Why Is Balmorhea State Park Closed: Exploring the Reasons Behind the Closure

Balmorhea State Park is a popular spot in west Texas that attracts throngs of visitors every year. The park features an iconic natural swimming pool that draws people from all around to take a dip and seek refuge from the sweltering heat. However, if you’re planning a trip to Balmorhea State Park, you may want to hold off, as the park is currently closed.

While it may be frustrating for travelers hoping to experience the beauty and wonder of Balmorhea State Park, there is a good reason for the closure. Officials have deemed it necessary to shut down the park for the time being in order to attend to an issue that has arisen. While it may be frustrating for many, the well-being and safety of visitors to the park are of the utmost importance.

So if you were planning on heading out to Balmorhea State Park anytime soon, you might want to reschedule your trip for a later time. While the closure may be frustrating, it’s important to remember that officials have your best interests at heart, and they are working to ensure that the park is safe and ready to welcome visitors once again.

Balmorhea State Park Overview

Balmorhea State Park is a beautiful oasis located in West Texas that is a popular spot for swimming, diving, and other outdoor activities. The park features a spring-fed swimming pool that is one of the largest in the world, as well as a campground, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The crystal-clear water of the pool is home to a variety of fish and other aquatic life, making it a favorite destination for nature lovers.

Reasons Why Balmorhea State Park is Closed

  • In 2018, the park was closed due to damage to the concrete apron that surrounds the pool. The apron is used by visitors to access the pool, and the damage posed a safety risk.
  • In May 2019, the park was closed again after a structural engineer discovered that the diving board supports were failing and needed to be replaced. This closure was extended when additional damage was discovered to the concrete walls of the pool.

Efforts to Reopen Balmorhea State Park

Since the closure of the park, there have been ongoing efforts to repair and reopen it. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been working with engineers and contractors to determine the best course of action to repair the pool. The repairs are expected to be completed by the spring of 2022, and the park will reopen once it is deemed safe for visitors.

In the meantime, visitors can still enjoy the surrounding areas of the park, including camping and hiking in the Davis Mountains. The nearby San Solomon Springs Court Historic District also offers a glimpse into the history of the area.


Balmorhea State Park may be temporarily closed, but the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working hard to ensure that it can be enjoyed by visitors again soon. The park’s unique features and natural beauty make it a destination worth waiting for, and visitors are eagerly anticipating its reopening.

Location Hours Contact Information
9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786 Dawn to dusk, year-round Phone: (432) 375-2370

Plan your trip to Balmorhea State Park today and look forward to a refreshing dip in its crystal-clear waters in the future.

History of Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park is a popular spot for swimming and diving enthusiasts located in the arid region of West Texas. The park is home to a 1.3-acre spring-fed pool that remains 72 degrees throughout the year and is the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world. The park is closed due to critical infrastructure failures that made the pool too dangerous to use due to the 15-foot wide sinkhole that emerged just outside the pool.

  • The park has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when the San Solomon Springs were used to farm pecans and cotton.
  • The springs were also used to irrigate the nearby agricultural area, which helped boost the local economy.
  • In the late 1920s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the original pool as part of a public park project that aimed to provide jobs during the Great Depression.

The park has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, and the pool has become a popular destination for swimmers and divers. The pool is home to a variety of wildlife, including several species of fish and turtles, making it a unique destination for nature enthusiasts.

Despite the closure, plans are underway to restore the park and make it safe for visitors again. The park is an important part of West Texas history and serves as a vital resource for the surrounding communities.

Year Event
1850s The first European settlers arrive in the Balmorhea area.
Late 1800s Cattle ranching becomes a popular industry in the area.
1904 The San Solomon Springs are first put to agricultural use for farming pecans and cotton.
1920s The Balmorhea Swimming Pool is constructed as part of a public park project by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
1968 The pool is donated to the state of Texas and becomes Balmorhea State Park.
2018 The park is closed due to critical infrastructure failures.

As stewards of this natural resource, it is important that we work to protect and preserve Balmorhea State Park for future generations to enjoy. With ongoing efforts to restore the park to its former glory, we can continue to celebrate the rich history and unique beauty of this hidden West Texas gem.

Current State of Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park, a popular destination in West Texas known for its natural spring-fed swimming pool, has been closed since May 2018 due to structural damage. The damage was caused by erosion of the concrete apron around the pool, resulting in the collapse of the diving board and the discovery of a potentially dangerous cavity beneath it.

After initial assessments by engineers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department closed the park indefinitely to address the damage and ensure visitor safety. The park’s closure has left many visitors and locals disappointed as Balmorhea State Park is a beloved destination for both recreational activities and educational opportunities.

Reasons for Closure

  • The erosion of the concrete apron was caused by years of exposure to the natural spring waters, which contain high levels of dissolved salts and minerals that can damage concrete over time.
  • The collapse of the diving board was an indication that the structure was not safe for visitors to use, and it prompted further investigation into the extent of the damage.
  • The discovery of a large cavity under the diving board was a significant factor in the park’s closure. The cavity was likely caused by the erosion of the limestone bedrock beneath the pool, which could have led to a potential collapse of the pool.

