Ultimate Guide to Jacob’s Well, Texas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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Jacob’s Well is a magical wonder. Jacob’s Well is located in Jacob’s Well State Park and was formed when the water table dropped deep enough for an underground river to be exposed. Jacob’s well has become one of Texas’ most popular attractions, drawing people from all over the world. Jacob’s well offers tours, camping spots, and much more!
Jacob’s Well is arguably the longest underwater cave in Texas and is an artesian spring that gives out several thousand gallons of water per minute. It is one of the most important geologic areas in the Texas Hill Country. The spot has become so popular that the Park authorities have started taking online reservations for the swimming spots.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
One should understand the dangers before diving into Jacob’s Well. There are ample reasons why it is touted as one of the most dangerous diving spots. The 13-foot opening is dangerous, and authorities always tell the swimmers not to dive for their good!
However, people continue to jump into the opening even though there have been nine fatalities. No wonder it is known as a dangerous allure to divers mainly due to the narrow passages and poor visibility deep down in the caves.
History of the Well
In 1850, the settlers first came upon Jacob’s Well near Wimberley, but they did not find a swimming hole. They discovered a magical fountain of clear water 12 feet in diameter and sometimes spouting five feet above the surface. It was named Jacob’s Well because of its Biblical magnificence. The area was mainly frequented by three Native American tribes – Tonkawa, Jumano, and Comanche.
This is best described as an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water from the Trinity Aquifer. The Texas pioneers used the water to power up a sawmill, which continued for almost 70 years. In 1924, Jacob’s Well had a flow of 170 gallons per second. However, the development in the area resulted in the reduction of the flow of water through the spring, and it rarely reached the previous flow rates.
Different measures are being adopted to address water conservation issues and improve the quality of water. With continued development and the increase in drought, Jacob’s Well is under extreme pressure. Monitoring the Well is now the foremost responsibility of the concerned authorities to ensure the stability of water and for the life that exists in and around the water.
Geological Cave Formations in the Well
It is the fourth chamber of Jacob’s Well known for its beautiful geological formations. Those who have viewed the fourth cave say it is a virgin cave with beautiful limestone formations with no signs of gravel.
Wildlife in Jacob’s Well
One will not find many plants and animals deep inside the cave, but there are ample signs of life around the entrance and in the first chamber. There are turtles, catfish, sunfish, and several species of fish. Experts say that these life forms had entered the cave a long time back, lost their way, and are now unable to get out.
Some native species like the Texas Cave Salamander have lost their pigmentation due to lack of sunlight and do not need eyes to navigate inside the cave.
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Is the Well Haunted?
The well is not haunted, but it has been touted as one of the most dangerous diving spots in the world. At least nine people have died here, although it is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers.
The Well is only 13 ft at the opening. Some people dive straight into the well amid the upward current. Some of the daredevil divers even do flips in this swim-at-your-own-risk environment. So a dive inside the Well might seem like a lot of fun, but it can be dangerous in reality.
How Big is Jacob’s Well?
The Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a little more than 81 acres. Jacob’s Well is the 2nd largest fully submerged cave in Texas, with a total length of 4341 ft. The deepest part of the cavern system has a depth of 140 ft.
Jacob’s Well Tours
There are guided morning tours offered free to the public from October to April. These tours are led by park staff or dedicated volunteers. The guides will tell you about the history of Jacob’s Well and the aquifer system that sustains the Well and the local vegetation and animals. The free guided morning tours are available every Saturday morning from 9 am. The tours are not conducted in the summer months. The tours last one hour and are not strenuous.
Tour Prices and Discounts
The cost for swimming is USD 9 per adult, USD 5 for children aged 5 to 12 years, and seniors over 60 years of age. There is no swimming fee for children under the age of 5. This charge is for swimming only; if anyone wants to roam around in the Natural Area, they need not pay anything.
There is no fee for parking also, but once the parking lot gets filled up, they will turn away visitors without swimming reservations. Each swimming reservation is for a 2-hour block, and there is no separate entrance fee for the Natural Area.
Is Jacob’s Well Cold?
The summer months can be grueling for anybody. Temperatures can reach 95 to 100 degrees F in the summer, but the water temperature remains constant at 68 degrees F throughout the year.
What to Wear?
Since you will be going into the swimming hole, you should be carrying appropriate dresses. As for footwear, we recommend only water shoes.
Walking around the area barefoot would not be comfortable, so swimming shoes would be of great help. You can wear sandals, but we highly recommend proper footwear for this trip. Apart from these, do bring in sunscreen and towels to beat the heat.
Jacob’s Well Hours
The Natural Area is regularly open from 8 am to 6 pm. The recommended hiking hours are 8 am to 10 am daily. The Nature Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. No person is allowed to enter the premises after 5:30 pm.
What to Do at Jacob’s Well (Beside Tours)
Not many people realize that the well area spreads over 81 acres and the swimming hole is only a tiny part of it. Apart from swimming, there are many other things to do here, such as hiking, birding, geocaching, photography, picnicking, or simply viewing the spring for long hours. No reservation is required for these activities, although you need to reserve a spot to go swimming.
Best Time to Visit Jacob’s Wells
The well is open to visitors from May to September. The best time to come here is during summer, as you get a chance to get relief from the oppressive heat. However, the place gets crowded in summer, and online reservation is mandatory, which should be done at least two weeks in advance.
How to Get to Jacob’s Well
The area is around 10 min from Wimberley in Texas and 45 min from Austin. The entrance to the Well is at 1699 Mt Sharp Road. One can easily find the location in Google Maps by searching – Jacob’s Well Natural Area.
Hotels near Jacob’s Well
There are some excellent hotels and lodging options near the region, namely The Lodge at Cypress Falls and Wimberley Log Cabins Resort & Suites. You can also stay at Cypress Creek Cottages, just a mile from Jacob’s Well.
Visiting Jacob’s Well
Do you need more information before visiting? Call (512) 214 –4593 or email Jacob’s Well for an information packet.
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