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Best Swimming Holes in the Austin Area

Beat the heat with a refreshing afternoon relaxing at a nearby swimming hole

Best Austin Swimming Holes

When summer sets in, Austinites turn to the rivers and lakes for relief from the sweltering heat. Ask any local and they’ll tell you about popular swimming destinations like Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool, but the city has many more wonderful places to help you cool off. Here are six of our favorite swimming holes located around Austin:

Gus Fruh (photo by Tomek Baginski)

Gus Fruh

2642 Barton Hills Drive, Austin

Beloved for its hiking trails and limestone rock climbing bluffs, the Barton Creek Greenbelt also boasts a number of spectacular swimming holes. One of the best spots to take a dip can be reached from the Gus Fruh access point on Barton Hills Drive. It’s located in a residential neighborhood, so street parking is necessary. Be aware that after heavy rainfall, the swimming hole can get quite deep.

Bunkhouse Hotels Inspiration Board: Hamilton Pools
Rock shelter of Hamilton Pool Preserve (photo by Thomas Brushel)

Hamilton Pool Preserve

24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs

Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic gem nestled in the Texas Hill Country, boasting an emerald green swimming pool formed by the cascading waters of Hamilton Creek. Carved into limestone outcroppings, the 50-foot waterfall creates a stunning natural spectacle as it spills into a picturesque box canyon. Despite dry spells, the pool maintains a constant water level, offering a refreshing oasis even in times of drought. The preserve’s diverse ecosystem supports a range of native flora and fauna, providing visitors with glimpses of Texas wildlife. Reservations can be made online for a fee of $12 per vehicle, with additional cash-only entrance fees per person upon arrival.

St. Edwards Park (photo by Heidi Okla)

St. Edwards Park

7301 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin

This 80-acre park offers scenic views and multiple trails with many small waterfalls and ponds. A leisurely hike from the small parking lot on Spicewood Springs Road leads you to a picturesque swimming hole with rope swing. You can wade into the water if you prefer—but the swing is perfect for jumping off on a hot summer’s day. 

Hippie Hollow (photo by Chloe Mun)

Hippie Hollow

7000 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732

Nestled along the rocky shore of Lake Travis, Hippie Hollow is a “clothing optional” park that’s popular for sunbathing and swimming. Open every day of the year, entry to the park is restricted to those people 18 years and older. It’s about a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin. There is an entrance fee for $8 per person and is cash only.

Blue Hole Park (photo by Eli Cohen)

Blue Hole

333 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley

Cypress trees surround the crystal-clear water of this family-friendly swimming hole. It’s nestled inside Blue Hole Park, which offers plenty of hiking trails, picnic areas, community areas, a basketball court, volleyball court and an amphitheater. The swimming hole is sought after for its shaded waters, which make for a refreshing reprieve from the Texas sun. Blue Hole Park is about an hour from Austin, located in the town of Wimberley. Reservations are required for swimming. Check the website for fees.

Sculpture Falls (photo by Zach Stoebner)

Sculpture Falls

1710 Camp Craft Road, Austin

Hidden in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, there’s a stunning swimming hole with small waterfalls and smoothed rocks—ideal for sunbathing or taking a leap into the cool water. Getting to this secret oasis requires a bit of a hike. Start by parking your car on Scottish Woods Trail. Take the Barton Creek Greenbelt access point down, and walk down the steep, craggy steps of The Hill of Life Trail. Keep in mind you’ll also have to walk back up at the end of the day. The route to Sculpture Falls is a little under 1.5 miles—not for the faint of heart or out-of-shape. But if you make it down to the water you’ll be rewarded with a little slice of paradise.

Krause Springs (photo by Laura Saucedo)

Krause Springs

424 Co Rd 404, Spicewood

Krause Springs is a beloved swimming and camping spot nestled in the scenic Texas Hill Country. Situated in Spicewood, just 30 miles west of Austin, this 115-acre oasis is steeped in history, listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites and family-owned by the Krause Family for over five decades. The property has a natural pool with a rope swing and a manmade pool fed by crystal-clear waters that maintain a refreshing temperature of about 68 degrees year-round. Accommodations include primitive tent camping and RV sites equipped with water and electricity. Entrance fees are free for children under four years old, $6 for 4 – 11 years old, and $10 for adults.

Jacob’s Well (photo by Katherine Sturdivant)

UPDATE: Jacob’s Well is currently closed due to low water levels

Jacob’s Well Natural Area

1699 Mt Sharp Road, Wimberley

Located in the town of Wimberley, Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water each day. The crisp, clear water gushes from the Trinity Aquifer, which flows from an extensive underground cave system. Jacob’s Well is considered one of the largest fully submerged caves in Texas. It’s a popular spot to visit, both for its geological significance and the swimming water, which maintains a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This high-demand swimming hole is less than an hour’s drive from downtown Austin. Reservations and a fee are required to take a dip. If you’re not planning on swimming, there’s no fee to enter the park or visit the area.