This Texas spring is the natural source of something as essential as water itself: respite from the Texas heat.
Summer Escape: All's Well at Jacob’s Well
It’s surprising to learn that one of the best places to cool off during the Texas summer is also known as one of the most dangerous scuba diving sites in the world. But it’s nevertheless true.
Jacob’s Well is a natural artesian spring northwest of Wimberley. Its cold waters begin Cypress Creek, and feed another beautiful Central Texas swimming spot, the nearby Blue Hole.
Deep below the surface of Jacob’s Well—some 140 feet down—is its source: the Trinity Aquifer. From there, the water pushes up through a system of narrow caves carved through the porous limestone. A century ago, the force of this rising spring water was enough to keep swimmers within a few feet of the surface, making diving impossible. That force has waned over time, and today is essentially unfelt.
Altogether, the tunnels and chambers beneath Jacob’s Well combine to form one of the longest underwater cave systems in Texas.
Until recently, the allure of exploring Jacob’s Well’s deep underwater caverns was too much for divers to resist. Some of these explorers met the predictable result of diving in dark, underwater (and uncharted) caves: disorientation, followed by drowning. As many as 12 divers have perished in Jacob’s Well, giving it the reputation as one of the most dangerous dive sites in the world.
Given enough time, this reputation will likely subside. Scuba diving is now banned, and metal grates cover the entrances to the deeper caves, blocking access to the dangerous areas. Freediving is still allowed.
Today, the daily activities at Jacob's Well are less about exploring the depths, and more about keeping cool at the surface. You'll find most people go to Jacob's Well to take turns making a perfectly centered plunge into the hole, and to otherwise lazily wade in the chilly waters of Cypress Creek. On Saturdays you can take a free guided tour by the Master Naturalists of Hays County and learn more about the famous floods and scuba divers that have influenced this beautiful spring and its surrounding areas. We should note that while you'll see many folks jumping from the rocks above (as pictured here), that's technically not allowed. Be careful out there!
Our recommended way of getting home after enjoying the afternoon in the chilly water is with the car windows down, allowing the warm summer breeze to dry you off.