Places to Visit: Balmorhea State Park

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balmorheaBalmorhea State Park, a 46 acre site is located near Balmorhea, TX in the foothills of the Davis Mountains in the Big Bend Country region of Texas. Visitors can enjoy swimming, picnicking, and camping. Along with motel-type accommodations, the park’s main attraction is a large (77,053 sq. ft.) artesian spring pool that is open daily and fed by San Solomon Springs. The springs also fill a ‘cienega’ (desert wetland) and the canals of a refugium, home to endangered species of fish, assorted invertebrates, and turtles. The pool differs from most public pools in several respects: the 1 3/4-acre size, the 25-foot depth and the 72 to 76 degree constant temperature. It also has a variety of aquatic life in its clear waters. With a capacity of more than 3 1/2 million gallons, the pool has plenty of room for swimmers, while offering a unique setting for scuba and skin diving.

History:

Situated about four miles west of Balmorhea, Texas, the 45.9-acre Balmorhea State Park was constructed by Company 1856 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, between 1936 and 1941. The CCC was established as a New Deal program by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression as a way to employ people that would have otherwise been out of work.

Natural Features:

San Solomon Springs has provided water for travelers for thousands of years. Artifacts indicate Indians used the spring extensively before white men came to the area. In 1849, the springs were called Mescalero Springs for the Mescalero Apache Indians who watered their horses along its banks. The present name was given by the first settlers, Mexican farmers who used the water for their crops and hand-dug the first irrigation canals.

The 77,053 square ft San Solomon Spring is the focal point of Balmorhea State Park. From 22 to 28 million gallons of water flow through the spring-fed swimming pool each day.

The Balmorhea State Park Cienega Project, which recreated a desert wetland in West Texas. The cienega now serves not only as an attractive habitat for endangered fish and other aquatic life, birds and other animals, but also as a tourism draw for Balmorhea State Park.

 

Camping:

Maximum 8 people per campsite unless otherwise noted. Applicable daily entrance fees are charged in addition to the campsite or facility fee.

6 – Campsites with water:
$11 per night.

16 – Campsites with electric and water hookups:
$14 per night.

12 – Campsites with electric, water and cable TV hookups:
$17 per night.


San Solomon Spring Courts – 18 motel rooms

All rooms at San Solomon Courts are now designated as non-smoking. Price is based on double occupancy. Each Additional Adult is $7. No extra charge for additional children 12 years of age and under, staying in the room. No entrance fee is charged to motel room occupants.

2 – Rooms with 2 double beds:
$60

6 – Rooms with 3 double beds:
$75

10 – Rooms with 2 double beds and a kitchen:

$80

Day Use Facilities:

Group Dining / Meeting Hall / Lecture Hall with a capacity of 50. This facility has 2 restrooms, a large seating area, a kitchen with cook-top, refrigerator, sinks and counter:
$70 per day.

Swimming Pool:
No lifeguards on duty; Swim at your own risk year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. The gate to the pool and pool area will be locked at sunset. Check with the park for details and rules. No Charge for swimming. There are scuba tank services nearby in the town of Toyahvale. An activity fee applies to students enrolled in scuba diving classes.

Seasons and Hours:

The park is open 7 days a week year round with the busiest times from March through Labor Day.

Entrance Fees:

  • $7 per day, per person 13 and older
  • Group School-Sponsored Trip:
    Contact the Park to make arrangements.

Special entrance rates for:

  • Holders of:
    • Texas State Parks Pass.
    • Youth Group Annual Entrance Permit.
    • Texas Parklands Passport (Bluebonnet Pass)
  • Children 12 and under (free)

 

Elevation:

3205 Feet

Weather:

May to September has warm days with cool nights. Bring a light jacket. Low humidity year round. Average rainfall is approximately 14 inches. August often wettest month.

Contact Information:

Balmorhea State Park

P O Box 15
Toyahvale TX 79786
(432) 375-2370

Nearby Attractions:

Nearby points of interest are Davis Mountains State Park, Indian Lodge, Fort Davis National Historic Site, McDonald Observatory, Replica of Judge Roy Bean’s West of the Pecos Museum, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, Sul Ross State University; Museum of the Big Bend, the Mystery Marfa Lights, Anne Riggs Museum; Rooney Park; and Ste. Genevieve Vineyard/Winery. Other nearby places to visit include Fort Davis, Fort Stockton, Pecos and Van Horn.

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