Plunging 140 feet deep and home to crystal-clear water the mysterious and fascinating Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, Texas is one of the most beloved swimming holes in the Lone Star State.
Here’s everything you need to know before visiting Texas’ Jacob’s Well Natural Area–whether you plan to swim or not!
What is Texas’ Jacob’s Well?
Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that is housed in the second-largest fully-submerged cave in Texas.
Every day, the well pumps thousands of gallons of water from the depths of the Trinity Aquifer to the surface, where Jacob’s Well acts as the headwaters of Cypress Creek (if you’ve ever gone swimming in Wimberley’s Blue Hole, you swam in waters that originated in Jacob’s Well).
Look closely when admiring the well from above, and you’ll be able to see small bubbles rising to the surface.
What’s it like to swim in Jacob’s Well?
As the spring water is a constant 68°F, swimming in Jacob’s Well is more than a little bit refreshing–perfect for conquering the many 100°F+ days that characterize a Hill Country summer.
It’s also a bit of an exercise in adrenaline: one of the most popular things to do at Jacob’s Well is to jump off a boulder situated above the well, plunging yourself into the cave below.
While it’s common, jumping does of course carry risks, and it’ll test your fear of heights and/or depths if you have any!
Since swimming at Jacob’s Well is managed by a reservation system, the crowds are generally manageable, but you certainly won’t be alone!
Step-By-Step Guide to Visiting Jacob’s Well in Wimberley
Before diving into our step-by-step plan, it’s worth noting that this only applies to swimming at Jacob’s Well–if you’re just going to see the well or enjoy the park, no fees, reservations, or extra steps are required–just show up and enjoy!
The park also offers “hiking only” hours from 8:00-10:00 each morning during the swim season, so if you’d like to enjoy the well without the crowds, the morning is a great time to visit.
Step 1: Plan ahead.
Reservations for Jacob’s Well fill up extremely quickly, often weeks in advance.
As soon as you’re able to commit to a date, finalize your plans to go swimming at Jacob’s Well!
Step 2: Choose your preferred swim time.
Swim times at Jacob’s Well are available in two-hour blocks, and you can swim for any amount of time within that block (if your reservation is for 1:00-3:00 and you show up at 2:00, you’ll have one hour to swim.)
Step 3: Make a reservation.
You can make a reservation to go swimming at Jacob’s Well here.
Step 4: Come prepared.
There are no food facilities or water fountains at Jacob’s Well Natural Area in Wimberley, so come prepared with plenty of water, snacks or a picnic lunch, and sunscreen (the park requests that swimmers apply it 30 minutes before getting in so it has a chance to absorb into the skin and less ends up in the water).
You’ll also want to wear sturdy shoes, and we recommend bringing goggles to better enjoy the underwater views with.
Consider using the restroom before setting off–while there are portable toilets by the parking lot, there aren’t any facilities by the well itself.
Step 5: Check-in.
Before setting off, be sure to check-in and confirm your reservation at the check-in booth next to the parking lot.
Step 6: Make your way to Jacob’s Well.
It’s about a 15-minute walk from the parking lot to Jacob’s Well.
Most of the walk is completed under no shade, on a flat, graveled trail.
However, as you approach the well, you’ll not only be shaded but need to climb down a limestone staircase–and it can be very slippery from swimmers making their way back to the parking lot.
For that reason, consider wearing sturdy shoes (ie, not flip flops with no traction) to hike to Jacob’s Well.
Similarly, travel light–leave large objects like strollers behind if you can.
Step 7: Jump in!
Consider skipping the fretting about the temperatures and just jumping right into the well from the start–it will be starling but refreshing!
FAQ For Visiting Jacob’s Well, TX
Are there restrooms on-site?
There are portable toilets in the parking lot, but not directly by the well.
What about changing facilities?
Not really, unless you want to use the portable toilet. It’s better to arrive without needing to change if you can!
How long the swim season at Jacob’s Well?
The swimming season at Jacob’s Well runs from May 1 to September 30 each year.
The park itself is open year-round during daylight hours with the exception of a handful of major holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving), and you can view the well at any time when the park is open.
Do you need to hike to reach Jacob’s Well?
Kind of–it’s a 15-minute walk, and while the bulk of it is more of a stroll than a hike, you’ll want hiking-appropriate shoes to descend the final limestone staircase to reach the swimming hole.
How much does it cost to go swimming in Jacob’s Well?
It’s $9.00 per adult to go swimming at Jacob’s Well, with lower fees available for children, seniors, service members/veterans, and residents of Hays County.
Are dogs allowed?
No, all fur friends need to be left at home.
How far in advance should you make a reservation?
As soon as you can commit to a date! During the peak of summer, reservations can easily sell out a month or more in advance, and the swimming hole is continuing to grow in popularity.
Is Jacob’s Well the same as the Blue Hole?
No, it’s not–Wimberley is lucky enough to be home to two famous Hill Country swimming holes, but they aren’t part of the same park.
The Blue Hole also operates on a reservation system, and you can find more details about making a reservation here.
Do you always have to make reservations to swim?
Yes, Jacob’s Well operates purely on a reservation system for swimming.
Beyond Jacob’s Well in Wimberley
Jacob’s Well is only one part of Jacob’s Well Natural Area, though it is absolutely the most popular!
In addition to the beloved Texas swimming hole, the 81-acre natural area is also home to trails, bird-watching stations, a nature center, and plenty of dispersed picnic tables.
No fees or reservations are required to visit these parts of the park or to view Jacob’s Well without swimming.
Beyond Jacob’s Well, Wimberley itself is also packed with fun things to do, including shopping in the boutiques downtown, grabbing a bite to eat from one of its many restaurants, and tracking down some of Wimberley’s 30 painted boot statues that add an extra dash of whimsy to downtown.
If you are coming to visit Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, we highly recommend making a day of it and enjoying the town itself before or after your visit!