Sunday, December 22, 2013

Balmorhea State Park, Texas

If you've driven across Texas and never stopped at Balmorhea State Park, you're missing out on a real gem within the Texas State Park system. When traveling across Texas in the past, we've always scooted right on by this section off I-10. Since we like to limit our days to 3 hour travel time, we usually go from Las Cruces NM, to Van Horn to Junction to San Antonio as there's not too much to see along this stretch of highway. This time, though, we decided to stay in Kerrville and travel to Balmorhea to Deming to Willcox Arizona. We were pleasantly surprised to find this State Park.  We had reservations and a State Park pass so check in was quick and painless. Full hook up sites are offered with pull thrus and back ins....

As I stated earlier, this part of Texas doesn't offer the traveler a very diverse view. Mostly desert type stuff for miles and miles.

There is some commercial ventures along this stretch as this picture shows. This is off I-10 near Fort Stockton, Texas.

This is part of the Texas hill country and the land does rise and fall allowing for beautiful vistas of the countryside below.

As you can see, this windmill was still in operation providing water for the many head of cattle grazing in the area.

As you travel westbound on I-10 around the area of Balmorhea Lake, take the Business Loop of I-10 and head southwesterly towards the City of Balmorhea...population  435, named for three landowners in the area...Balcum, Moore and Rhea.

Balmorhea State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s and opened to the public in 1968. It features a large, (1.75 acre) spring fed swimming pool complex. Water temp is a constant 72-76 degrees year round. They allow scuba diving in the pool and it is very popular due to it's pure clarity even at 25 feet. Besides camping, there is a metro style motel complex from the 1930s with a southwestern motif.

We chose a pull thru site which did not have a covered cabana. Many of the other pull thrus and most of the back ins did have a small covered area for bbqs and grills.

The sites are roomy and we didn't have to unhook the toad. Even though the campground was almost full, we didn't feel cramped. The evening produced millions of stars overhead and we felt like we could reach out and touch the milky way. It was an inspiring sight but it also made one feel pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.
The desert setting offers viewing of lots of wildlife including coyotes, deer, javelina, hawks, barn swallows, waterfowl, ground squirrels and my favorite, the roadrunner......."Beep beep"

1 comment:

  1. Awesome posts. Hope to head out next year in our coach. Everyone says do it while you're young enough to enjoy it!