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14 Texas Watering Holes You Have to Get In.



I grew up in a small town in Northern California in the Sierra Nevada mountains not far from Lake Tahoe and moved to Texas in 2000.  I guess you could say I was quite skeptical about Texas and the great outdoors.  All you think about growing up in California when you hear of Texas are cows, ranches, the Cowboys and maybe the TV show Dallas.  

In the last 14 years, I have been absolutely surprised by the hidden outdoor gems that this magnificent State holds.  My brothers, friends and I spent the summers riding our bikes to watering holes, creeks, and waterfalls on a regular basis trying to find secret spots around the North Fork of the American river that we would call our own. 

In honor of those years growing up, here are some of the most epic watering holes in Texas, many of them in Austin or just around the corner.  As the triple digit temperature days are coming, I know you will be looking to cool off!  Enjoy!

Hamilton Pool-  Directions.

Barton Springs- Directions

Jacobs Well- Directions

Krause Springs- Directions

Frio River- Directions

Pedernales- Directions

Austin, TX Microadventure from Kammok Mob on Vimeo.

Mckinney Falls- Directions

Dolan Falls, Devils River- Directions

Bull Creek- Directions

Devils Water Hole, Inks lake- Directions

Blue Hole, Wimberley- Directions

Blue Hole, Leakey-

Balmorhea State Park- Directions

Blue Hole, Georgetown- Directions

If you are looking to kick back and relax in a hammock on your journey to these amazing locations pick up a Roo hammock in our online store.  Every hammock gives life saving treatments to 5 children with malaria!

Comments on this post (61)

  • Feb 17, 2015

    I could have written the introduction to this article – I grew up in the northern part of the Sierra Mountains in a small burg named Camptonville (highway 49) – how about you? And yes, I love it here in Houston (minus the bugs, bees and humidity) thanks for the water sites – photos are great!

    — Dale Ross

  • Feb 17, 2015

    beautiful photos and so happy you are not disappointed in my native state! Please don’t forget to kayak the Guadelupe around Hunt and Ingram as well!

    — Kay Davis

  • Sep 14, 2014

    Hey Ty, where are you from in the Sierra’s…I am from Big Oak Flat, Ca. I had the same doubts about Texas on the outdoors…Man was I wrong…I only know one real cowboy here!
    Will be hitting these waterholes next summer…Thanks for the post.

    — Richard Frederick

  • Sep 09, 2014

    The combination of the Frio River and the Hill Country is gorgeous! We go every summer. Frio River Cabins have a swimming hole that should be on here! It’s called the River Terrace. Our kids love jumping off the bluff there.

    — Elizabeth

  • Aug 04, 2014

    Patrick, I know the foreman on the Narrows Ranch. He is doing his job. Stay off private property and he is very polite. Trespass and face the consequences

    — Jack Schott

  • Aug 02, 2014

    Sister Creek in Sisterdale is awesome when the water’s not too low. You just drive and park under the bridge. On Google maps it’s at: 1034-1046 Sisterdale Rd, Boerne, TX 78006

    — Carlos

  • Aug 01, 2014

    one to add to your list is the headwater of pinto creek in Fourt Clark, Brackettville Texas. they routed the high flow spring into a large swimming pool. for those pristine swimmers who loath mud between their toes.
    All the benifits of cold water unfiltered spring swimmin, none of the drawbacks.

    — ynek swehttam

  • Jul 30, 2014

    I think this article should be renamed “11 Austin watering holes + 3 others”. It would be nice if the rest of the state was included a little more. There are some lovely places elsewhere in Texas that equal or better some of the ones on this list.

    — Lee

  • Jul 29, 2014

    Really? No comparison to the Cenotes of the Yucatan – and I love Texas!

    — Dan

  • Jul 29, 2014

    I definitely associate “Texas Watering Hole” with someplace that has tubs of ice cold beer, window unit air conditioning, and people of questionable repute hanging around. But, it has been a few years since I’ve lived in Texas.

    — Andrew

  • Jul 29, 2014

    Garner State Park

    — Ines Jimenez Jr.

  • Jul 29, 2014

    Visit Camp Wood, Tx. And the Nueces River. Great swimming spots! Blue/green waters!

    — Art Nevarez

  • Jul 29, 2014

    Hey Ty,
    Loved your post. Looks like some places we need to try. Who did the music on the video?

    — Tim Wint

  • Jul 29, 2014

    The Zeddler Mill in Luling about an hour south of austin is really awesome part of the Guadalupe River great for canoeing swimming and its free along with the museum and history behind it! Events such as weddings and birthdays are hosted in one of the buildings overlooking the river! Check it out

    — Meagan

  • Jul 28, 2014

    As a native, I can say u won’t regret visiting any of these great places. Love Texas !!!

    — Steve Schneider

  • Jul 28, 2014

    The Blue Hole in Leakey is at HEB Foundation Free Camp. Unfortunately the only way to access it is by attending a camp there through a nonprofit organization.

    — Jerod Mott

  • Jul 28, 2014

    A watering hole is a bar. A swimming hole is what you’re talking about. 14 years and you don’t know that?

    — Stuart

  • Jul 28, 2014

    Ah, the picture of Blue Hole in Wymberly takes me back! I, too went to Rocky River ranch camp as a kid. I remember a rope swing—remember it being like the old Mountain Dew commercials with the guy dropping into the water. ICY COLD!

    — Jennifer

  • Jul 28, 2014

    Seriously going to take my family to some of these beautiful places. We have a hunting lease near Dolan Falls/Devils River….never knew that place existed until now. Would love to see The Narrows that is pictured. Any suggestions on getting access; the directions on the TPWL website isn’t to the same as pictured. Thank you for sharing.

    — Andrea

  • Jul 28, 2014

    There are several “Blue Holes” in Texas. The one he refers to in Wimberley is a County Park and is open to the public in the summer.

    — Jodi

  • Jul 28, 2014

    The Blue hole pictured at Leaky is on the HEB Foundation Encampment, Its also the headwaters of the Frio River. Its great to look but its called the Frio for a reason!

    — Brad Chandler

  • Jul 28, 2014

    Is there a list for things like this away from Austin? I know Dallas has a lot of lakes around it, but it’s hard to find good places to swim rather than fish.

    — Heather

  • Jul 28, 2014

    Don’t forget blue hole in Georgetown,TX

    — Zach

  • Jul 27, 2014

    The narrows can only be accessed through private property. Also, the Leakey blue hole pictured here, is at HEB camp. You have to drive in the river upstream to get on that property. The water has always been low enough to drive in unless it has rained. It’s a strange experience though!

    — Lauren

  • Jul 27, 2014

    I live in Wimberley, TX and I agree with your recommendations. The Blanco River and Cypress Creek are also excellent recreational swimming spots. However, most of these places along the water are privately owned so you have to know someone or find a spot where public access is allowed. One of the most accessible rivers is the Guadalupe (or the Comal) where you can lay in a tube all day and drink beer while floating down the river. Then have a Chicken fried steak for dinner and lights out!

    — Lewis Henderson

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