Barton Springs Municipal Pool is a famous recreational outdoor pool in Austin, Texas, filled with natural spring water sourced nearby. In fact, it is fed by 4 bubbling springs, and grassy embankments surround it.
With more than 800,000 visitors per year, this natural limestone pool is home to the endangered Barton Springs salamander. Visitors can also encounter turtles and fish. Besides the grassy area for sunbathing, there is a diving board. Lifeguards are on duty as well.
A Brief History
Natural springs have been playing a critical role in the Austin area since before there was the city. When nomadic Tonkawa people came through the site, they performed some purification rituals in the waters. It was also reported that Spanish explorers built missions near the springs in the 1700s.
William Barton bought the springs and their surrounding acreages in 1837. He named three springs for his daughters Zenobia, Eliza, and Parthenia. The land had some changes throughout the century, which provided a sire for powering mills and bathing on the property. Visit
In 1901, Andrew Zilker bought the land. But in 1917, he sold the springs and 50 acres of land to the city. The proceeds went to the land earmarked for the public park and to local education. After a few years, he sold an additional 300-acre land to the city, which became today’s, Zilker Park.
In the 1920s, Austin expanded Barton Springs Pool by adding sidewalks and damming the springs. Since then, the pool has been a favorite gathering spot among locals and tourists.
Pool Hours and Admission
Barton Springs Municipal Pool requires entry passes that can be purchased in-person at kiosks at entrances or on apps.
In most cases, the pool opens every day from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The pool is closed for cleaning on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. It may also be closed occasionally because of environmental factors, such as high bacterial counts or excessive flooding.
The pool admission is $4 to $9 for non-residents and $2 to $5 for residents. Children under one year and veterans are free. The city also sells summer passes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Barton Springs Municipal Pool is ADA accessible, with a sidewalk and ramps. Handicapped parking is also available, found in the adjacent parking lot.
How to Get to Baron Springs Municipal Pool
Barton Springs is located within Zilker Municipal Park, which is accessible from Barton Springs Road. It is southwest of downtown Austin across another popular destination, the Colorado River.
From downtown Austin, take Congress Avenue south across the bridge, turning into 1st Street. Next, turn right on Barton Springs Road. Finally, look for the park signs and the pool. Parking slots are available near the pool. On weekends, there is a parking fee. Click here
Exhibits and Events at Barton Springs Municipal Pool
Barton Springs Municipal Pool serves as a favorite public swimming pool that locals and tourists love and is a federally protected habitat. The pool hosts Polar Bear Splash annually on New Year’s Day, where visitors can take a quick dip in the water as a fresh start to the year.
Furthermore, the site offers an educational component. Visitors can also see Barton Springs salamanders in the springs. An exhibit called Splash! The Edwards Aquifer features interactive displays. It teaches visitors about the salamander, the importance of waterway conservation, and the aquifer that feeds the springs.
Please note that there are prohibited items in the pool, such as:
- Thermal bags, ice chests, coolers
- Soccer balls, footballs, frisbees, and other hard balls
- Drinks are permitted; however, they should be in plastic re-sealable containers with twist-top lids
The best time to go to the pool depends on different preferences. The most popular time to visit is in the mid-to-late afternoon. Friday through Sunday are the busiest days, while Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be the least busy days.
The water is always at its perfect temperature to relax and swim. Visitors can chill on the site, regardless of the time of the day. The pool is an ideal destination for families and groups of friends.
Important Information About Barton Springs Municipal Pool
- Address: 2201 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
- Phone: +1 512-974-6300
- Business Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM