Things to Do

Spend a Day, or Night, in Mother Nature’s Cool West Texas Back Yard

By  | 


When it seems that only monstrous glasses of cold iced tea will assuage the Texas summer temperatures or frequent dips in the nearest swimming hole are all that stands between you and certain heat exhaustion, why not consider a trip to West Texas to escape the heat in unlikely places? You might think we’re spinning you a yarn but bear with us. West Texas features two of the more pleasant spots to spend hot summer days, and they’re both thanks to Mother Nature.

Spend a Day in Mother Nature’s Cool West Texas Back Yard

Photo: Facebook/I Love Texas

The first for your consideration is the Davis Mountains. Here, temperatures can drop into the 60s at through the night, and what better opportunity then to cool down and enjoy the view of the Texas night sky? The picturesque town of Fort Davis is nestled nicely in the heart of the Davis Mountains. You may have heard that the 75-mile Scenic Loop Drive through the mountains is one of the most spectacular in the state, and that concept isn’t far from the truth. Given a chance to take it when you’re out in West Texas, you’ll drive practically slack-jawed into each turn and rugged mountain view, rock formation, and canyon vista, all of which were formed through volcanic activity millions of years ago.

What awaits you in the Davis Mountains? The astounding telescopic power that can be had from the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory can be found high on the summits of Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes, from which you can peer into the heavens, study stars, and gaze upon entire galaxies unsullied by city light pollution. The Fort Davis skies are some of the darkest in the continent, which makes for unequaled star-viewing.

Spend a Day in Mother Nature’s Cool West Texas Back Yard

Photo: Facebook/Stories from Texas

The second wonderfully cool option is Balmorhea State Park, where the clear waters from San Solomon Springs stay in the range of approximately 74 degrees year-round. A 49-acre oasis filled with shimmering water, adobe cottages, and cottonwood trees, Balmorhea was established and constructed in the 1930s. Although named the same, the park actually lies in Toyahvale, as opposed to the town of Balmorhea. Billed as having the “World’s Largest Spring-Fed Swimming Pool,” it boasts deliciously cold and refreshing water. Emerging through at least nine springs in the midpoint of the pool, rain that falls on the nearby mountains seeps underground, flowing through the porous layers of limestone underground. Coming up cool and clear, these artesian springs in the Chihuahuan Desert flow at a rate of close to 15 million gallons per day.

Spend a Day in Mother Nature’s Cool West Texas Back Yard

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend, Texas. Terlingua, Lajitas, Study Butte, Alpine, Marfa, Marathon

Why resort to huddling in the air conditioning or torcher yourself suffering through the indignity of an itchy heat rash when you can cut loose in cool West Texas and relax in Mother Nature’s backyard? While you’re there, enjoy one of Texas’ most scenic drives, set your sights on enjoying a star party at McDonald Observatory, and swim in some of the coolest, clearest waters this state has to offer. It’s a journey you won’t soon forget.