There are lovely trees for hanging your hammock or having a picnic in the shade. Rio Vista has a small waterfall down which you can slide; flotation is recommended for weak swimmers and younger children. Tubes/shuttles can be rented, but there is no admission fee.

I was taken aback by how deep the water was and how powerful the current was. If you or your children are not strong swimmers, this may not be the best option. Take care when descending the rock slide. Despite the fact that I busted my knee on a rock, this place was incredible, and I can’t wait to return.

Hancock Pool

Lampasas, TX

Hancock Spring
image via lampasas.org

The pool at Hancock Park is one-of-a-kind. It is a piece of Lampasas history, built in the early 1900s, and a summertime recreation spot for every kid who has grown up here since then. Hancock Park was the first Baptist Encampment in Central Texas, and people traveled long distances to be baptized in the cool spring waters. It is fed by a large spring, which keeps the water at a consistent cool 69 degrees all year. This pool has been named one of the top ten tourist attractions in Texas to visit for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day by Texas Highways. During the pool season, Hancock Pool is open Thursday through Sunday.

Garner State Park

Concan, TX – Hill Country

The Frio River is spring-fed and maintains a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year. Its name derives from the fact that it is cold, as Frio means cold in Spanish. A little more than two miles of this crystal clear water flows through Garner State Park, providing plenty of opportunities for swimming. The park rents out a variety of equipment, including kayaks, inner tubes, and paddleboards. These are excellent alternatives for those who do not wish to immerse themselves completely in cold water.

For those who enjoy diving in, make sure to check out the various rope swings located on the river’s banks. If you are the first person to jump from a rope, please ensure that the rope is safe and that the water you are jumping into is deep enough.

Hamilton Pool

Dripping Springs, TX – Hill Country

Spicewood Springs – Colorado Bend State Park

Just a couple of hours’ drive northwest of Austin. Colorado Bend State Park is one of the best state parks in Texas, with beautiful waterfalls, gorgeous swimming holes, and fascinating caves. Make your way up Spicewood Springs trail on hot summer days to find a swimming hole for relief from the heat.

Colorado Bend State Park, unlike many others, lacks a single swimming area, such as a lake or grotto. Swimming at this state park opens up a plethora of new possibilities. During the pool season. The higher you go up the trail, the more clear swimming pools of water you’ll come across. The best part is that if you don’t like the first one or it’s too crowded for you, you can keep going until you find the perfect fit.

Tyler State Park

Tyler, TX  – Piney Woods

Tyler State Park is a great place to go fishing, hiking, or just relaxing with your binoculars. Boating, fishing, swimming in the lake, mountain biking, picnicking, camping, bird watching, walking, hiking, and simply enjoying nature are all options. There’s a lot to do.

In the heart of the park, there is a 64-acre spring-fed lake. A canoe, paddleboat, kayak, bike boat, john boat, or paddleboard can be rented. If you prefer fishing, the lake has crappie, perch, catfish, and bass. There are three fishing piers and a boat ramp in the park.

Lake Tejas

Colmesneil, TX  – Piney Woods

Lake Tejas is a campground and family water park in Colmesneil, Texas. We’re on FM 256, just east of Colmesneil. Spend the day with us and your entire family will enjoy a variety of attractions including diving towers, a kiddie area, the Wet Willie, fishing, canoeing, and much more.

The swimming area encompasses 80 yards of sandy beach with a plethora of room to run and play, as well as a buoyed swimming area large enough to accommodate swimmers of all skill levels. Rent a tube or bring your own float and float away from the beach chaos to find your own private spot to tan and socialize. Little ones have their own safe zone with a roped children’s zone, and the high dive tower will take your breath away. The water’s crown jewel is the 100-foot-long “Wet Willy” slide.

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