The Future of Balmorhea State Park

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is currently undergoing major renovations to Balmorhea State Park to ensure visitor safety and preserve the park’s natural beauty. The department has allocated $2,000,000 to the project, which includes repairing the concrete apron, replacing the diving board, and performing extensive excavation work to address the cavity found beneath the pool.

The department hopes to reopen the park by the summer of 2021, pending the completion of renovations and safety inspections. In the meantime, visitors and locals can stay updated on the park’s progress through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website and social media.


Although the closure of Balmorhea State Park has caused disappointment among visitors and locals, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s commitment to ensuring visitor safety and preserving the park’s natural beauty is commendable. The park’s renovations will not only improve the safety of the area but also allow visitors to continue to appreciate the unique features of the park for years to come.

Renovations Cost
Repair concrete apron $800,000
Replace diving board $200,000
Excavation work $1,000,000

These renovations are a significant investment into the park’s future and highlight the state’s dedication to preserving and maintaining one of Texas’ most treasured landmarks.

Reasons Why Balmorhea State Park Is Closed

Nature and the environment are precious resources that require conservation and protection by all. Unfortunately, there are times when the best measures are taken to preserve them. This is why Balmorhea State Park had to be closed. Below are some of the reasons:

  • Damaged Spring Pool: The park’s primary attraction is its pool, which is fed by San Solomon Spring, one of the largest springs in Texas. Unfortunately, the primary culvert that feeds water into the pool suffered significant damage due to erosion. The repair will take some time, and the park is closed until further notice for the public’s safety.
  • Protecting Native Species: Balmorhea State Park is home to numerous species of animals and plants. Unfortunately, the park has seen a noticeable decline in the population of several native species. To protect these species, the park management has decided to close the park temporarily until a study to determine the cause of this decline is concluded, and appropriate measures are taken to preserve them.
  • Facilities Upgrade: The park management is committed to providing quality facilities and memorable experiences to visitors. For that reason, the park management has undertaken a project to upgrade some of the facilities and infrastructure within the park. The current closure is to allow for safe construction without damaging the sensitive landscapes within the park.

Maintenance and Repair

Like any other public facility, Balmorhea State Park requires routine maintenance and repair. Small things like repainting picnic tables and restrooms or fixing a busted water pipe to more significant improvement programs like adding new walkways require the park to close temporally to the public. The park management usually releases the schedule of closures of any maintenance work or repair to the public well in advance to avoid inconveniencing visitors.

Droughts and Flooding

The environment is unpredictable, and this is one of the reasons why nature is beautiful and enthralling. However, unpredictability also brings forth natural disasters, which can damage natural landmarks. Droughts and flooding are the primary natural disasters that have impacted Balmorhea State Park. During a drought, the park officials are required to restrict water usage to protect the natural resources. During flooding, the influx of water can damage the park’s infrastructure and facilities, leading to public safety concerns. For these reasons, the park may close during these natural disasters until the appropriate safety measures are taken.

Drought Flooding
Limited water usage to protect natural resources Damaged infrastructure and facilities lead to public safety concerns
Closure until appropriate measures are taken Closure until appropriate measures are taken

Balmorhea State Park is a natural treasure that requires protection and conservation. These are the primary reasons why the park may close temporarily. However, the park management continually looks for ways to minimize closures and provide a memorable experience for visitors.

Environmental Concerns Regarding Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park, located in West Texas, has been closed since May 2018 due to environmental concerns. This closure has been extended multiple times, and the park remains closed to this day. Here are some of the environmental concerns that led to the closure of the park:

  • Endangered Species – Balmorhea State Park is home to several endangered species, including the Pecos Gambusia and the Comanche Springs Pupfish. These species depend on the San Solomon Springs, which feed the park’s iconic swimming pool. The health of these endangered species is directly tied to the health of the springs.
  • Water Scarcity – In recent years, West Texas has experienced drought conditions, which have affected the San Solomon Springs. Water levels have dropped, and the flow of the springs has decreased. This has led to concerns about the health of the endangered species that depend on the springs, as well as the health of the swimming pool.
  • Infrastructure Concerns – The swimming pool at Balmorhea State Park is a man-made structure that was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In recent years, the pool has shown signs of wear and tear, including cracks in the concrete bottom. There are concerns that the pool could fail, which would lead to a potential environmental disaster, as the pool is fed by the San Solomon Springs.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been working to address these environmental concerns. This has included bringing in experts to study the endangered species, as well as investing in infrastructure improvements to the swimming pool. However, the park remains closed to visitors until these concerns have been adequately addressed.

The closure of Balmorhea State Park has been disappointing for visitors who had planned to visit the park. However, it is important to remember that the health of the park’s endangered species and the long-term sustainability of the springs are of paramount concern. By taking the time to address these environmental concerns, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is ensuring that Balmorhea State Park will be able to continue to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.

Environmental Concerns Actions Taken
Endangered Species Experts have been brought in to study the endangered species that depend on the San Solomon Springs.
Water Scarcity Infrastructure improvements have been made to the swimming pool to reduce water loss.
Infrastructure Concerns Investments have been made to repair and maintain the swimming pool.

