McKinney Falls State Park

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11 Best Swimming Holes in Austin

June 22, 2020

UPDATED FOR SUMMER 2020

Best Swimming Holes In Austin

This article has been updated to reflect swimming holes that are open for summer 2020 but please make sure to call ahead and double-check hours of operation. 

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 including both man-made pools and natural swimming holes.

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do In Austin, Texas, Updated 2020

Quick guide to the best swimming holes in Austin

 

McKinnney Falls

McKinney Falls State Park

Located conveniently 13-miles from the Austin state capitol is McKinney Falls State Park. The state park in Central Texas 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.

COVID-19 UPDATE:

  • Reservations are required
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged.
  • No groups of over 10 people are allowed, except for families or people living in the same household.
  • Maintain at least a six-foot distance from people not in your group.
  • All park headquarters, visitor centers and park stores are closed.

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

PAYMENT: Cash or credit card.

RESERVATIONS: Advance day passes are required during summer 2020, reserve here or calling (512) 389-8900..

HOURS: 8am – 10 pm daily

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls

SEE ALSO: 14 Best Hiking Trails In Austin TX

 

Krause Springs in Austin Texas

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.

There’s an infamous rope swing that you can swing into the water with!

ENTRANCE FEE: $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, krausesprings.net

 

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool

The most popular swimming option in downtown Austin is the spring-fed Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park that feeds into Lady Bird Lake. 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.

Jump off any of the diving boards and enjoy the brisk water on a hot summers day!

COVID-19 UPDATE: Effective Tuesday, June 30, Austin Public Health has recommended the closure of Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool until further notice. Existing pool reservations will be canceled. Austin Public Health will evaluate both facilities. Chlorinated pool facilities will continue to operate according to their posted schedules.

All in-person programming for the month of July will be suspended including sports and fitness programming, summer camps, and cultural programming. In addition, the Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will remain closed. Parks will remain open; however, all amenities (e.g. volleyball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds, disc golf courses, etc) will be closed except for restrooms and water fountains. A full listing of closed facilities will be available at austintexas.gov/parkclosures.

ENTRANCE FEE: $5 for Austin residents and $9 for non-Austin residents.

PAYMENT: Cash and credit card.

RESERVATIONS: None

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

2201 Barton Springs Rd, austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool

 

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.

Deep Eddy Pool is only slightly warmer than Barton Springs Pool because the Colorado River provides the water for this man-made pool.

COVID-19: Effective Tuesday, June 30, Austin Public Health has recommended the closure of Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool until further notice. Existing pool reservations will be cancelled. Austin Public Health will evaluate both facilities. Chlorinated pool facilities will continue to operate according to their posted schedules.

ENTRANCE FEE: $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.

RESERVATIONS: None

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

401 Deep Eddy Ave, austintexas.gov/department/deep-eddy-pool

 

Greenbelt - swimming holes in Austin

Barton Creek 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! This is the most popular spot of all the swimming holes in Austin!

COVID-19: The Barton Creek Greenbelt and Bull Creek Greenbelt reopen on August 8, 2020. 

ENTRANCE FEE: Free!

PAYMENT: Free!

RESERVATIONS: None

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.

 

Sculpture Falls

Sculpture Falls is a hidden swimming hole in Barton Creek Greenbelt but you have to hike to it! Sculpture Falls is also dog-friendly. Park off 360 turn – you’ll see cars parked along the side.

It’s about a 1.5-mile hike to the falls so I highly recommend parking lots of iced water, sunscreen, bug spray, and running shoes. Be careful when you’re walking along the trail as this is a popular area for mountain biking.

When you get to Sculpture Falls, be careful as your crossing the rocks because the rocks are very slippery with algae. If you have water shoes, bring them!

ENTRANCE FEE: Free!

PAYMENT: Free!

RESERVATIONS: None

HOURS: None

 

Hippie Hollow in Austin Texas | swimming holes in austin

Hippie Hollow Park

If you’re not familiar with Hippie Hollow, you need to know that clothing is optional. Yup and it took me 10 years living in Austin and my 30th birthday to muster up the courage to visit Hippie Hollow and go nude. I will say that it was quite feeling to be nude in and suntan and jump into Lake Travis.

