Map of Texas Springs
This interactive map shows the Locations and Names, of major springs in Texas. It also shows Wildlife Management Areas and Natural Parks. For more detail zoom in. For more information hover over the map, or scroll down.
Springs of Texas
Caves and caverns, underground my behave as reservoirs of rain water that seep through soil and rock. These places are called aquifers. Some aquifers may give rise to springs.
The places where ground water emerges through seeps and cracks form springs. "Springs are naturally occurring features that convey excess ground water to the land surface; they represent a transition from ground water to surface water." Water can emerge from one or multiple openings USGS.
Springs are important because they are home to invertebrates, fish and amphibians. They are also important because they are the headwaters of many rivers.
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Springs are important site of recreation, and may have historical and cultural significance.
Many springs in Texas are source of municipal or industrial water.
It is known that Texas has more than 3000 springs. This map has 1,891 springs displayed. No one knows for sure the actual number, because 95% of Texas land is private.
Springs are classified according to their average discharge. Large or First Magnitude springs may have around 100ft3/s average water discharge.
10 Must See Springs in Texas
Given the geography of Texas, it is quite common for locals and visitors to go to different springs and swimming holes during the summer months. Here is a list of the most beautiful springs.
San Solomon Spring
San Solomon Spring is located in Balmorhea State Park. Situated in an arid landscape, it is definitely an oasis of green and blue in a dry land.
This is the world's largest spring fed swimming pool with 1.75-acres (0.71 ha).
The largest spring produces up to 20 million gallons (90,850 cubic meters)of water every day. The waters are about 74°F (23°C)!
The central portion of the swimming hole, is about 25 ft (7.6 m).
In the 1930's the pool was constructed by just making the surrounding walls, as well as cemented canals to irrigate local agriculture. The bottom is still natural.
Because the pool was built in the 1930's, it is a historical site. No major changes can be done to it.
Due to its location in a desert, it is a magnet for mammals, fish and migrating birds. Some of the fish include the Comanche Springs pupfish and the Pecos gambusia, both endangered and unique to the area.
The deep pool with crystal clear waters and aquatic life attracts divers from around Texas. Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife
The pool is open year-round and requires a reservation.
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Barton Springs is located in Zilker Park, within the city of Austin, TX. The park has a total of 358 acres of natural surroundings for visitors and swimmers. The pool exists within the channel of Barton Creek.
The pool's average temperature is 68°F (20°C), ideal for year round swimming. Depths of the pool range from 0 to 18ft (0 to 5.4m). Source: Austintexas.org
The pool 3 acres, and it is surrounded by grassy areas open for picnicking and relaxing.
Due to the number of visitors and location, in a highly populated area, the pool has had issues with high bacteria content. Nevertheless, the contamination source has been undetermined. It may be from visitors or it may be from the spring source close to uranized areas.
Contamination is worse during heavy rains and hot summer months.
The pool is closed during flash flood warnings as Barton Creek may flood and overflow the pool. In such occassions, the pool turns into a raging creek.
For active days in Barton Springs this swimsuit, found on Amazon is the perfect choice. Nike Swim Women's Solid Element is ideal for a hike around the spring and plunge right back in the water. It is a swimsuit and shorts all in one.
Located 30 miles west of the city of Austin, TX. Kraus Springs is a popular swimming and camping site.
The property has 32 springs that feed a man-made pool on top of the hill. This pool in turn feeds a natural pool below. The water eventually flows to Lake Travis.
To access the springs you must descend through a staircase. The natural swimming area has a waterfall and a cave.
The area is surrounded by cypress trees and rocks.
The site is 115 acres of private property under the National Registry of Historical Sites. The property also has a butterfly garden worth visiting.
It is open 10 months of the year, and it is possible to tent and BBQ on site. Source: Krausesprings.net
Jacob's Well is in Jacob's Well Natural Area located between the city of Austin and San Antonio. The Natural Area is over 81 Acres.
Jacob's Well is the second largest completely submerged cave in Texas.
Jumping into the deep hole up from the rocks is a surreal experience.
The cavern system has a main cavern 4,341ft in (1.3Km) length and a secondary one that measures 1,314ft (400m). The deepest part of the cavern system is 140ft (42.6m) deep.
The source of the water comes from Trinity Aquifer. The water temperature is a constant 68°F (20°C).
To visit you must come between May and September and make a reservation before arriving. Source: Jacob's Well
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Hancock Springs Pool
This is the oldest spring fed pool in Texas. The water temperatures are about 68°F (20°C).
The pool has a sulfur smell (like rotten eggs). The spring feeds Sulphur Creek, and eventually the Lampasas river. Because of its mineral contents some people believes it can heal anything.
You may visit this pool between Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends. No need for reservations.
Located two hours northwest of Austin, in Colorado Bend State Park, west of Lampasas. The park has an area of 5,328.3 acres.
The park is characterized by hills, cliffs, and canyons. The park also has more than 200 caves, and a 70ft (21.3m) spring fed waterfall.
Spicewood Springs is one of the best swimming holes in Hill Country. The springs temperature is 72°F to 76°F (22°C to 24°C).
The largest swimming hole is 9ft (2.7m) deep and not recommended for young children, or poor swimmers. The other pools are shallow and easy for young ones.
