SAN SOLOMON SPRINGS
Native Americans, early explorers, and 19th century settlers traveling through the desert landscape around the present-day Balmorhea State Park were no doubt surprised to discover the artesian springs here rising to the surface. The springs’ flow rate, currently measured at around fifteen million gallons per day, is a remarkable amount of water to find in a high, dry desert environment. The source, a large underground aquifer system that moves water through porous limestone and along fault lines deep in the earth, begins approximately four hundred miles to the northwest of the springs and is supplemented by rains falling across the nearby Davis Mountains.
In 1934, the Texas State Parks Board purchased the springs and surrounding acreage, recruiting Company 1856 of the Civilian Conservation Corps to transform the natural phenomena into a state park. The CCC men constructed a 1.75 acre pool around the springs, eliminating the natural wetland, called a cienega, which originally collected much of the spring water. In addition, the CCC built a concession building, two bath houses, and motel accommodations called San Solomon Courts. Operated by a private concessionaire until 1968, the state park now hosts over a quarter million visitors each year.
Balmorhea State Park
Adults: $7, Children 12 and under: Free.
Open 7 days a week year-round.