Definitely add Hippie Hollow to your swimming holes in Austin list. 

COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently closed.

ENTRANCE FEE: $8 per person.

RESERVATIONS: None

AMENITIES:

  • Clothing optional
  • Designated swimming area
  • Drinking water
  • Nature and hiking trails
  • Paved ADA accessible trail
  • Restrooms

HOURS: Every day from 9am – 5:30pm.

7000 Comanche Trail, parks.traviscountytx.gov/parks/hippie-hollow

 

Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, Texas | swimming holes in austin

Hamilton Pool Preserve

COVID-19 UPDATE: currently closed

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.

ENTRANCE FEE: $10 reservation fee – paid online with a 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 springs, TX, parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamilton-pool

 

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.

ENTRANCE FEE: $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 recommended since they’re usually at full capacity.

HOURS: 10am – 8pm daily

1699 Mount Sharp Road, Wimberley, Texas 78676, visitwimberley.com/jacobswell/

 

Blue Hole in Wimberely Texas | swimming holes in austin

Blue Hole At Wimberley

I was blown away by how beautiful Blue Hole At Wimerbrley is – the clear water allows you to see the bottom and all the fish swimming around! 

Blue Hole Regional Park is a 126-acre park that’s a gem in the Texas Hill Country. The park includes approximately 4.5 miles of trails, picnic areas, a community pavilion, playscape, basketball court, sand volleyball court, amphitheater, and the Blue Hole Swimming Area. The entire park is open to visitors within the regular operating hours, however, swimming is only allowed during the designated swimming season.

Guests are permitted to bring food and beverages (no glass or alcohol), coolers, pool floats, and shade canopies (10X10) into the swimming area. Blue Hole is worth is as a day trip.

ENTRANCE FEE: $10 for adults, $6 for children aged 4-13, $6 for seniors above 60, and free for military.

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

RESERVATIONS: Reservations are required.

RULES:

  • All swimming is at your own risk.
  • Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • No dogs, cats, or other animals allowed in the swim area. Service animals are allowed.
  • No glass containers.

HOURS: 8am to dusk every day of the week.

100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, TX

RELATED: 14 Best Hiking Trails In Austin TX

 

Blue Hole In Georgetown Texas | swimming holes in austin

Blue Hole In Georgetown Texas

I just went to Blue Hole in Georgetown recently! While the water isn’t clear like Blue Hole in Wimberley, it’s a closer drive and it is dog-friendly. There were a lot of people barbecuing with tents set up when we were there. I recommend going during the week so it’s not as busy and bringing a floatie to float on.

Blue Hole Park is a scenic lagoon bordered by limestone bluffs along the South Fork of the San Gabriel River. Stagecoach Inn is located just 25 minutes from Blue Hole if you want to stay the night and explore the area!

COVID-19 UPDATE: currently closed 

ENTRANCE FEE: free

RESERVATIONS: none

RULES:

  • Groups may not exceed 10 individuals.
  • Water recreation equipment should be cleaned and sanitized before and after use.
  • All swimming is at your own risk.
  • Diving or jumping from cliff or rock face on City parkland
  • Blocking trail from public access
  • No parking in undesignated areas
  • No fires in undesignated grills or fire pits
  • No indecent or abusive language or activity, which creates a public nuisance
  • No vandalizing or defacing any structure, facility, or natural feature
  • No pets off-leash on land or in water
  • No entering park after dusk

HOURS: 6am to 9pm every day of the week.

100 Blue Hole Park, Georgetown, TX

1
Krause Springs
2
Hamilton Pool Preserve
3
Jacob’s Well
4
Barton Springs Pool
5
Deep Eddy Pool
6
Blue Hole at Wimberely
7
McKinney Falls State Park
8
Hippie Hollow
Check out my other content @atasteofkoko on Jumprope.

WRITTEN BY:

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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