Nothing cools you off on a hot Texas day like a spring-fed swimming hole. Krause Springs in Spicewood (404 Krause Spring Road, Spicewood, 78669) is one of the best around! Located about 35 miles west of Austin off State Highway 71, Krause Springs has 34 springs that feed a man-made pool and a natural swimming area.
You can visit just for the day ($8 age 12+, $5 ages 4 – 11, free for ages 0 – 3) or camp overnight ($15 age 12+, $10 ages 4 – 11, and $15 per RV camp site). Credit cards are not accepted at this time so bring cash. Guests sign a liability waiver upon entering.
When we arrived, we took a look around the lovely garden near the office.
They had some huge wind chimes which we found fascinating! Next, we walked along the paths and saw many picnic areas surrounded by beautiful trees.
From the path, we could see the man-made pool. It is fed by very cold spring water (68 degrees according to their web site). Get ready to get chilled out! This pool has a shallower section (about 3 feet) and a deeper section (about 8 feet).
After swimming in the man-made pool for about an hour, we were ready to head down to the swimming hole. The stairs closest to the man-made pool are a little steep. There’s another set of stairs farther down the path.
Be careful crossing over this little bridge!
The swimming hole has both sun and shade. It was gorgeous! Make sure to get there early if you want to stake out a good, shady spot. The place really fills up on hot days!
The waterfall surrounded by maidenhair fern was stunning. I haven’t seen anything else like it (in Texas at least)! The boys were fascinated by the “rainbow” that was created by the sun shining through the water as it fell. They played in this area a long time. We thought that the water here was not quite as cold as it was in the man-made pool above.
When you are swimming, be aware that the natural swimming area has an uneven surface on the bottom. You can go from shallow to deep in one step.
The rope swing was extremely popular. It can be a little bit tricky getting the rope back into position for the next swinger, but fortunately there were plenty of friendly folks volunteering to help everyone else out!
One thing to be aware of while enjoying the natural swimming area is that it is very slippery. Not only did we see a few people slip, my 12-year-old son hit the ground pretty hard near the end of our visit. That took the wind out of his sails.
Definitely wear sturdy shoes that can keep you stable both in the water and out.
Austin Active Kids Opinion
One of the prettiest swimming holes we’ve ever seen, just come prepared with sturdy shoes.
We stayed 2.5 hours but we might have been there longer if we’d have brought more food and drinks with us. Krause Springs could easily be a half-day or full-day outing. Since it’s got a campground, you could even stay overnight!
Don’t forget to bring cash for the admission fee since credit cards are not accepted. ($8 age 12+, $5 ages 4 – 11, free for ages 0 – 3) or camp overnight ($15 age 12+, $10 ages 4 – 11, and $15 per RV camp site).
It’s very important to bring sturdy shoes that can keep your feet stable in and out of the water.
Bring some pool floats or tubes to float on while you’re there. Also pack sunscreen, hats, towels, and plenty of snacks and drinks.
Don’t forget a beach blanket to stake out a spot on the ground where you can hang out while not in the water.
What else should I know?
There aren’t any lifeguards at Krause Springs. Swimming safety gear is a must for children still developing their skills.
While this is definitely one of the most beautiful swimming holes I’ve ever seen, I would be hesitant about taking children under age 5 without the helping hand of at least one other adult. If your children are younger or still developing swimming skills, it’s probably a good idea to have a plan for how you will keep them monitored safely.
The natural swimming area is just that–natural. Don’t be surprised if you see fish, turtles or even a snake.
Also, Krause Springs has a “no dogs” policy. Please leave your pets at home!
Hours of operation
Hours are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The springs are usually closed from December 1 – February 15, but check their website for updated information.
424 County Rd 404 | Spicewood, TX 78669