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USA Parks
Big Bend Country Region
Balmorhea State Park
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Balmorhea State Park Thousands of Fish © Allyson Ricketts
A typical Autumn day in Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale Texas. The water is crystal clear and is ideal for snorkel activities and scuba.
Balmorhea State Park Natural Swimming Paradise © Allyson Ricketts
A typical Autumn day in Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale Texas. The water is crystal clear and is ideal for snorkel activities and scuba.
Balmorhea State Park Snorkel © Allyson Ricketts
A typical Autumn day in Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale Texas. The water is crystal clear and is ideal for snorkel activities and scuba.
Balmorhea State Park Pool 2 © Rob Heiwinkel
View of pool
Balmorhea State Park Picnic areas © Rob Heiwinkel
Well kept picnic areas
Balmorhea State Park Mountains © Rob Heiwinkel
View of Davis Mountains
Balmorhea State Park Park view © Rob Heiwinkel
View of mountains from the park
Balmorhea State Park Balmorhea Pool © Rob Heiwinkel
Pool at Balmorhea state park
Balmorhea State Park © Allyson Ricketts
Balmorhea State Park © Allyson Ricketts
Balmorhea State Park © Allyson Ricketts
Balmorhea State Park First Scuba © Don Williams
Summer 1948 or 1949. Lived in Oklahoma but worked that summer in Odessa. Taken from the position of the current diving board. SCUBA diving with equipment made from surplus aircraft equipment and using pure oxygen.
Availability Search
9207 Texas 17
Toyahvale, Texas   79786
(lat:30.944 lon:-103.7862) map location

Phone: 432-375-2370
Reservations: 512-389-8900
Balmorhea State Park is located on 45.9 acres in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea in Reeves County. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the early 1930s, the park was deeded in 1934 by private owners and Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 1. The park was opened in 1968.
Nature of the Area
The Balmorhea State Park Cienega Project, which recreated a desert wetland in West Texas, has won a 1998 Texas Quality Initiative Award for "innovation" from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and its cooperative partners. Described as a "classic win-win situation by organizations ranging from the Texas Organization for Endangered Species to the Cotton Council, the Balmorhea Cienega Project conceived by the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) was awarded the TQI award for its unprecedented cooperative effort among the local farming community, and a host of state and federal agencies. The pacesetting project spearheaded by TPW fisheries biologist Dr. Gary Garrett brought together such diverse interests as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Agency with the Texas Department of Agriculture, TxDOT, Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Reeves County Water Improvement District #1. Special acknowledgment goes to TPW staff David Riskind, Delton Daugherty, Kelly Bryan, Michael Young, and Tom Johnson.

The cienega now serves not only as an attractive habitat for endangered fish and other aquatic life, birds and other animals, but also as a tourism draw for Balmorhea State Park.
History of the Area
San Solomon Springs has provided water for travelers for thousands of years. Artifacts indicate Indians used the spring extensively before white men came to the area. In 1849, the springs were called Mescalero Springs for the Mescalero Apache Indians who watered their horses along its banks. The present name was given by the first settlers, Mexican farmers who used the water for their crops and hand-dug the first irrigation canals.

Situated about four miles west of Balmorhea, Texas, the 45.9-acre Balmorhea State Park was constructed by Company 1856 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, between 1936 and 1941. The CCC was established as a New Deal program by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression as a way to employ people that would have otherwise been out of work. Many of the state parks in Texas were developed during this time.

The 77,053 square ft San Solomon Spring is the focal point of Balmorhea State Park. From 22 to 28 million gallons of water flow through the spring-fed swimming pool each day. Other CCC structures in the park include a limestone concession building, two wooden bathhouses, an adobe superintendent residence, and San Solomon Courts, an early expression of the modern-day motel, constructed of adobe bricks. All of the CCC buildings are constructed in a Spanish Colonial style with stucco exteriors and tile roofs.

Visitors to Balmorhea State Park can enjoy a swim in the CCC-constructed pool and, if staying overnight, may choose to relax in one of the historic rooms at San Solomon Courts. The lobby of the park office includes several photographs of the CCC at work in what is now Balmorhea State Park. When visiting the park, take time to see what the park property looked like in the late 1930s and what it looks like today. Balmorhea State Park is a substantial monument to the construction skills and hard work of the CCC crew and their supervisors.
Facilities include restrooms with showers; campsites with a shade shelter and water; campsites with a shade shelter, water, and electricity; pull-through campsites with water, electricity, and cable TV hookups; campsites without a shade shelter, with water and electricity.
1. Balmorhea State Park offers a spring-fed swimming pool, open year-round.
2. The park's San Solomon Springs Pool measures 1.75 acres in size.
3. Swimmers can enjoy clear waters with visibility up to 25 feet deep.
4. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities due to the abundant aquatic life present in the springs.
5. Swimming is included with your paid entry into the state park; no additional fees apply for using the pool area.

6. The water temperature remains constant at around 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit all year round making it ideal for winter swims too.

7. Swimming lessons aren't offered by staff but you're free to practice or teach others during operating hours.

8. There are also shallow areas suitable for children and less confident swimmers within this natural freshwater pool.

9. Lifeguards may not always be on duty so visitors should swim responsibly.

10. Picnic tables near swimming area allow families relax while enjoying their day out.

Balmorhea State Park is

1. Balmorhea State Park offers shaded picnic tables for outdoor dining.
2. Grills are available at the park's designated picnic spots.
3. Visitors can enjoy picnicking near the spring-fed pool or wildlife viewing area.
4. The park allows visitors to bring their own food and drinks for a personalized picnic experience.

Area Attractions
Nearby points of interest are Davis Mountains State Park, Indian Lodge, Fort Davis National Historic Site, McDonald Observatory, Replica of Judge Roy Bean's West of the Pecos Museum, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, Sul Ross State University; Museum of the Big Bend, the Mystery Marfa Lights, Anne Riggs Museum; Rooney Park; and Ste. Genevieve Vineyard/Winery.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 15 Emily Marquez by Emily_M
park review stars; one to five
July 7 Awesome little get away by Fernandez Family
park review stars; one to five Family and I just bought a small RV and decided to try it out. Balmorhea State Park is only 3 hours or so from El Paso. I was hesitant at first, but pleasantly surprised! Extremely nice people in town, and at the site. Wild life was cool, pools were awesome. Will go again God willing, kids had a great time.
August 31 Worth Going Back to Over and Again by Kimberly D.
park review stars; one to five This park provides the perfect setting for time with your family and friends; swimming, picnics, hikes, diving; local areas to hunt and fish; as well as the wonderful staff at the park. It makes for year round fun!
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Nearby Hotels

The park is located 4 miles southwest of Balmorhea on State Highway 17, in Toyahvale. From I-10 westbound, take Balmorhea exit (exit #206); FM 2903 south to Balmorhea; State Highway 17 east 4 miles to the Park. From I-10 eastbound, take Toyahvale/Ft. Davis exit (exit #192); Ranch Road 3078 east approximately 12 miles to the park.

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Texas State Parks