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Texas Pecos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Balmorhea


Imagine an oasis in the Chihuahuan Desert with a view of the Davis Mountains, and you have Balmorhea. Clear waters from San Solomon Springs flow through town from its source at nearby Balmorhea State Park. Centuries of Native Americans, Spanish explorers and Mexican farmers camped and farmed beside springs which flow a million gallons per hour. By the early 1900s water canals fed irrigated fields, producing lucrative crops. A promising town sprang up, named for its three developers--Balcum, Moore and Rhea. The Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps built the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool at the springs, complete with red-roofed adobe lodging. Today Balmorhea State Park still offers pool and lodging, plus camping and a three-acre wetland with rare fish species. The pool’s 28-foot depth and 74-degree average temperature attract a steady stream of swimmers and scuba divers. As a result, the area offers charming lodgings, downhome cooking and a dive shop. A short drive west of the park is the ghost town of Calera, where the restored 1902 Mission Mary Calera Chapel maintains its 1930s appearance.


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