Everything You Need to Know About The Oldest Swimming Hole In Austin – Deep Eddy Pool

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When it comes to pools, Austin has some great ones. Deep Eddy Pool being one of the first in the city. Once a swimming hole on the Colorado River, Deep Eddy is now a popular freshwater swimming pool, similar to Barton Springs.

UPDATE: Deep Eddy Pool will close for annual maintenance. The pool will close Sunday, April 11 through Sunday, May 2. Deep Eddy will resume modified normal hours of operation as listed below.

History:

Back in 1915, A.J. Eilers purchased the property surrounding the swimming hole, built the concrete pool, and opened the Deep Eddy Bathing Beach, a resort with cabins, camping and concessions. Today, the 600,000-gallon pool is a favorite spot for families looking to take a refreshing dip in 65 to 75 degree water.

In 1935, the City of Austin bought the property for a total of $10,000, which is equivalent to about $195,000 today! Two weeks after the purchase, a massive flood on the Colorado River destroyed the bathhouse and filled the pool with mud and debris. The Works Progress Administration and the city of Austin jointly funded the rebuilding and the pool opened as a public park in July 1936.

If you want more Deep Eddy history there is a large mosaic mural telling the story of the pool’s beginnings, which was completed as part of a community-led public art project. You can spend quite some time studying the intricate tile and mirror mosaic.

Deep Eddy has a beach entry, a graduated shallow area, and a large area beyond for swimmers of all ages to enjoy. The other side of the pool features lap lanes, and a deep end where older kids can play. There is also a large grassy area for towels, as well as an area leading down to the pool where food is allowed (it is prohibited down below).

Other Fun Facts:

  • The water is 65 – 75 degrees year round.
  • The water is not chlorinated.
  • Deep Eddy Pool is listed as a historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Features of the original resort included: A 50-foot-tall diving platform over the pool’s deep end called Lorena’s Diving Horse from which a horse and rider would dive, a zip line across the pool, a diving baby, and a Ferris wheel.
  • Texas musician Jimmie Dale Gilmore wrote the song “Deep Eddy Blues” about the pool and the nearby bar, the Deep Eddy Cabaret.
Photo via @katmelly (Instagram)

Admission Cost

The typically cost of admission is listed below but as of March 2021 admission is FREE for the time being. Check their website for updates before heading out to the pool.

  • Adult (18-62 years): $3 (non-residents: $8)
  • Junior (12-17 years): $2 (non-residents: $4)
  • Child (1-11 years): $1 (non-residents: $3)
  • Under 1 year: FREE
  • Senior (62+ years): $1 (non-residents: $4)
  • Veterans (Honorably Discharged): FREE

Parking:

The parking lot fills up during peak times during the summer, so go early if you want to avoid a longer walk to the pool. Other alternatives are to car-pool or catch a Lyft or Uber.

Kid-Friendly:

The pool grounds are not very stroller friendly. You need to go down a few dozen steps to reach the pool deck. Staff has been spotted opening a gate at the bottom to allow strollers in, but we’re not sure that is an official policy.

2021 Updates:

As of March 1, 2021, no reservations are required however, capacities will be limited. Deep Eddy is open for lap swim only. Modified hours have been established based on available resources.  Patrons are asked to limit their time to two hours. Once the pool is at capacity, new swimmers will be allowed on a one-in/one-out basis. Admission is currently FREE.

Current hours of operation have been extended. From March 1 to 13 the pool will be open everyday except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The shallow end of the pool is currently closed as are the dressing rooms.

Featured photo via Jiriseger (Instagram)


If you’re looking for more ways to cool off in Central Texas check out these posts: