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Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea, Texas

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Balmorhea State Park accommodations Part of the accommodations at Balmorhea State Park
TE photo

Follow the water south a few miles until you get to Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale.

Toyahvale was a cattle-shipping point that was closer to the ranches than the town of Toyah. This geographic fact doomed Toyah's hope of becoming the next Kansas City and it now sits as a ghost.


The park is one of Texas' most under-appreciated and under-used parks in the entire system. Yes, it's a little out of the way; but once you visit, the drive will never seem that long again.

Forget to bring your SCUBA gear, inner tubes or other equipment? Lucky you. The Toyahvale Desert Oasis right there in Toyahvale rents everything you need to maximize your enjoyment of this Texas jewel.

Diving is available, but don't think it's only for divers - it's a fine place for beginners, and it's an ideal place to learn to swim.

The water of San Solomon Springs flows up through caverns and there's a surprising amount of aquatic life. The vegetation is comforting and not at all dense.

San salomon Springs pool in balmorhea State Park
San Solomon Springs, Balmorhea State Park,
Toyahvale
The reason to stop at Balmorhea
Photo Courtesy of TxDoT

The best testimonial for visiting Balmorhea that you'll never read in a brochure:

We asked Jason (Mr. West Texas) Penney if he ever visited Balmorhea and here's what he had to say:

"My wife, daughter and I go to Balmorhea every time we get a chance. It's one of my favorite places around here. I love snorkeling there. There is a species of fish there known as a Mexican Tetra that is a smaller relative of the Piranha and has [a similar] appetite. If you take a tortilla into the water with you, it will disappear into a cloud of swarming Tetras.

Their max size is about 5-6 inches. My daughter gets a real kick out of seeing them and the catfish, turtles and occasional crayfish that dad catches while snorkeling."

(Editor's note: We saw the fish while there and they closely resemble the smaller tetras found in pet shop aquariums)

Two other fish that are endangered (maybe they could use some tortillas) are finding sanctuary nearby in a reconstructed cienega. These desert wetlands are rare, but occur from time to time. There are several on the Mexican side of the border. This protected area is off-limits to the public while it slowly evolves back into its natural self.

Balmorhea State Park is open all year. In addition to the cottages, there is also a sizeable RV Park.

The number for reservations is 512-389-8900.
The number for the park proper is 432-375-2370.
Balmorhea State Park P O Box 15 Toyahvale TX 79786.

Balmorhea State Park pool A partial view of the 62,000 square foot surface
TE photo
1999
John Troesser

Balmorhea, Texas Area Towns:
Ft. Davis | Pecos | Fort Stockton | Van Horn
See Reeves County | West Texas

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Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.



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