It is important that we all do our part to protect our natural spaces. By being respectful visitors and supporting conservation efforts, we can help ensure that places like Balmorhea State Park are preserved for generations to come.

Future Plans for Balmorhea State Park

After the unexpected closure of Balmorhea State Park due to safety concerns, many may be wondering what the future holds for this beloved natural wonder. Luckily, there are plans in the works to ensure that visitors can return to enjoy the park’s crystal-clear waters and stunning West Texas landscapes. Here are some of the future plans for Balmorhea State Park:

  • Structural Improvements: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has allocated funding for the much-needed repairs and upgrades to the park’s aging infrastructure. This includes replacing the concrete apron and making necessary repairs to the diving board area.
  • Water Conservation Efforts: With Texas experiencing record droughts in recent years, it is crucial to conserve water resources. The park plans to implement new water-saving measures, such as using water from the San Solomon Springs to irrigate nearby landscaping instead of drawing from the park’s regular water supply.
  • New Trails: To provide visitors with even more opportunities to explore the unique natural beauty of the park, new trails are being planned and developed.

Additionally, the reopening of the park offers a unique opportunity to educate visitors on the park’s rich biodiversity and history. The park’s reputation as a refuge for threatened and endangered species, such as the Comanche Springs pupfish and the Pecos gambusia, is a testament to its ecological importance. Interpretive displays and educational tours will be available to educate visitors on the park’s ecology and conservation efforts.

Park Improvement Plan Description
Structural Improvements Replacement of concrete apron and diving board area.
Water Conservation Efforts Implementing new measures to save water resources, including using the San Solomon Springs for irrigation purposes.
New Trails Developing and creating new trails for visitors to explore the park’s natural beauty.
Education and Interpretation Offering educational tours and interpretive displays to educate visitors on the park’s ecology, conservation efforts, and history.

The future of Balmorhea State Park looks bright, with plans in place to improve infrastructure, conserve water resources, and provide educational opportunities for visitors. With these efforts, the park will continue to be a beloved natural treasure and a unique experience for all who visit.

Impact of Balmorhea State Park Closure on the Local Community

The closure of Balmorhea State Park has had a significant impact on the local community. The park was a major tourist attraction in the region, drawing visitors from all over the United States and beyond, and was a source of revenue for local businesses and the state of Texas.

  • Loss of revenue for local businesses
  • Decreased tourism in the area
  • Impact on employment in the area

Local businesses that relied on the park’s visitors have been hit hard by the closure. Restaurants, hotels, and shops that catered to park visitors have seen a significant drop in revenue, in some cases losing up to 50% of their business. The decreased tourism has also had a ripple effect on other businesses in the area, such as gas stations and grocery stores.

The closure of the park has also had an impact on employment in the area. Many local residents worked at the park, either directly as park rangers or indirectly in the service industry. With the closure of the park, these jobs have been lost, leaving many residents without work.

Impact of Balmorhea State Park Closure on Local Community Effects
Loss of Revenue Decreased profits for local businesses, loss of tax revenue for the state
Decreased Tourism Loss of business for local businesses, impact on the local economy
Impact on Employment Loss of jobs for local residents, impact on the local economy

The closure of Balmorhea State Park has been a blow to the local community, but there is hope for the future. The park is set to reopen in the near future, and with the support of the state and local businesses, the community can work together to rebuild and strengthen the local economy.

FAQs about Why Is Balmorhea State Park Closed

1. Is Balmorhea State Park closed temporarily or permanently?

Balmorhea State Park is closed temporarily due to infrastructure maintenance and repair work.

2. What kind of maintenance or repair work is being done at the State Park?

The maintenance and repair work at Balmorhea State Park includes renovation of the San Solomon Springs Courts, fixing cracks in the pool, and repairing the diving board.

3. When will Balmorhea State Park reopen?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has not yet announced the official reopening date for Balmorhea State Park.

4. Are there any alternative State Parks nearby that visitors can visit instead of Balmorhea State Park?

Yes, there are several State Parks nearby that you can visit instead of Balmorhea State Park, such as Davis Mountains State Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Lake Balmorhea State Park.

5. Can visitors still access the campgrounds, trails, or picnic areas?

No, the entire Balmorhea State Park is closed to all visitors, including the campsites, trails, and picnic areas, until further notice.

6. Can visitors still attend the Star Parties that were scheduled at Balmorhea State Park?

No, all events and programs that were scheduled at Balmorhea State Park have been canceled until further notice.

7. Can visitors still make reservations for future stays at Balmorhea State Park?

No, the Reservation System for Balmorhea State Park has been temporarily suspended until an official reopening date is announced.

Closing Paragraph: Thank you for reading!

We hope these FAQs have answered your questions about why Balmorhea State Park is closed, and when it will reopen. We understand how disappointing this news is for anyone who had plans to visit the park, but we assure you that the maintenance and repair work is essential for the preservation of this beautiful natural landmark. We recommend checking the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website for updates on the reopening date, and look forward to welcoming visitors back to the park soon. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon!