Summer in Texas is synonymous with many things. It could be a visit to the beach, a backyard barbeque, cracking open a cold beer, or grabbing a popsicle (or three!). But the one thing that everyone will agree on as the epitome of summers in Texas is a visit to one of the many swimming holes in the state… like Krause Springs!
Krause Springs actually made it in our road trip video from Dallas to Austin showcasing some of the most beautiful and photo-worthy locations in central Texas and the Texas Hill Country.
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A swimming hole is, quite simply, a place with water that is deep enough to soak or swim in on a spicy summer day with friends and family.
When visiting Austin, you have to check out the best swimming hole near the city at Krause Springs. (If you want to explore further, this is my other favorite Texas swimming hole!)
Krause Springs is more than just shallow pools of water. It is a well-known camping ground as well! The Krause family has owned and operated it in Spicewood, Texas for nearly 55 years.
I love it so much that I’ve visited twice in two years- and hope to continue the annual tradition!
Read on to check out all of the great things you can do in a day or two at Spicewood’s Kraus Springs in Central Texas.
Where is Krause Springs?
You’ll find Krause Springs in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin, Texas along TX-71 West!
The property spans 115 acres 30 miles northwest of the city and holds numerous natural wonders for you to explore.
Krause Springs is extremely popular with summer crowds. Fortunately, there is a lot of space for visitors in the area’s massive man-made pool and natural spring pool.
Krause Springs has been declared a historic site adding to its growing list of accolades as a premier travel and cultural destination in Texas. Lookup any online itinerary for summer activities near Austin and you will find Krause Springs near the top.
Getting to Krause Springs
So, how do you get here from Austin?
The only appropriate way to get to Krause Springs is to drive. Whether you are renting a car, an RV, or plan to bring your own vehicle, you will need it to drive the 36 miles from downtown Austin.
You can rent an RV, campervan, or trailer in Austin starting from $100 per night. Many are outfitted with all the basic necessities including beds, sinks, fridges, stovetops, and toilets. Everything you need for a comfortable camping experience!
Using downtown Austin as a departure point, you will need to take TX-1 Loop South to TX-71 West until you reach the Spicewood General Store at Spur 191. Turn right from here and drive an additional mile and a half until you reach your destination on 404 Krause Springs Road.
While the entire drive shouldn’t take you longer than 45 minutes on a regular day, you might encounter some traffic along TX-71 West so plan to leave a bit earlier to make the most of your day.
Entrance & Hours
Unlike most of the water holes in Texas, Krause Springs is privately owned, which actually means it is much easier to access than other spots!
I’ve tried to make a reservation at Hamilton Pool in Austin and have never succeeded; you have to book months in advance to get a spot!
Fortunately, that’s not the case at this incredible place!
The property is open for day use from 9 am to 8 pm.
For a day visit, Krause Springs charges $8 for ages 12 and up, $5 for kids between the ages of 4 and 11, and kids under 4 are free.
If you plan to camp at Krause Springs overnight, then the price is roughly double for each person. There’s an additional fee of $15 if you are booking an RV camping site.
Krause Springs is currently open, and masks are required where social distancing is not possible.
Travel tip: Bring plenty of cash to cover yourself, your friends, and your family. The property does not accept credit or debit!
Things to Do in Krause Springs
Whether you are visiting for the day or camping overnight, there are several ways to enjoy Krause Springs. The property has a bit of everything, for everyone. This includes natural springs, pools, gardens, and forested areas.
Swimming at Krause Springs
Start by taking a relaxing swim at Krause Springs. The powerful Colorado River flows to the north of the property and empties out into Lake Travis further downstream.
The flow of natural water provides Krause Springs with their much-coveted summer treasure: cool pools of water on a hot day in Texas!
Krause Springs has 32 freshwater springs on their property (yes, they counted)! It will take a bit of walking to reach them, past the manmade pools.
The water in the springs and the natural manmade pool stays at a consistent 68 degrees all year and flows through the area constantly.
The water is incredibly refreshing!
The main water hole
You can reach the closest springs by walking down several staircases, one stone and one metal. Be aware that it can get a little bit slippery from all the water going back and forth. Mind your step and wear appropriate shoes!
The short walk down the steep steps will bring you to a large natural swimming hole surrounded by cypress trees.
Swing from a rope hanging from one of the tree branches or enjoy views of the small waterfalls that bring water into the swimming hole. The property owners have strict rules about jumping off the rocks, so stick to the rope swing if you want to practice your cannonballs!
The area does get a bit busy since the springs are a very popular location. You are bound to run into families and friends floating on the water.
The man-made pool
A few of the 32 springs provide water for the swimming hole and manmade pool on the property before draining into Lake Travis.
The manmade pool is located closer to the entrance of the springs, with lots of access to charcoal grills and picnic tables. If you have floaties or tubes with you, visit the entrance to use their air compressor. Note that Krause Springs doesn’t rent out tubes.
Krause Springs has 24 RV sites complete with water and electricity hookup (30 and 50 amp). There are also seemingly infinite standard tent camping spots. You can only reserve the RV sites, with primitive tent camping available on a first-come, first-served basis. The RV sites are the only ones with electricity hookups, so if you think you will need some extra power, then you should call ahead to reserve a site that will cost you an additional $15!
Primitive tent camping is almost always in the shade of the cypress trees and lots are spread out across the property. If you need toilet or shower facilities, you will have to make your way to the RV sites. Drivers rejoice! You are allowed to drive your car up to your campsite.
Hiking the Trails
There are a handful of hiking paths that you can take in and around Krause Springs. You can walk the entire property and discover the not one but two waterfalls! They carry fresh water from the Colorado River to Lake Travis.
The area is covered in greenery, especially cypress trees, which is perfect for bird watching or looking for other critters! The entire walk will only take you a mile out-and-back. It is certainly worth exploring when you aren’t in the water!
Hosting a Large Event
Have you considered getting married at Krause Springs? Or maybe having a high school reunion or corporate retreat here? The owners insist that there is plenty of space to do all of that and more.
Sitting in the Butterfly Garden
There is a unique butterfly garden located near the entrance to Krause Springs. The garden is peaceful; covered in plants, butterflies, and large harmonious wind chimes made by Music of Spheres in Austin, Texas.
The space also has a comfy hammock, fountain, plenty of shade, and lawnchairs where you can read a book or enjoy your lunch!
The folks at Krause Springs recommend that you bring your own food. While there are plenty of grills on the property, you might want to venture off the grounds to get a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.
Head back to TX-71 West for a meal at Opie’s Barbecue. This place has all the delicious Texas BBQ classics that you love such as brisket, pork ribs, coleslaw, and cobbler.
If you’re in the mood for some great Mexican food (described as some of the best in Central Texas), check out Betos Tacos Y Mas just up the road. Betos, a food truck with outdoor shaded seating, delivers big flavors at a great price. Enjoy one of their tacos, refried beans, or nachos and maybe even buy a jar of their special salsa to take home with you.
A visit to Krause Springs is a great way to spend a sunny summer day with your family and friends. The area’s natural springs, pools, and campsites are a great respite from the city. They’ll guarantee plenty of fun and relaxation!
Take in the surroundings, swim in the fresh springs, hike through the cypress and sycamore trees, pitch your tent, or park your RV at this natural oasis in Central Texas. While it’s close to Austin, you will feel far removed and in a world of your own!
If you’re looking for more fun adventures in Texas, check out these posts:
- The 50 Most Beautiful Places in Texas
- 20 Hidden Gems in the Texas Hill Country
- The 51 Most Instagrammable Places in Austin
- Jacob’s Well: Gorgeous (& Dangerous) Fun
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