Buffalo Springs Lake, Lubbock
Buffalo Springs Lake in Lubbock was such an amazing surprise! From the moment we turned the corner of the flat Texas High Plains and looked down into Yellow House Canyon, we were thrilled! Houses, trees, water, and lots of boats and people were…. EVERYWHERE! The lake bills itself as an oasis in Lubbock, and that is exactly what it is!
Perfect for a day trip while traveling in Lubbock, or as a weekend getaway, Buffalo Springs Lake has something for everyone! Here are my Mommy Tips to help assure you have a terrific visit!
Buffalo Springs Lake offers RV camping with full hook ups along the lake. Sites are first come, first serve and they do not take reservations.
Campground S was right on the lake, not very crowded and has FREE Wi-Fi. It’s the first of the 3 RV camping sites you come to, so I would claim one of these, then take a look at what is available at A & B, which is further away from the water and more congested than S. If you have a boat, you can bring it right up to the shore at campsite S.
However, if you are traveling with young children, you may want to stay away from the water’s edge and prefer A or B. The ATV trail entrance is located here. There is also a group pavilion, and the smell of smoked brisket coming from this side of the park was incredible!
This isn’t state park camping, and there are not designated sites for tents. If, like me, you prefer tent camping, your options are pretty open. Except the RV campgrounds, the swim beach or someone’s front yard, you can camp anywhere along the lake. Some places are MUCH more congested than others. We choose a covered picnic table near a restroom, with a fire ring and trees, but we brought with us a table, EZ up and a grill, just in case. I assumed that because it was so crowded, our campsite wouldn’t allow us much communing with nature, and I was pleasantly surprised by a group of wild turkeys in our campsite the next morning!
If crowds aren’t your thing, there are some more isolated tent camping sites on the East side of the bridge, it just takes a little more looking, and a stronger bladder, because you would need to drive to the restrooms to achieve real isolationism.
As the mom of a boy scout, girl scout and cub scout, we were excited to see Camp Buffalo, which is owned by the South Plains Council Boy Scout’s and offers overnight camping and day use to troops.
There are bath houses located around the lake. They have restrooms and a shower. The one nearest the swim beach was our favorite, since the restrooms had doors. The one near our campsite did not, something that didn’t bother me but was refused by my daughter, even if I stood by the door and asked others to wait!
For the large amount of people at the lake, I was surprised how well-kept the restrooms were. They were cleaned and sprayed down several times a day with a disinfectant.
I did not see any diaper changing stations at all.
Don’t forget your soap, and pack spare toilet paper, just in case!
Buffalo Springs Lake is a spring fed lake, and was cut in the plains by the Brazos River. There is a dam and spillway at the East end of the lake.
The lake is divided by a bridge and has a wake side, and a no wake side.
The West end of the lake is no wake, and people enjoy paddling around this end of the lake, and around a small island, on kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. There is not a paddling “trail” on the lake, and they are not allowed on the East (wake) end of the lake.
The marina does not offer any rentals.
I would consider bringing an inflatable boat for the kids to paddle around before I would haul a canoe or kayak a long distance.
Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks the lake. Click HERE to visit the Buffalo Springs Lake facebook page for information on stocking dates.
There are several piers to take the kids fishing, and the “Croppie House”, a lighted fishing house, as well as fishing along the shoreline.
Anyone 17 or older must possess a valid Texas Fishing License.
The best boating was in the larger East end of the lake. Although it’s a busy lake, there was plenty of room for boats to pull tubes and knee boards.
There are several boat ramps and a marina on the lake, which sells basics and food.
You can swim all over the lake, but there are two swim beaches. One is located near the marina and another is on the South side of the lake, in a small cove.
There are no life guards on duty. Please use life jackets for non-swimmers.
Don’t forget sand toys for fun on the beach, chairs, and an EZ up for shade.
Elsewhere on the lake, kids were jumping from the piers and there was even a rope swing!
This is probably my favorite place for ATV and mountain bike trails!
They start down on the nice safe canyon floor, and wind back and forth up the canyon until it feels like you are just going to leap off the top!
Really, I was scared to death,
but it’s beautiful!
There are hiking and climbing trails all around the lake. We found several small caves to explore!
Another of the caves we explored. There could be wild animals, including rattlesnakes inside the caves, so be careful and supervise your children at all times!
Because you never know what might pop out of them! We loved this cave, that you climbed up to come out of the top of the cliff!
You can drive to the spillway and park your car, and from here you can access a unique nature trail that takes you down past the lake and into Ransom Canyon. Now a residential community, its springs were used by early Indian cultures, and occasionally remnants such as arrowheads can be found.
My son and I got our morning 3 miles in along the road that circles the lake. We went just as the sun was coming up and it was gorgeous! We met many of the locals who live there at the lake, and were able to see a side of Buffalo Springs when the tourist aren’t around! Loved it!
Other Things to do
There is a pavilion inside the park, which requires additional entrance fee. During our visit, they were having a concert. You can check their calendar for current events by clicking HERE.
One of my favorite things we did was to just drive around and look at all the lake houses at Buffalo Springs Lake. The land is owned by the county, and leased out, with those leasing paying for their own improvements (houses). Some of the lake houses are whimsical, and some are just amazing!
As charming as Buffalo Springs Lake is, you still have to eat. The marina serves breakfast and lunch. They had a smoked chicken sandwich that was smoked on site, and really good.
Things To Do in Lubbock
Stars and Stripes Drive In
After dinner, we drove out to Stars and Stripes Drive In in Lubbock to watch a double feature. Minutes after we pulled in, there was an amazing lightning storm all around us. The drive in has a playground with a tetherball, and a concession stand, but we were forced to watch both features from inside the car! It was still a great time!
Click HERE to visit the Stars and Stripes Drive In website.
The 2nd feature lasted until 2am, and then we drove back out to the campsite. Since the gate to Buffalo Springs Lake is manned 24/7, we were able to drive back in to our campsite.
Blue Sky Texas
I refused to cook anything but breakfast, so we drove into Lubbock for dinner. I was referred by a friend who knows how much I love dining on an outdoor patio, to Blue Sky Texas, a hamburger restaurant with a sandbox in the back! My littlest loved it, and we loved our burgers! Click HERE to visit their website.
Buffalo Springs Lake
9999 High Meadow Rd, Lubbock
Click HERE to visit their website.
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