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.Plan your visit to Hamilton Pool Preserve and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Dripping Springs trip maker website .
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Hamilton Pool Preserve Reviews
A bit of a drive from San Antonio but the outdoor activity was worth it. We were there off season so there was no issue with parking. Hamilton Pool is a short hike with a beautiful blue pool at the en... more »
The hike was a bit more strenuous than I expected, but not really bad. We went to the pool (where swimming was allowed that day) and enjoyed the beautiful spot. There is a grotto to walk through, and ... more »
I came here during the winter chill. Although only around 55 degrees, it was still my favorite part of my trip to Austin. Worth the 45 min drive! This place is absolutely beautiful. For those not able... more »
Great view of a nice natural pool. They tend to not allow a lot visitors and can turn you around or have you wait over an hour to enter. while I do understand the need to preserve this natural pool it can ruin your trip plans if you can't get it. Have a plan B. Other than that there is a short trail but overall your visit there (without the wait) should be 90 min.
We had the 9:00 to 1:00 time slot on a hot summer day. Thanks to the overhang of the grotto, our stuff was in the shade most of that time. The pool was also mostly shaded. That made for amazing, cool temperatures in the water! My kids mostly sat in their tube all day, floating around the entire pool. I swam around quite a bit. We explored. We enjoyed all the little waterfalls. I found myself almost falling asleep to the sounds of the dripping water as I floated around on my back. And every time that I reopened my eyes, I was taken back by the beautiful scenery. It was like waking up in another world! It really is a little piece of Heaven in our Texas hill country!
This is a must see if you are in the Austin area! We took the hour drive out at the first of November. They were having record highs for that time of year so it was about 86 degrees. Since we went in the fall and in the middle of the week, there was no wait to get in and wasn’t crowded. The pool temperature was only about 67 degrees so very chilly but we sucked it up and enjoyed the beautiful clear water! It was so beautiful and unique! I’m so happy we made the trip out!
One of the most incredible little swim holes I have experienced. The sky was cloudy and the water a bit murky when I was here last but the time before it was clear and beautiful and the falls were flowing. Either way its worth the drive out and worth the little hike it takes to get here. The water was refreshing to swim in and the overhang provided lots of shade when we weren't sunbathing on the rocks. Love this spot so much. I definitely recommend to anyone looking to enjoy a little bit of the Texas outdoors.
Ok scenery with very high fees. Very different from a National Park experience
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