At the height of sweltering Texas summer months, refuge is found at an oasis in the West Texas desert. Offering visitors camping, lodging and outdoor activities, Balmorhea State Park boasts over 40 acres of desert land in the foothills of the Davis Mountains. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., this popular desert destination is known for its natural spring-fed pool, large picnic areas and award-winning restored wetland.
While swimming is popular among park visitors, visitors aren’t monitored by on-duty lifeguards and are required to swim at their own risk in the spring-fed pool. Swimming is free of charge and offered daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
To the surprise of many first time Balmorhea State Park visitors, scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities abound. The San Solomon Springs stay at a year round temperature of 72 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the most relaxing scuba diving experiences in the Lone Star State. A minimum of two snorkelers are allowed in the Springs between 8 a.m. and sunset. For nighttime scuba diving, visitors are required to pay $5 at the park’s front desk to scuba and snorkel until 10 p.m. Scuba diving and snorkeling lessons are available – check with the Balmorhea State Park front desk for more information or call 1-800-792-1112.
Camping and Adobe Motel-Style Lodging
Numbered camping sites are available for a fee to visitors eager to enjoy the great outdoors. The sites offer clean restrooms with showers and fire rings (ground fires and fire wood gathering are strictly prohibited) for overnight camping. Coolers loaded with food and refreshing beverages are a common sight at Balmorhea State Park during June – September, peak times to visit. Gas grills are permitted in designated areas for cooking and grilling. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited.
Motel-style lodging is also available to those unfamiliar with roughing it in the West Texas desert. San Solomon Springs Court offers bedrooms for visitors seeking Old West charm. Priced from $75 to $95, depending on the size of the visiting party and bed size preference, the adobe motel has electricity and cable TV available.
Restored Desert Wetland Observation
Home to endangered fish species, the Pecos Gambusia and Comanche Springs Pupfish, the San Solomon Cienega is an award-winning restored wetland. The Cienega is popular migratory location for several bird species and home to marine life and native-to-Texas wildlife such as deer, water fowl, javelin, hawks, roadrunners and more.
Visiting and observation of the wetland is included in the park’s entrance fee. Fishing and swimming are prohibited in the San Solomon Cienega to protect its delicate ecosystem.
Know Before You Go
Located in Toyahvale, Balmorhea State Park gets its namesake from the city of Balmorhea 4 miles southwest of it in Reeves County. Due to its growing popularity the park has limited parking and entry. The Mystery Marfa Lights, McDonald Observatory and the Chihuahuan Desert Ranch Institute are popular attractions located near the state park for visitors to enjoy.
Ideal for day trips and overnight camping experiences, Balmorhea State Park offers picnic sites, outdoor sporting areas and a playground for children. Camping and lodging fees are separate. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times while camping in Balmorhea State Park, and are not allowed in the pool area or motel rooms.
To learn more about this West Texas watering hole and campsite, visit Texas Parks and Wildlife – Balmorhea State Park today.