Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs

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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.
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Hamilton Pool Preserve Reviews
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571 reviews
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  • October 1, 2017
    Cheryl and John our great friends from St Louis and Carol and me from UK decided it would be a great idea to visit this beautiful place on our recent visit to Texas so Cheryl duly did her homework and...  more »
  • September 15, 2017
    It's a fantastic natural swimming pool created by the sinking of the Colorado River. Parking charge ($15 per vehicle) but the attraction does not involve the payment of a note. After traveling a path of about 400-500 meters slightly downhill, we reached the natural pool. Truly spectacular, in some cases (depending on the bacterial level of water) you can also bathe. If you are in the area, is certainly worth a visit! Before you go anyway find out website because in summer booking required given the high influx of tourists.
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  • September 12, 2017
    Absolutely worth a visit. . The descent to the Hamilton pool is a quarter of a mile. The entrance fee is $15 per car or $8 per individual. They are going to work with a booking system, so book online. There are 70 parking spaces, which quickly filled. It is a popular destination. You can swim. Sometimes you may not because of bacteria in the water. There is a waterfall, where you can walk by. A fine stop on a hot day.
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