The Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley is one of Central Texas’ most prized natural treasures, a serene place that provides relief on a hot day and a unique beauty that helps make the area’s landscape some of the most beautiful in the world. We love it so much that it made our list of 12 Natural Swimming Holes You’ll Want to Cannonball Into. As of spring of 2018, however, Blue Hole will see some changes that visitors will definitely need to know about before packing up their picnic baskets for the day.
Much like Hamilton Pool and Jacob’s Well before it, Blue Hole Regional Park is switching to a reservations-only system for its swimming hole. That means that if you’re trying to take a selfie while swinging on the rope swing above the pool (which sounds pretty challenging), you’ll need to plan in advance.
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So why the change? Blue Hole Regional Park Supervisor Richard Shaver explains it in terms that Austinites should really be able to get behind:
“The swimming area in Blue Hole Regional Park is being loved to death. We are overutilizing a natural resource that cannot take the increase in visitation over the past few years. We believe that this switch is the best decision for the Park and to stay true to our mission statement for the park which is ‘To protect, restore, and develop Blue Hole Regional Park as a recreational, educational, and ecological resource for present and future generations.’”
With social media and travel sites illustrating the beauty of this space and the population growth of the Hill Country, annual visitation has begun to rise. Along with that, more vandalism and litter have plagued the park.
“We did consider the impact that Hamilton Pool’s decision for a reservation system had on its park and on the public and we believe the positive outweighs the negative,” Shaver said. “We’re lucky to be one of the last swimming holes in the area to adopt a reservation system, so we are able to learn from our peers. We’ve sat down with management from both Jacob’s Well and Hamilton Pool to learn about their experiences. Through many hours with park professionals, our parks board, park staff, and residents of our community, we believe we have created a user-friendly system that will be an overall positive for our visitors.”
Shaver also assured Austin.com that the system that they will be using is completely customizable and that they are able to change or update the reservation system based on feedback and issues that may arise.
The reservation system is ideally online only. If the park is not full for the day, visitors will be able to make reservations at the window, but the staff does not suggest waiting until the day of to book. Visitors will have the best chance at a reservation by looking in advance at their desired dates and making a reservation early.
The reservation system will go online starting March 1, 2018.
Prices for the 2018 Blue Hole swim season will be:
$10 for Adults
$6 for Youth, seniors, and military
$6 78676 residents on Tuesdays and Thursdays
$50 Youth, seniors, and Military season pass
$90 Adult season pass
There is also a new discount for 78676 residents and an additional locals night to help the park stay connected with our community.
All photos provided by Blue Hole Regional Park.