Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



The Nueces River is one of the clearest and nicest rivers in Texas. There are some great spots for swimming and snorkeling which I've been to that are all near Uvalde, Texas. What I recommend doing is driving up to Uvalde and staying at the Holiday Inn or Best Western there that night. Then in the morning head on out to several of the swimming holes in the area:

Chalk Bluff

This is a private park that has a lot going for it. There is camping, horseback riding, and lots of swimming. You can even scuba dive here, but it's only about 8 feet deep, so you might as well just snorkle. Check out the Chalk Bluff web site for more information.

Camp Wood, TX

This small town is about 20 miles from Uvalde on Highway 55 and is well worth the drive. There is a free swimming hole here that makes the trip all worth it. It doesn't have a name as far as I know, but when you get into Camp Wood drive until you see a white limestone bank building on the left. The name of the Road is River Rd. Head down that road for about 1 mile until you see a dirt parking area on the right with a great view of the river. Put on your snorkle gear and jump in! It's about 15 feet deep on the steep side and totally crystal clear! There's a very strong current here which makes swimming pretty fun.

One nice spot to checkout just north of Campwood is on Dry Creek Rd. This is a rough road with many water crossings, and an SUV with 4-wheel drive is recommended. Find a place to pull over and jump in the Nueces! This is private land, but the water is always public access.

Along the highway between Chalk Bluff and Camp Wood there are several highway overpasses with off-ramps that will take you to swimming holes there. These are usually semi-dammed areas with some rushing water that's nice to swim in. Below you'll see several pictures of such areas. A list of river access points can be found here.

The Nueces appears to be an excellent river for kayaking and canoeing, so I need to do some further research on put-in and take-out points. However, I did see a kayak rental place in Camp Wood when I was last there, so you can check them out for information.


The fast way is to just take 35 to San Antonio, and then 90 West to Uvalde. However, as you probably know, the drive to San Antonio is one of the worst drives in Texas. I'd recommend going that way to get there, but on the way back to Austin, you can upgrade to one of the most scenic drives in the entire state! It'll add 30 to 45 minutes onto your drive, but it's worth it! In Camp Wood, take Highway 337 to Highway 41. Follow 41 all the way to Kerrville. Then take 16 to Fredericksburg and 291 back to Austin.


Chalk Bluff

Highway 55 Swimming Holes

Campwood, TX

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