Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale, Texas (Reeves County)

Download a Park MapMake Reservations at the Park

About the State Park

San Solomon Springs, Balmorhea, West Texas | Photo credit: Lars Plougmann

San Solomon Springs, Balmorhea, West Texas | Photo credit: Lars Plougmann

Balmorhea State Park is located on the San Solomon Springs near Balmorhea, Texas, in Reeves County. Activities include: birding, camping, geocaching, nature study, picnicking, swimming (no lifeguard), SCUBA diving, skin diving, nature study, and wildlife observation.

The park is best-known for its 1.75-acre, 3.5-million gallon spring-fed swimming pool which was built around San Solomon Springs in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). As the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, Balmorhea’s pool is not chlorinated–15 million gallons of freshwater flow into the pool daily. A popular swimming and SCUBA diving location, the pool’s water ranges from 72 to 76°F year-round with a maximum depth of more than 25 feet. More about swimming & diving in the pool (via TPWD)

The natural pool is home to a variety of aquatic plants and fish, and the manmade cienegas (desert wetlands) support fish, birds, and wildlife such as white-tailed deer, javelina, ground squirrels, lizards, Monarch butterflies, and dragonflies.

History

Human occupation of the area dates back to prehistoric times. In the early 1800s, the Mescalero Indians farmed corn near the springs. After the Civil War, Mexican farmers irrigated their fields from San Solomon Springs which, at the time, reportedly flowed with 22 million gallons of water daily. In 1915, Balmorhea Dam and Lake were created. 1

In addition to building the park’s stone-walled pool, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a concession building, two bath houses, San Solomon Courts (rental cabins), and other park improvements. For more information on the CCC’s work at Balmorhea State Park, visit The Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s collection of 125 architectural and survey drawings from the park.

Location

The park is located four miles southwest of Balmorhea on State Highway 17 in Toyahvale in southeastern Reeves County.

Hours

Open 7 days a week year-round from 8 AM to 10 PM for day use activities. Pool hours: 8 AM to 7:30 PM or sunset, whichever comes first.

Check for restricted park access before any trip.

Fees

A park entrance fee is charged per day — $7 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Listed fees may be inaccurate at certain times of year due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.)

Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

Visit parks often? Learn about the $70 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts the passholder, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

Reservations

Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD’s Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Events

Check the Wild Texas Events Calendar for activities scheduled at the park.

Toyahvale, Texas Weather

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Official Contact Information

The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Balmorhea State Park
P.O. Box 15
Toyahvale, TX 79786

Telephone: (432)375-2370
TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112




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Notes:

  1. Handbook of Texas Online, Christopher Long, “Abilene State Park,” accessed May 20, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gka05.

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