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Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs

(500+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. The pool is located about 23 miles (37 km) west of Austin, Texas off Highway 71. Since the 1960s, Hamilton Pool has been a popular summer swimming spot for Austin visitors and residents. Hamilton Pool Preserve consists of 232acre of protected natural habitat featuring a jade green pool into which a 50ft waterfall flows.The pool is surrounded by large slabs of limestone that rest by the water's edge; large stalactites grow from the ceiling high above. The ceiling and surrounding cliffs of the grotto are home to moss, maidenhair fern and cliff swallows. The Ashe juniper (cedar) uplands of the preserve are home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.The natural pool and creek are not chemically treated, so water quality is monitored regularly and swimming is occasionally restricted. Hamilton Pool is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and is a protected environment.HistoryPrior to the 19th century, the Tonkawa and Lipan Apaches lived in the area. In the mid-1860s, Morgan C. Hamilton owned the property now known as Hamilton Pool Preserve. His brother, Andrew Jackson Hamilton, evidently visited the grotto while serving as Texas governor (1865–66). In the 1880s, the Reimers' family, immigrants from Germany, bought the property to raise sheep and cattle. Legend says that their eight-year-old son discovered the collapsed grotto.Although ranchers might have considered the grotto a safety hazard for their livestock, the Reimers soon realized its value as a recreational area and opened the property for public use. Around the turn of the 20th century, the site did not attract many visitors, but by the 1960s, and on into the 1980s, Hamilton Pool's popularity had increased. The land suffered from sheer numbers and few restrictions.
To visit Hamilton Pool Preserve on your holiday in Dripping Springs, and find out what else Dripping Springs has to offer, use our Dripping Springs vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This place is gorgeous, but as soon as we got there we saw a few big black snakes. I was kind of afraid to swim after that, but I did anyway. Water was a bit cold for me. I recommend making a reservat...  more »
  • I love this place! I am still surprised that it is not very popular in my part of Texas. Online reservation IS A MUST - book early! We were not able to swim because of the rains and bacteria but still...  more »
  • Was the best trip we ever made. We loved the hike to the pool and it was amazing. We swam in it. Hiked around the cave of it. All I can say is God is a true artist!!  more »