Summers are best spent on beaches and pools, where you can feel the summer heat and stay refreshed simultaneously. But even after the summer and the seasons have started to get colder, you can still dip in a body of water and keep yourself relaxed without enduring the water’s cold temperature. Believe it or not, there are bodies of water whose temperatures stay high even in colder seasons.
A hot spring is a spring where the water is significantly warmer than the area’s air temperature. Most hot springs release groundwater that shallow magma intrusions have heated in volcanic regions. Luckily for Texas residents and visitors alike, they can enjoy a few hot springs around the state without the need to travel far. Below, we will list the five most popular hot springs in Texas, where you can find them, and more.
Are There Hot Springs in Texas?
Indeed, Texas boasts its fair share of hot springs. Texas is well recognized for many things, but we believe its natural beauty is frequently ignored, particularly when considering some of the state’s wonderful natural hot springs. Texas has more natural hot springs than it can handle. Thus, the state doesn’t just have hot summers. Weary visitors have long found relief in Texas’ hot springs and soothing mineral waters. These geothermal wading pools often sit around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, helping relieve tired muscles to joint discomfort, and even boosting one’s mental health.
The “Lone Star State” frequently receives summertime temperatures close to or above 100 degrees, and hot springs also reach these levels. Thankfully, the general public can access hot springs located on public property throughout Texas. Texas has several options for citizens and visitors to take a soothing bath year-round, thanks to its mild climate. Hot springs can be found everywhere in Texas, from well-known locations like Big Bend National Park and downtown Austin to more secluded locations in desert environments.
The Southwest United States has fewer hot springs than other regions, but these five places highlighted below are undoubtedly unique.
5 Most Popular Hot Springs in Texas
1. Barton Springs Pool
If exploring the desert in search of hidden hot springs doesn’t appeal to you, you might prefer Austin’s Barton Springs Pool. The pool at Barton Springs is a natural mineral spring. The Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park receives all its water from an underground spring. It typically maintains a temperature of about 70 degrees, providing a comfortable and warm (rather than “hot”) outdoor swimming area. Swimming is permitted here all year. Instead of being a soaking hot tub, this spring is more like a swimming pool.
The pool has grassy sitting areas and a depth range of 0 to 18 feet. There are wonderful picnic areas with tree cover all around the pool, which is a well-liked place to cool off in the summer. The Barton Springs Pool is available all year long, and there is a grassy space nearby for lounging or having a picnic. Barton Springs Pool has attracted visitors from all walks of life, including politicians who have created state legislation there and free-spirited, topless sunbathers who made a splash in the 1970s.
These springs were traditionally used by the Comanche and Tonkawa tribes for their holy cleaning ceremonies and were previously a place of spiritual significance. It is also home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander.
2. Chinati Hot Springs
This hot spring attracts visitors from both sides of the border in the desolate and rugged Chihuahua Desert. The Chinati Hot Springs, also known as the Ruidosa Springs on occasion, is a popular attraction at a privately owned oasis close to Marfa’s vacation and camping rentals. A winding dirt road can reach the Ruidosa ghost town in about thirty minutes. Local Native Americans and early immigrants benefited from the hot mineral springs for hundreds of years.
These springs are hotter than the others on this list, with record high temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need a break from the heat, there are “cooling pools” nearby the hot springs. Chinati is the best place for a leisurely getaway where you can let your troubles drift away because it is a little more regimented than the loose, unregulated alternatives. The temperature of the springs’ water typically ranges from 104 to 109 degrees year-round. The water also supposedly includes minerals that treat ailments like stomach ulcers, skin issues, and arthritis.
Despite being fairly far away, the campsite and its useful amenities make it feel less lonely. A few individual soaking tubs and a sizable outdoor tub with views of the resort are also available.
The phrase “desert cabin” might conjure unpleasant thoughts, scorching heat, and scorpions. Contrary to popular belief, Chinati Hot Springs offers basic comfort to make your stay memorable.
3. Rio Grande Village Hot Springs
Rio Grande Village Springs is located directly on the Mexican border, just outside Big Bend National Park. The village area, situated along the Rio Grande’s banks, is surrounded by cottonwood trees and mountain views. Numerous picturesque hiking trails lead to these family-friendly hot springs. Rio Grande Village Springs has some of the most beautiful vistas of all the hot springs on this list. The Big Bend Visitor Center can provide detailed directions to these springs, normally maintaining a temperature of 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The area now has an added edge of intrigue, thanks to the old buildings’ ruins, which were once surrounded by traditional bathhouses.
The Langford Springs and the Boquillas Springs are two sets of springs you can choose from here, and since they are a little over half a mile from the closest parking lot, they hardly ever get crowded. The historic Langford Bathhouse, which operated more than a century ago, left behind a sizable cement tub that serves as the area’s hot spring.
You can drive directly into Big Bend National Park and park at the trailhead, making it very easy to get to the hot spring. Popular hiking trails pass through the region and connect the springs to campgrounds and visitor centers nearby. The location is just out of the way enough to make finding them feel like an adventure without being too difficult.
4. Capote Springs
The Rio Grande River, shown here near Presidio, is the recipient of the waters from the Capote Springs.
The Capote Springs is a group of springs situated close to remote Candelaria in Presidio County in West Texas, a staggeringly stunning area of the Chihuahuan desert. They are remarkable for their especially striking surroundings. Due to the special mineral composition of the rock bed and the water, several threatened plant species flourish in the region around the springs. All year long, the water temperature is between 98 and 100 degrees.
After bathing in these hot springs, you can hike a short distance to Capote Falls, one of Texas’s tallest waterfalls at more than 170 feet. The waterfall, which receives its water from the same springs, cascades into a sparkling plunge pool and empties into Capote Creek. Up to a half-mile away, one can hear the roar of this enormous waterfall.
Numerous rare and endemic plants and animals can only be found in this area, creating a unique ecosystem around the springs. The tallest waterfalls in the state are also close by, and flowers that are unique to Texas thrive here. Overall, if you’re looking around for something wilder, the Capote Springs are ideal.
5. Krause Springs
The same family has owned this exclusive, 115-acre hot springs resort for over 50 years. Texas’ Hill Country is home to the camping and swimming area known as Krause Springs. It’s in Spicewood, Texas, about 30 miles northwest of Austin. There are 32 springs on the site, and several feed both the artificial and natural pools that empty into Lake Travis.
With an average temperature of 68°F (20°C), this spring’s water is the coolest on the list. A 70′ by 20′ swimming pool is fueled by two springs at a rate of 70 gallons per minute at roughly 70 degrees. The place is ideal for the dog days of summer when you don’t want to succumb to the oppressive heat.
Though privately owned, the location is on the National Register of Historic Places and is regarded by many as a “Texas institution.” Krause Springs is a convenient neutral ground between urban convenience and isolated tranquility, and a butterfly garden is also there for you to explore. It offers the advantage of experiencing the tranquility of the natural environment without deviating too far from metropolitan conveniences by finding yourself nestled among the woods just outside the small village of Spicewood. Even during peak hours, the place doesn’t usually get overly crowded because there are 32 springs for people to dip into.
Summary of 5 Most Popular Hot Springs in Texas
|Name||Temperature in Degrees Fahrenheit||Location|
|Barton Springs Pool Springs||70||Austin|
|Chinati Hot Springs||104-109||Marfa|
|Rio Grande Village Springs||97||Next to Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande River|
|Capote Springs||98-100||Near Candelaria in Presidio County in West Texas|
|Krause Springs||68||Spicewood, near Austin|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © JB Manning/Shutterstock.com
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