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Beautiful Balmorhea State Park: A True-to-Life Texas Oasis

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Sounding more like a name from “Middle Earth”, Balmorhea State Park isn’t intimidating in the least. If anything, it’s the most inviting spot in the area, considering the average temperatures and the lay of the land in West Texas. Rather an oasis in a desert landscape, artesian springs rise to the surface at a flow rate of between 22 and 28 million gallons per day which is, by any standards, an extraordinary amount of water to find in such high and dry desert environments, and makes for truly exceptional relief on a hot Texas day.

The World’s Largest Artesian Spring-Fed Swimming Pool

Beautiful Balmorhea State Park: A True-To-Life Texas Oasis

Photo: Facebook/Wander Y’all

The source for the park’s swimming area, and the entire reason behind it becoming a national park, is a large underground aquifer system moving water through limestone and following fault lines, beginning close to 400 miles northwest of the springs. Supplemented by rainfall that drains from the nearby Davis Mountains, it enables Balmorhea to become the world’s largest artesian spring-fed swimming pool, measuring a little more than 77,000 square feet.

Construction Using the Civilian Conservation Corps

Beautiful Balmorhea State Park: A True-To-Life Texas Oasis

Photo: Facebook/Katherine Bayer

History tells that in 1934, the Texas State Parks Board bought the springs and the surrounding land and recruited Company 1856 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to alter and mold this natural phenomenon into a state park. The CCC crew rerouted the natural wetland area and built a 1.75-acre pool around the springs, while at the same time constructing two bath houses, a concession building, and a motel (named San Solomon Courts). All of this was operated through a private concessionaire up until 1968, after which the state park managed the facilities which were open to the public, now hosting more than a quarter million visitors per year.

Swimming and Scuba Diving in a Texas Desert Playground

Beautiful Balmorhea State Park: A True-To-Life Texas Oasis
Photo: Facebook/Danny Kaufman

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