To reach the first spring you have to walk a short flat trail of half a mile. To hike all the trails and check the amazing views and all the spring fed swimming holes, you need to take good shoes to walk the difficult but beautiful terrain.
Besides the springs and Gorman Falls, the park also offers a river full of fish for swimming and kayaking, cave tours, and 35 miles of trails for biking and hiking.
The Springs are open year round but it is recommended that you make reservations before you arrive. Colorado Bend
If you are interested in visiting the springs, as well as the river, I would suggest you take this kayak found on Amazon: Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump. It is ideal for those who like to ride alone. As it is inflatable and it is easy to pack and travel with.
Comal Springs is in Landa Park, located in New Braunfels. Comal Springs are the largest in Texas and the American southwest.
Seven major springs and dozens of smaller ones occur over a distance of about 4,300 feet (1.3Km) at the base of a steep limestone.
Comal Springs feeds a pool that keeps a constant 72°F (22°C) temperature year-round.
In Landa Park the Edwards Aquifer feeds into a lagoon with a lazy river, climbing and a slide.
These springs used to be a magnet for Indian Tribes. Many artifacts and burial mounds have been found on the area. Even during colonization a large group of indigenous people lived in the area.
Attractions include nature trails, paddle boats, a large spring-fed swimming pool, a miniature train, a golf course, and lots of sites for picnicking and relaxation.
Swimming is no longer allowed in a large portion of Landa Lake because of the presence of the endangered species. Source Comal Springs
For Landa Park, I would suggest you check this sandals found on Amazon KEEN Women's Newport Closed Toe Water Shoe Sandal: They are ideal for hiking and getting wet.
Chinati Hot Springs
Chinati or Ruidosa Springs is a privately owned oasis. Located in the remote Chihuahua Desert, near the town of Marfa.
The site could be described as 640 acre resort that is privately owned.
The hot springs are about 113°F (45°C) year round. Fortunately, there are cool pools nearby if you prefer colder waters.
Besides visiting the springs, it is also possible to go biking and hiking in the trails nearby.
Open year-round, reservations are recommended. Houstonia
These are a group of springs also located close to Marfa in West Presidio County (West Texas). They are close to Chinati Hot springs. Near the springs there is a 175ft (53m) waterfall called Capote Falls, the largest waterfall in Texas.
The site is home to the endemic spider flower characterized by its multiple stems, and only grows in the swamps near the springs. Source: tripping.com
Big Bend National Park Hot Springs
These springs used to be in the J.O. Langfort's stone bathhouse. Today it is possible to enjoy a primitive experience with incredible scenery on the foundation remains of the old bathhouse.
The spring water emerges at 105°F (40°C) with dissolved mineral salts.
It is visited by those seeking its healing and therapeutic values. Some springs may burn because of the temperature or the water chemistry.
When the Rio Grande floods the springs, visitors need to wait for river waters to retreat. Once the river has receded, visitors may also need to clear the vent of debris to enjoy the hot springs and bathe.
Swimming is not recommended, since the adjacent river currents are unpredictable.
The springs are not accessible by car. Camping in the area is not possible, but there are some campsites nearby.
The hot springs historic district has remains of past dwellers for visitors to see and admire Big Bend
If you want to stay at a comfortable resort 34 miles from Fort Bend National Park, you can check in Terlingua Ranch Lodge. This resort has incredible scenery, and a pool. The large property offers horse back riding and cycling opportunities. It also has RV parking if you come in a trailer. For more information go to Booking.com.
Facts about Texas Springs
- Comal Springs are the largest springs west of the Mississippi River.
- San Antonio is the largest city in the U.S., completely depending on Spring Water.
- San Solomon Spring in West Texas, has the largest man made, spring fed swimming pool in the world. It is located in Balmorhea State Park.
- Jacob's Well is one of the biggest underwater cave systems in Texas.
- Many cities were build near springs that provided water, for example: Salado, Salado Springs; Austin, Barton Springs; San Marcos, San Marcos springs; Comal Springs, New Braunfels, San Antonio, San Antonio and San Pedro springs, Uvalde, Leona Springs; Fort Clark, Las Moras Springs; and Del Rio, close ton San Felipe Springs.
- Barton springs salamander and Austin Blind Salamander only live in Barton springs.
- San Marcos spring has the Texas wild rice and Texas Gambusia fish only found in San Marcos. Source: Texas Aquatic Science
Texas Springs Threats
There are several ailments that threaten Texas Springs.
It is estimated that only half of the large springs that once existed in Texas, still remain today.
If the water table drops, so does the water flow in the springs.
Currently 60% of Texas residents, get municipal water from underground aquifers. Many residential wells are not regulated, and owners pump as much water as they want. Pumping underground water is the major threat to the existence of springs.
Pollution, and recreation are other threats to Springs in Texas. Urbanization bring pollutants to the water that seeps into the aquifers. This water, will later come out with larger amounts of nutrients.
Furthermore, springs belong to different aquifers which means nearby springs, may be subject to different laws.
The latest issue that springs face, is that some aquifers are in the vicinity of oil wells and fracking. To this day it is not known the effects of these activities near the springs. Austin Chronicle
Sources for Texas Springs Map
The data points with the locations of Texas Springs was downloaded from USGS.
The Shapefiles with the Texas state boundary were downloaded from Texas Dept. of Transportation.
The data points with the location of major cities in Texas was downloaded from Texas Cities.
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