12 Austin Swimming Holes You’ll Want To Cannonball Into This Summer

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There are many ways to outsmart the heat and humidity in Central Texas, but none as exciting and relaxing as Austin swimming holes and pools. Thanks to its colorful geology and penchant for housing natural springs, the Texas hill country contains a multitude of natural swimming holes, and many of these spectacular 12 locations are within an hour’s drive from downtown Austin.

Here Are 12 Austin Swimming Holes You’ll Want To Cannonball Into This Summer!

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs

Nestled in Austin’s beloved Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a popular three-acre Austin swimming hole that attracts swimmers and endangered salamanders alike. Though it is much more developed than the other natural Austin pools on this list, Barton Springs is spring-fed and is a federally protected habitat for wildlife — we weren’t kidding about the salamanders! Besides the beautiful atmosphere and clear waters, Barton Springs’ greatest plus is its constant water temperatures of 68-70 degrees. That means year-round cannonballing, people!

2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin residents: adults $5; juniors (12-17 years old) $3, seniors (62 and older) and children (1-11 years old) $2; children under one year are FREE. Non-residents: adults $9; juniors (12-17 years old) and seniors (62 and older) $5; children (1-11 years old) $4; children under one year are FREE. Meter parking.
 Food, coolers, glass, alcohol, sports balls, and frisbees are prohibited. More information

McKinney Falls – Upper Falls

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McKinney Falls State Park’s limestone and cypress-lined “Upper Falls” swimming hole. Photo: Rebecca L. Bennett

This state park houses not one but two of the most gorgeous natural Austin swimming holes on this list. Limestone and cypress-lined, the Upper Falls swimming hole tends to be the most popular hangout spots for park guests looking to beat the heat. One of the Upper Falls’ prime features is a prominent limestone shelf that doubles as a diving board!

5808 McKinney Falls Parkway near Smith Visitor Center.
Adults $6, children 12 and under get in free.
 
More information.

McKinney Falls — Lower Falls

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McKinney Falls State Park’s “Lower Falls” natural swimming hole. Photo: Rebecca L. Bennett

Though not quite as picturesque as the Upper Falls swimming hole, the Lower Falls pool often provides a better swimming experience because not as many park guests know about it. The Lower Falls also boasts a rock shelf diving board and more shoreline to picnic or sunbathe.

5808 McKinney Falls Parkway near Homestead
Adults $6, children 12 and under get in free.
More information.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls is one of three seasonal swimming holes along Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail. During the summer months, you can forget about Twin Falls because the pool dries up in the non-rainy months, but in wetter seasons or several days after a particularly heavy rain, you will be able to enjoy Twin Falls in all of its glory and take advantage of its rope swing and jumping rock.

3918 S MoPac Expy Service Road, hike down to the creek and keep right for about five miles to find Twin Falls.
Free. More information

Gus Fruh Swimming Hole

Like Twin Falls, the awesome pool along the Gus Fruh Trail is often dry in the summer months and is most impressive a few days after a good storm. Fewer Austinites know about Gus Fruh, which makes it one of the quieter and more peaceful swimming holes you can enjoy.

2642 Barton Hills Drive and follow trail to swimming hole.
Free. Hide and lock valuables in vehicle.

Sculpture Falls

Sculpture Falls is something of a hidden treasure in Austin — and that’s probably because it requires a one-mile hike to enjoy! While this pool reportedly stays at least somewhat full during the summer, it’s still best to save swimming plans at Sculpture Falls for a rainier month since it’s located along the Greenbelt.

1710 Camp Craft Road and follow for 1 mile, always forking to the right
Free. Hide and lock valuables in vehicle.

Blue Hole Georgetown

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Blue Hole in Georgetown. Photo: Shelley Elena Photography

Not to be confused with the natural swimming hole in Wimberley by the same name, Georgetown’s Blue Hole is a part of the San Gabriel River, which runs north of Austin. Unfortunately, jumping off of the limestone cliffs that border one side of this popular swimming area is illegal, but the water’s great!

Blue Hole Park, 2nd Avenue and Rock Stree, Georgetown. 
Free.
More information.

Krause Springs

Just 36 miles outside of Austin, Krause Springs is a lovely spring-fed swimming hole. Happily, water levels and temperatures stay consistent and comfortable year-round, so whether it’s been rainy or dry, you can rest assured that your drive to Spicewood won’t be wasted. The spring is actually located on private property, which means that, much to many a relaxing Texan’s delight, alcohol in moderation is A-OK.

404 Krause Springs Road, Spicewood.
Adults $8, children 4-11 years $5, children 4 and under get in free. Pets and glass are prohibited. Cash only. Additional fees apply for overnight guests. More information.

Hamilton Pool

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Hamilton Pool’s 50-foot waterfall. Photo: Shelley Elena Photography

If you’re up for an early morning swim, check out Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs. With its 50-foot waterfall, hanging ferns, and sheer canyon walls, this swimming hole attracts quite a crowd on any given day. Due to its popularity, officials have now created a reservation system for the park. Reservations fill up fast for months in advance, so get those calendars out and make your reservations. Full details here. 

Note: The park is open but there will be no swimming this year due to safety after the winter storms. 

24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs.
Entry fees are $12 (online reservation) per vehicle – or $8 per adult, FREE for children 12 and under.
More information.

Pedernales Falls

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Pedernales Falls. Photo: Shelley Elena Photography

Johnson City’s Pedernales Falls State Park plays host to the winding Pedernales River, which offers many prime swimming areas. From small wading pools to deeper swimming holes, this river has it all. Just make sure to check with park rangers and/or the park’s trail map to be certain that you’re not swimming in protected areas!

585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City.
5 p.m. Adults $6; children 12 and under are FREE. Swimming areas designated on park map. More information.

Jacob’s Well

Jacob’s Well looks like something out of an undersea horror movie, like the lair of some deadly sea serpent. It’s actually the end of a complex underground cave system and natural spring. The water is so crisp and clear that the Well looks like an empty, bottomless abyss from the the limestone bluff above it. Jumping is prohibited…

1699 Mt Sharp Road, Wimberley.
Adults $9; Hays County residents, children ages 5-12, seniors (60+), service members/veterans $5; and children ages 4 and under are FREE (payments made at the gate with credit cards ONLY. No cash accepted). Pets, glass, alcohol, smoking, fishing, and scuba diving are prohibited. More information.

Blue Hole Wimberley

In close proximity to Jacob’s Well is another prime natural Austin swimming spot: Blue Hole in Wimberley. If you’re looking for a classic Texas hill country swimming experience complete with cypress trees, crystal clear water, and a rope swing, look no further! Blue Hole recently took a page from Hamilton Pool and changed to a reservation system for the swimming hole. Read more about how to make a reservation here. And please note, reservations are being made months in advance.

100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley.
Adults $9; seniors (60+), youth (ages 4-12), and service members/veterans $5; children 3 and under are FREE. More information.


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