Krause Springs: A Texan’s Guide to This Hill Country Gem

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 into 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 Krause Springs in Central Texas. Bring your sunscreen and other swimming essentials – and let’s go!

Where is Krause Springs?

You’ll find Krause Springs in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin along TX-71 West! I think it’s such a gorgeous addition to the already beautiful Hill Country of Texas.

The Springs is a 115-acre property 30 miles northwest of the city and holds numerous natural wonders for you to explore.

Krause Springs is extremely popular with summer visitors. Fortunately, there is a lot of space for guests in the area’s massive manmade pool and natural pool.

Krause Springs was declared a historic site in 1978, cementing its reputation as a premier travel and cultural destination in Texas. Its listing on the National Registry of Historical Sites makes it worthy of preservation – and well worth a visit! Look up 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 planning to bring your own vehicle, you will need it to drive 36 miles from downtown Austin.

You can rent an RV, campervan, or trailer in Austin starting from $100 per night. Many of them 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. Because of this, 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. This 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 $10 for ages 12 and up, $6 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 goes up. It becomes $15 for those ages 12 and up and $10 for kids between 4 and 11 years old. There’s an additional fee of $15 if you are booking an RV camping site. You can check the pricing here.

Travel tip: Bring plenty of cash to cover yourself, your friends, and your family. While they accept credit cards, their preferred mode of payment for admission is cash.

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the springs. Better leave them at home if you’re planning to visit!

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 its much-coveted summer treasure: cool pools of water on a hot day in Texas!

Krause Springs has 32 freshwater springs on their acres of property (yes, they counted!). It will take a bit of walking to reach them, past the manmade pool.

The water in the springs stays at a consistent 68 degrees all year and constantly flows through the natural pools and the manmade pool.

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. Better 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

Via Krause Springs

A few of the 32 springs provide water to the spring-fed pools and manmade pool on the property before draining into Lake Travis.

The manmade pool is located on a cliff overlooking the natural swimming hole and is closer to the entrance of the springs. With lots of access to charcoal grills and picnic tables, it makes for an awesome picnic area for families and friends – so bring your own food and snacks! There’s also a diving board as well. 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.

Overnight Camping

Krause Springs has 24 RV sites complete with water and electricity hookups (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 (which 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 bathrooms with sinks and stalls or shower facilities, you will have to make your way to the RV sites. Their showers actually use fresh spring water too and aren’t heated. 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 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 natural wildlife – of which there is a lot! 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 lawn chairs where you can read a book or enjoy your lunch!

What’s Nearby?

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 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:

Safe travels!


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About the author
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
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