One of only eight properties on the National Register of Historic Places in Burnet County, Krause Springs is the only natural space on the list graced by lush greenery.
It was founded in 1955 and since then has been a family-run, family-friendly vacation destination just outside the state capital.
Whether you come from near or far, Krause Springs is a wonderful attraction to help you relax and beat the heat of the Texan sun.
What is Krause Springs? Where is it located?
(photo: Ed Schipul)
Krause Springs is a swimming and camping community, full of natural sites to explore for endless outdoors fun. 115 acres of land include 32 natural springs that feed both a manmade and a natural pool, the latter of which flows into the great Lake Travis, further down the Colorado River.
Krause Springs is in Spicewood, a town in Hill Country, Texas approximately 30 miles west of Austin.
Who owns Krause Springs?
Krause Springs is owned by its eponymous family. The Krauses have been the private owners of the springs for over 70 years. First, it was a hog farm ran by an member of their extended family until they Krauses bought it in the 50s.
How much does Krause Springs cost?
First, you need to decide if you visit as a day guest or want to stay overnight. Day guest passes are:
$9 per adult, $5 per child, aged 4-11 and free for children under four.
Overnight camping goes up to $15 per adult, $10 per child, aged 4-11 and free for children under four.
If you bring your RV, it’s $15 for the vehicle per night.
Do I need reservations?
No, Krause Springs does not take reservations. They operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. While this does mean that, on particularly busy days, they will close the parking lot and not let anyone in until a visitor leaves, but that is a rare occurrence.
Can you swim at Krause Springs?
(photo: Todd Dwyer)
Yes! Krause Springs is all about beating the heat, and the perfect location to go swimming and enjoy the cool, manmade and natural pools. The former measures 70 by 20 feet in size and is designed just like your usual community swimming pool, with a shallow end for wading and a deep end for diving into.
From this manmade pool, the water of the springs runs downhill to the natural swimming hole that goes up to 8 feet in depth. As there are lots of rock formations in the natural section, it’s strongly advised not to dive in. There is a rope swing, though, to keep up the fun.
You should come prepared. It’s suggested that you bring:
floats or inner tubes (don’t worry if you forget yours, they have pumps on site!);
and sunscreen of course.
How cold is the water?
The water at the springs averages 68º, thanks to the spring that is constantly flowing through the pools.
Is the water clean at Krause Springs?
(photo: Brian P. Barnes)
The water is as clean as you could hope for, being naturally cycled through from the springs and rainwater, into the pools at Krause Springs, and out through to Lake Travis and the Colorado beyond.
This one-way cycle means that movement of the water is constant, never letting the pools stagnate, and thus remain as clear and fresh as possible without the use of any chemicals or man-made products.
Are pets allowed at Krause Springs?
No. Unfortunately no pets are allowed at the springs.
Can I bring alcohol to Krause Springs?
There are no rules explicitly forbidding alcohol, however glass containers are not allowed on site. Any alcohol you want to bring would need to be in cans or plastic bottles.
What is there to do at Krause Springs?
Another way to pass the time is by taking a relaxing stroll through the Butterfly Garden, where the relaxing tinkle of wind chimes accent the garden.
They’re some of the largest wind chimes in the country, built in Austin to resemble the ringing of a cathedral’s bell.
Can you fish at Krause Springs?
Yes, fishing is allowed at the springs, but only at the lower sections: the springs that drain into Little Cyprus Creek. No fishing is allowed in the pools.
Can you kayak at Krause Springs?
Kayaking is possible at Krause Springs as long as it is a kayak smaller than 5 feet in length as it’s hard to maneuver anything longer, especially the more people there are in the pools. Krause Springs does not provide kayaks or offer rentals, so you will need to bring your own.
Camping at Krause Springs.
Camping is a main feature at Krause Springs. There are four different sites to choose from for primitive tent camping or one large lot for parking up your RV – there are 24 sites for camper vans that provide water and electricity. Choose between 30 amps and 50 amps for your hookup.
Krause Springs does not take reservations for primitive campers. Overnight stays come on a first-come, first-serve basis because they have plenty of space for tents. RV campers can, however, reserve in advance by calling the office.
Is there hiking at Krause Springs?
No. While there is a lot of land to explore, play, and rambler over, there are no specific hiking trails throughout Krause Springs. If you want to go for a long wander one day, though, there are trails leading out of Krause Springs down to Lake Travis.
Bikes are allowed on the premises, but there are also no specific bike trails throughout Krause Springs.
When is Krause Springs the most crowded?
Krause Springs is closed in the winter months, from November through February. However, they never close in the summer, even if there are droughts. This means that it can get very busy. They don’t have yearly visitor stats, but we can all assume they get particularly busy during the schools’ summer break, holidays such as July 4th, and on the weekends. It’s not impossible to get in, but just be aware that there is a small chance you may have to wait to get in if they’re full.
Tips for visiting
Krause Springs has a fixed set of rules to make sure that every guests visit is a memorable one. They warn that the following are prohibited:
Jumping from the bluffs
Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty throughout Krause Springs.
For day trippers, it’s important to note not only the office’s hours, but the gate hours, too: they open at 9 am and close the gates at 8 pm.
It’s possible to light a fire or bring a disposable barbecue* to Krause Springs for both daytrippers and overnight guests, but you must adhere to the pre-existing barbecue pits. If you didn’t bring firewood, you can buy a bundle from the office during its opening hours.
You can also host an event at Krause Springs. They have a pavilion that can accommodate up to 150 people. They only provide the premises, however, meaning you’ll have to organize all catering and furniture.
*IF there isn’t a current Burn Ban in effect in Burnet County during the dry season. Check here for any current burn bans.