Balmorhea State Park is a lively place to visit with impressive natural phenomena and an interesting history behind it all. Not only does Balmorhea State Park have the largest spring-fed swimming pool right here in the Texas desert, but it’s also fed by San Solomon Springs, which is the largest spring in the surrounding area. San Solomon Springs has been helpful in providing water to wildlife and humans for thousands of years, but it wasn’t turned into a park until the late 1930s. 46 acres were set aside for preservation, and not only did the area benefit from it, but the building of the park helped those suffering during the Great Depression by giving them paying jobs. This park is well known for the San Solomon Springs and the pool that was built around it, so where does the name of the park come from? Turns out, there were four men known for forming an irrigation company here and their names were E.D. Balcom, H.R. Morrow, Joe Rhea, and John Rhea. The name “Balmorhea” was created in their honor by creatively combining all four last names.
Nowadays, this park is the perfect summer RV vacation spot where you can cool off from the hot 90 degree desert heat. Nothing quite beats a dip in a pool on a hot day. Even in the dead of winter, temperatures can get as high as in the 60s, which is warm enough for a quick dip if you’re brave enough. In fact, the water stays between 72 and 76 degrees year-round. Whenever you decide to bring your RV here, you’ll be guaranteed a fun time.
RV Rentals in Balmorhea State Park
Transportation in Balmorhea State Park
Getting to the park in an RV is easy as far as navigating goes - the parking options are where you might run into a few bumps. Due to the park’s small size, there aren’t many roadways to drive on, but the roads that are inside the park are made to accommodate large vehicles and RVs with ease.
Due to the small size of the park, parking is very limited and easily becomes overcrowded. For all vehicles, if you’re just visiting for the day, you’ll likely have to park outside the park entrance and walk the rest of the way in. You can park on the side of the bordering country road, or on private property across the highway, with permission of course. If you are coming to RV camp, you may have a difficult time fitting larger RVs in the back-in sites, but the pull-through sites should work just fine.
Campgrounds and parking in Balmorhea State Park
Campsites in Balmorhea State Park
Campsites at Balmorhea State Park
In the last few years, Balmorhea State Park has received more attention than its size can handle. There are only 33 total campsites inside the park, and while they may be available as walk-up or first-come, first-served, making reservations is highly recommended in order to ensure that you get a spot. Sometimes making reservations months ahead of time is required in order to get a spot during the busiest summer months. Most of the RV sites are pull-through, but there are some that are back-in. The back-in sites are not recommended for larger RVs, but the pull-through sites can accommodate just about any size.
Most of the sites do have water and electricity available. 11 of them even have cable TV that you can access while camping here. If you’re willing to do without the electricity and cable TV, there are 6 sites with water hookups only. Whichever campsite you choose, you’ll be guaranteed a picnic table at the site and restrooms nearby.
While the campsites that you’ll find in the park are available for walk-up, it is highly recommended that you make reservations in advance, as there are no guarantees that sites will be available without reservations. If you do choose to do a walk-up here, you may want to do it during the off season when there are not as many people visiting the park. Balmorhea State Park is very popular, and the 46 acres that it contains can only hold so many campers
San Solomon Springs Courts
If you wish to stay somewhere a little nicer than in your RV when you visit, you can choose to stay in a room here. If it’s just you and your significant other, a one bed bedroom might do just the thing. There are only two of these available though, so you may want to reserve them ahead of time. If you’ve brought more company or just want something a little bigger, you should check out the three bed suites. These are more popular, and there are 16 of them total. These are perfect for family vacations, but keep in mind that the price goes up for each person staying. Whether you choose a one bed or three bed court, you’ll have a mini-fridge, microwave, and TV, along with the essentials like electricity, water, and bathrooms. The San Solomon Springs Courts are the perfect place to stay for a romantic getaway or family vacation.
Seasonal activities in Balmorhea State Park
Junior Ranger Program
When you visit Balmorhea State Park, your child has the opportunity to become a junior ranger and learn all about the park. They can even get a free junior ranger journal and get a junior ranger explorer pack that they can take with them on all of their adventures in the park.
If you’re looking for a great spot to host a family get-together such as a family reunion or birthday party, you can reserve the group hall here at the park. It holds up to 50 people, has a large seating area, and has restrooms available. You’ll also have access to a stove, a refrigerator, and a kitchen sink.
When you visit the park, you’ll be immersed in the unique desert wetlands, which is home to some unique species of fish such as the Comanche Springs Pupfish and a rare species of catfish. You might also get to see some deer, squirrels, and javelina. The spring and summer are perfect times to try to spot these animals.
In order to scuba dive here, you’ll need to either be a certified scuba diver or come with someone else who is certified. The scuba diving opportunities that you’ll find here are not exactly for beginners, but there are lots of opportunities and possibilities for the more experienced scuba divers.
This is by far the biggest and most popular attraction to the park. This spring-fed pool is up to 25 feet deep in some spots, and the temperature of the water tends to remain around 72 to 76 degrees year-round. It’s the perfect place to cool off and create fun-filled summertime memories with the whole family.
Going for a Picnic
You won’t have to worry about having to find a shady spot to have a picnic when it’s only 60 or 70 degrees. The days during the colder months are the perfect temperature for eating hot or cold food, and there are plenty of spots to set up your meal in the park.
Near the playground, there is also a basketball court. Practice your hoop skills, or challenge the whole family or group of friends to a game. When you visit during the off season, it’ll be much easier to focus on all the fun without the heat of summer making you stop for a break.
Playing on the Playground
Let your kids get out some of their energy at the playground after a nice picnic with the rest of your group. You can also just swing on the swing sets if you feel like it. There’s nothing quite like a simple swing every now and then, and when you come during the off season, the heat isn’t nearly as bad either.
This modern-day version of a treasure hunt is the perfect way to get the kids and teens as excited as you are about exploring the park. You can download the GPS coordinates on your phone and head out to see who can find the most geocaches in and around the park.
During the off season is when you can find not only the birds that are native to the area, but also all of the migratory birds that are visiting for the wintertime. The springs are the perfect place to spot waterfowl, giving you ample opportunities to identify different kinds of birds and maybe even snap some pictures of them.