Balmorhea State Park Expands Parking Options

Balmorhea State Park Expands Parking Options

BALMORHEA, TX (KWES) - Balmorhea State Park is looking to make some major changes in the way their guests come into the park. It's been a heated topic for a while and now parking will be a little bit easier for visitors. With over 2,000 visitors on the weekends, parking has become an issue at Balmorhea State Park. That's why Texas Parks & Wildlife has partnered with the county to accommodate to their most valued guests.

"As everybody knows, we've had a few parking issues here in the past," said Karl Coughlin, Park Superintendent. "We used to have people park along the highway, waiting to get into the park once our parking spots filled up. We heard some of the feedback from our customers and we've decided to allow them to free flow into our park."

NewsWest 9 spoke with some of the guests who say they have a method to the madness.

"Usually, we leave Andrews about 4:30 a.m. to come over here and get good parking," said park visitor, Alonzo Urquidez. "If we don't, we're waiting forever for parking spaces."

"We made sure today that we came in early," said Hutch Keller. "We were one of the first ones here, just to get in.

"Especially around the holidays, there is no room and it's backed up out in the highway," said Danny Harris. "You can't even get in the park."

We're told the county road just west of the state park will alleviate the congestion, along with some local businesses lending a helping hand.

"We're working with the county right now to see if they can work on the county road so we can allow people to park there," Coughlin said. "There are local businesses where people can park and walk into the park so we won't have that traffic issue as much anymore. We're just working to see what we can do to address the parking problem."

It will be a long time coming but the state is making an even greater effort to regulate the overflow.

"The state is also purchasing some more land, which I'm sure some of that we're going to allocate to parking as well," said Coughlin.

All this is in an effort to ensure everyone in the park is happy.

"When we were here for Memorial Day, it was hard to find parking because there are too many people who want to come here because it's just fun," said park visitor Jorgia Lujan. "They want to have fun and hang out."