Balmorhea, a Texas State Park

When heading east form Arizona on I-10, finding spots to stop for a night or two is at times a challenge. We like to drive 200 or less miles per travel day, arrive by 2PM and stay overnight for two nights whenever possible.  With this plan in place,  we try to be flexible as things often change.  We had plans that worked well the first half of the trip, but mid-trip we had to make some changes due to tire problems.  The following is the final trip that we drove from Mesa, Arizona to the Austin, Texas area.

We left RV Renovators in Mesa, Arizona after completing the repairs on our rig.  We drove just south of Tucson and stayed at the Willcox, Arizona Elk’s Lodge for one night.  We then drove the windy (a tailwind about 20-25 mph helped us eastward), and stayed at the Elk’s Lodge in Las Cruces, New Mexico,  for only one night.   These stops were less than the 200 mile range that we prefer, but we did not stay our usual two nights.  We were on a schedule (due to the time lost with the repair work) for our trip to Austin to visit with children and grandchildren.

From Las Cruces we headed past El Paso and onto Balmorhea State Park.  We thought that since we were mid-trip by this time, we would stay two nights in Balmorhea Texas State Park.  It is a nice stop, just a few miles off the I-10.  The large swimming area is fed by the San Solomon Spring and depth ranges for a few feet to  25 feet.  We did not take the plunge as I was still recovering from the flu, but the swimmers testified that the water was comfortable at about 76 degrees, but getting out of the water in the cool breeze of early spring was a chill.


It was crystal clear with a quiet atmosphere and a favorite retreat of many.  There are trails and canals for walking.  We found it relaxing and perfect for our schedule.

We domicile from Texas and have the Texas Senior Partial Pass which gives us a 50% discount on the daily entry fee to Texas State Parks.  The nightly camp fee was $18 plus the daily entry fee of $4 per person with a Texas  Senior Discount  Pass.

Catfish were visible under the bridge and we saw a few anglers contemplating their chances.


We saw fewer birds than we could hear singing in the bushes.  This guy didn’t seem to be bothered by us.


This is our campsite.   It was an easy pull-through and close to the bath house which we did not use, but many campers did.


Balmorhea is a restful break on the drive from east to west or west to east on I-10.  It touts itself as a “Cool oasis in the desert”.  We would not disagree.

From Balmorhea to Ft Stockton we had tire problems and scratched our plans to go to  Caverns of Sonora and headed north to San Angelo in search of a Discount Tire.   We replaced the tires and within a couple of hours were on the road.  We arrived a little later than  we like in Liberty Hill, Texas not far from our destination.

It was a full-timer rental that just happen to have a last minute opening.   I asked the manager why it is so hard to find short term rental for RV travelers in the Austin area and he said that the housing in the area is so expensive that it is a good business to rent to full-timers all year long than to rent to seasonal travelers for a few nights here and there.

It was Easter week-end and we were blessed to find a spot to stay for one night.   We had reservations at Jim Hogg Campground, but we were a day early and they were booked solid.  The Texas locals love their state parks, especially in the Spring and Fall.

The last leg of our trip was 15 miles to Jim Hogg Campground.  We have stayed here before and like the park and the 50% discount ($11 per night with card).  However, it is still 36 miles away from our family in  north Austin and the traffic to and from is congested.  We keep looking for accommodations that suit our needs better, so far no luck.  If anyone knows of locations in the Austin area, please share.

Our time in Austin is coming to a close and we are headed to a Thousand Trails Park east of Plano where we will meet up with more family with grandchildren.  We are grateful that we can make our plans in jello so that when opportunities open up to meet up with family, we can do so.






2 thoughts on “Balmorhea, a Texas State Park

  1. We really enjoy reading about your travels. Not sure if you remember us but my wife and I met you in Georgetown at Jim Hogg about a year ago. We are now full timing as well and traveling in Georgia at this time.
    Mike and Debbie


  2. Thank you Mike. Good to hear from you guys. Welcome to the most wonderful time we can have, being out on the road. We are heading south and after visiting with family, we will be heading to Vermont in July 2016 for the annual Escapee Escapade in Essex Junction. Hope we can meet up somewhere on the road!!
    If you have not signed up for, please do so and then we can see where each of us are located. Better way to meet up if we are close. If you do, send us a friend request.
    Phil and Judy


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