McKinney Falls State Park

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7 Best Swimming Holes in Austin

August 12, 2016

Best Swimming Holes In Austin

Austin has been reaching an all-time high in temperatures this summer and it’s not slowing down. I’ve rounded up the best swimming holes in Austin to cool off!

SEE ALSO: Ahi Tuna Poké With The Perfect Chips


McKinnney Falls

swimming holes in Austin: MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK

Located conveniently 13 miles from the Austin state capitol, McKinney Falls State Park offers camping, hiking, mountain or road biking, geocaching, bouldering, picnicking, fishing and swimming. You can swim at Upper Falls and Lower Falls at McKinney Falls. Upper Falls has deeper and slower water, whereas Lower Falls has faster running water and the famous waterfall (pictured above). Plenty of people were jumping off the cliff into the water so just be careful because there’s rocks underneath. Dani Austin did but I was too scared and munched happily on my Way Better Snacks. 🙂

COST: $6 for adults and children 12 years and under are free.

PAYMENT: Cash or credit card.

RESERVATIONS: Optional – I didn’t make reservations when I went and the park was pretty empty during the work week. However, if you go during the weekend, make reservations here.

HOURS: 8am – 10 pm daily

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744,


Krause Springs in Austin Texas

swimming holes in Austin: KRAUSE SPRINGS

Founded in 1955, Krause Springs is a popular swimming hole located 34 miles west of Austin in Spicewood. I’ve gone twice this summer and it’s truly a tropical oasis with a beautiful mini waterfall and swinging rope. There are 32 springs on the property that feed the manmade pool and the natural pool, which flows into Lake Travis. Krause Springs even has 24 RV sites with water and electricity available. Bring a picnic or grab some barbecue at Opie’s BBQ before you head in.

COST: $8 per Adult (12+ years), $5 per Child (4-11 years), FREE for children under 4 years.

PAYMENT: Cash only.

RESERVATIONS: Not applicable.

HOURS:  9am – sunset daily.

404 Krause Spring Rd, Spicewood, TX 78669,


Barton Springs Pool

swimming holes in Austin: BARTON SPRINGS POOL

The most popular swimming option in Austin is Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park. The water averages a chilly 68 – 70°F all year-round so be prepared. The pool is filled with water from the nearby natural springs so don’t be surprised if you see fish and the endangered Barton Springs salamander swimming alongside you. No food, coolers, smoking, or alcohol is permitted.

COST: $5 for Austin residents and $9 for non-Austin residents.

PAYMENT: Cash and credit card.


HOURS: Open 5am – 10pm every day except closed Thursdays from 9am – 7pm for cleaning

2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746,


Deep Eddy Pool

swimming holes in Austin: DEEP EDDY POOL

This historic swimming pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas and has a bathhouse built during the Depression-era. You can swim in the lap swimming pool or the large wading pool. Feel free to bring a floatie and float the summer away, I did! Food isn’t allowed but there is a Jim Jim’s Water Ice stand at the pool.

COST: $3 for Austin residents and $8 for non-Austin residents, $2 for junior (12-17 years) residents and $4 for junior non-Austin residents, free for children under 1 year.

PAYMENT: Cash only.


HOURS: Open weekdays 8am – 10pm for lap swim, 10am – 8pm recreational swim, and weekends 8am – 8pm

401 Deep Eddy Ave, Austin, TX 78703,



swimming holes in Austin: GREENBELT

The trail is 12+ miles long so it can be challenging to find the best entry point. Check out Thrillist’s guide to navigating the Greenbelt. My go-to is the Loop 360 access point at 3755-B Capital of Texas Hwy. It’s about a 45 minute hike to Twin Falls. Be sure to pack plenty of cold water and snacks. It’s dog-friendly too!

COST: Free!



HOURS: There are no specific hours for Greenbelt but I’d recommend going when the sun is up since there are no lights on the trail. City curfew hours are 5am–10pm.


Hamilton Pool

swimming holes in Austin: HAMILTON POOL

Hamilton Pool is famous for it’s a beautiful jade green swimming pool with a 50-foot waterfall. Some parts of the pool can get as cold as 50 degrees. No drinking water or concessions are available, and there is no lifeguard on duty so please swim at your own risk. No pets are allowed since Hamilton Pool is a natural preserve with emphasis on habitat protection and restoration. There are well-marked hiking trail leads from the parking lot to Hamilton Creek.

COST: $10 reservation fee – paid online with credit card, not refundable. Entry fees are an additional $15 per vehicle, or $5 per vehicle if the vehicle has a senior citizen (62 years) or a disabled vet (60%).

PAYMENT: Cash and local checks, no credit cards.

RESERVATIONS: Required, reserved here. Do not drive there without a reservation.

HOURS: 9am – 1pm and 2 – 6pm daily, weather permitting.

24300 Hamilton Pool Rd. Dripping Spgs, TX,



swimming holes in Austin: JACOB’S WELL

Even though it’s been voted one of the most dangerous places to dive on Earth (it’s claimed the lives of more than eight divers), Jacob’s Well is a very popular swimming spot in Texas and for this reason it’s called “the gem of Texas Hill Country” for its unique coloring and caving system, which provides a super cool diving experience. No scuba diving, camping, or pets are allowed.

COST: $9 per person for adults, $5 for Hays County residents, $4 for children 5-12 years old, and free for children 4 and under.

PAYMENT: Credit/debit cards only, no cash or check.

RESERVATIONS: Required, reserve here. You can do walk-ins but it’s not recommend since they’re usually at full capacity.

HOURS: 10am – 8pm daily

1699 Mount Sharp Road, Wimberley, Texas 78676,


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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