Travel Guides

Hamilton Pool

June 24, 2011

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It’s been reaching past the 100’s in Austin, Texas and the temperature is just getting hotter. Unfortunately, Austin is going through a drought, so where can you go to cool off? Try Hamilton Pool. Hamilton Pool is one of the best swimming holes in Texas – and a great place to picnic, swim, and spend some time in the hot Texas summers.

The preserve is managed as a natural area (preserve) with emphasis on habitat protection and restoration, environmental education for public and private groups, and ongoing research; it offers limited, day-use only, with recreational opportunities such as picnicking, hiking, swimming and nature study. The preserve’s pool and grotto were formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago.

There is a 45 foot water fall creating a great swimming hole. You need to also hike some of the nature trails along the creek. Swimming is allowed only when the water quality meets safe standards. Water quality is monitored regularly. Updated information is posted at the entrance booth and provided on the park’s telephone recorder message(512-264-2740). The parking lot is sized for 75 cars, and when all spaces are taken, cars are held up at the gate until a space opens. Drinking water or concessions are not available in the preserve; chemical toilets are provided.

Hours of operation
* 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
* There is an entrance fee. $10 per car.
* Travis County honors the Federal Golden Age Passport and the Senior Citizen State Pass.

Pets are not allowed, even on leashes. Neither are visitors allowed to leave pets in cars while they hike and visit the water fall. Visitors to Hamilton Pool, please leave your pets at home for this excursion.

Extreme care is crucial for the delicate and beautiful ecosystem which forms the Hamilton Pool Preserve. Visitors are asked to please understand the necessary rules for preserving the park’s unique beauty for generations to come.

I highly, highly advice for you to get there around 10am or else the wait will be more than an hour. My dad and me got there around 10:30 and we waited for more than an hour. There’s no concessions or water fountains so pack a lunch and bring lots of water. We went around early June and the place was packed. The water was a little chilly in my opinion but everyone (except for me) was in the water. Austin is in a drought but the water is still deep enough to go swimming. There use to be a waterfall that goes over the pool but due to the drought it is now a small trickle.

Hamilton Pool, Austin, Texas, swimming holes,
Hamilton Pool
24300 Hamilton Pool Rd
Dripping Springs, TX 78620


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.