Barton Springs Pool (Austin) - Texas


The treasure of Austin, the capital of Texas.

The beautiful natural spring is set against the skyline of skyscrapers.

Main Spring

A public swimming pool located less than a 10-minute drive from the Texas State Capitol.

Parking Lot 01

It is a place beloved by the public, but also the subject of much controversy.

Although not strictly included in the hot springs that this blog specializes in, I cannot resist introducing it.

Parking Lot 02

The pool is located in the Zilker Metropolitan Park, which was donated to the city of Austin in 1917 and maintained during the Great Depression.

Entrance 01

A $5.00 parking fee applies on weekends, holidays and special events.

Entrance 02

For non-citizens, daily admission for ages 18-61 was $9.00 (except for winter).

Reception 01

However, every morning from 5 to 8 a.m. is "Swim at Your Own Risk," which is free of charge but unsupervised.

No one is responsible for drowning?
The uniqueness of this spot is striking.
Exit 01

In the 1920s, the city dammed the spring and developed it into a pool.

Reception 02

Today's bath house was constructed in 1947 and overlooks the pool.

Changing Rooms 02

The gender-separated changing rooms were also rich in formative beauty that might have historical and intellectual value.

Changing Rooms 01

The long and narrow Barton Springs Pool is 900 feet long.

Night 01

It is approximately 18 feet deep at its deepest point.

Shallow side 02

The water temp is around 70 degrees F throughout the year.

Water Temp 01

As I swam, I could feel that the temperature differed slightly from place to place.

Stream 01

Upstream was Barton Creek, which was dammed so that river water would not normally flow into the pool.

Shallow side 01

The source, Main Spring, is located just around the center is one of the springs in the Edwards Aquifer, an area of naturally flowing groundwater.

Pool 02

Because a kind of salamanders here are listed as an endangered species, there has been much discussion about protecting them.

Austin Blind Salamander 01

In the past, the water was disinfected with chlorine and the algae in the pool was regularly washed away with a strong stream of water, resulting in the surprisingly clear color of the water.

Water Discharge 01

It was believed that this had a negative impact on the salamander ecosystem, and the park is now operated in a more naturalistic manner.

In fact, water in the pool had a dark green appearance, partly due to contamination of the Edwards Aquifer caused by the urbanization of the surrounding area.

Water Discharge 02

Eliza Spring

Eliza Spring, a smaller spring adjacent to Main Spring, has been maintained in a distinctive amphitheater shape since the early 1900s.

Eliza Spring 01

Today, it is off-limits to people due to the salamander's native habitat and can only be viewed through the fences.


Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in

Rule: Clothing required

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 73 degrees F

Official website

Related Hot Springs

San Antonio, not far from Austin, had a sulfur spring with 104 degrees F.

Hot Wells Hotel Ruins 01
Hot Wells Hotel Ruins, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

That was until 2013, when the source was buried, and the historic spa hotel has been preserved as a relic.

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

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