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  • Balmorhea SP, TX


    Balmorhea State Park is located in west Texas a few miles south of I-10 in the little hamlet of Toyahvale, southwest of Balmorhea. It is a small park of 46 acres that offers camping and motel accomodations. Its big draw is a huge swimming pool fed by a hot spring.


    The park staff in the office was very friendly and efficient. It didn't take long to purchase our annual Texas Parks Pass, pay for our site and be on our way to site 9.

    Date of visit: Feb 2014

    Sites 10-19. Sites 15-19 have only water hookups; all other sites in the park have E/W hookups.

    Most sites have a cabana over the picnic table, although there are several pull-throughs that do not. These are sites 30 and 28.

    Sites 27 amd 26 are also pull-throughs; 27 does not have a shaded table.

    Sites 1-3.

    Sites 23-26.

    The bathhouse is centrally-located in the campground. It's heated and offers free hot showers with a shared dressing area.

    The park offers an 18-unit motel. Some of the units include an efficiency kitchen. Units 13-18 face south and are along the main irrigation canal. This little waterfall provides some pleasant background noise as you fall asleep at night.

    The park's cornerstone is a hot spring-fed swimming pool, the largest man-made swimming pool in the world. The 72-76 degree water comes from an underground aquifer at the rate of a million gallons an hour. In the 1870's, the spring was first used as a source for an irrigation system, a practice still in use. This picture shows about a third of the huge Vee-shaped pool. This is the deeper leg of the Vee, where the depth reaches 25'. The other leg, intended for the kids, is only 3'-5' deep.

    A few years ago the park re-established an unusual desert wetland called a cienega. The original cienega that surrounded the spring was destroyed when the swimming pool was built by the CCC in 1935. Some of the water from the pool is channeled through this area, providing a haven for various creatures and plants.

    On one side of the cienega is this sunken walkway with windows that let visitors watch the underwater life. The only problem is that the windows are covered with algea and one can barely see inside.


    34 sites: 29 W/E ($14), 5 W ($11)

    PLUS: $7/person daily entrance fee

    Dump station available

    Verizon Broadband Access (EVDO) service

    Coord: 30.944414 N, 103.783294 W

    Activities/Nearby Attractions

    Hot Springs Swimming Pool

    McDonald Observatory

    Fort Davis

    balmorhea map