Barton Springs Pool: A Refreshing Oasis in the Heart of Austin, Texas

Barton Springs Pool is a beloved swimming hole located in the heart of Austin, Texas. It’s a natural wonder and one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world. The pool measures a whopping 3 acres and is fed from underground springs that are part of the Edwards Aquifer. The water is always a refreshing 68 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal spot to cool off during the scorching hot Texas summers.

A Brief History

The history of Barton Springs Pool can be traced all the way back to the 1800s when Native Americans are believed to have utilized the springs for hunting and fishing. In the early 1900s, the area was developed into a recreational park and became a favorite spot for locals to swim and relax.

During the mid-20th century, Barton Springs Pool underwent many changes, including the construction of a concrete dam, a diving board, and a bathhouse. In 1990, the pool was added to the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing its significance as a cultural and historical landmark.

The Pool Today

Today, Barton Springs Pool remains a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s open year-round, except for a brief closure in the early spring for maintenance, and attracts around 800,000 visitors annually. The pool is surrounded by lush green trees and grassy areas, providing plenty of space for sunbathing and picnicking.

At the pool’s deepest point, it measures 18 feet deep, making it ideal for diving. The pool also features a kiddie pool and a diving board, making it a great spot for families with children. The water is crystal-clear, and visitors can often spot fish swimming around their feet.

The Environmental Impact

Barton Springs Pool is not just a refreshing oasis in the heart of Austin; it also plays a critical role in the city’s ecosystem. The pool and surrounding park are part of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, which is responsible for filtering and purifying the city’s water supply. The pool is home to several endemic species, including the Barton Springs Salamander and the Austin Blind Salamander, which are critical to the health of the local ecosystem.

Expert Quote:

“Barton Springs Pool is not just a swimming hole; it’s a vital part of the Austin community and the Edwards Aquifer. It’s a great place to cool off during the hot Texas summers, but it’s also critical to the health of our ecosystem.” – Dr. Karen Smith, Environmental Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin.

Visiting Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool is open from 5 am to 10 pm daily, except for Thursdays when it stays open until 9 pm. The entry fee for adults is $9, and for children and seniors, it’s $5. The parking lot can fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to arrive early or take public transportation. The pool is located in Zilker Park, which offers many other attractions, including hiking trails, playgrounds, and botanical gardens.

Interesting Fact:

The water in Barton Springs Pool is so clear that visibility can reach up to 30 feet, making it a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.


Barton Springs Pool is a true gem in the heart of Austin, Texas. It offers visitors a chance to cool off in refreshing spring water and connect with nature. It’s also a vital part of the local ecosystem and a cultural and historical landmark. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, Barton Springs Pool is a must-see destination that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

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