Hamil­ton Pool: Na­ture's per­fect swim­ming hole

Guide to Dripping Springs - - Front page -

Heaven is bound to look some­thing like Hamil­ton Pool — at least that’s what most folks think when they first lay eyes on this unique Texas trea­sure.

A trail con­nects the Ped­er­nales River to what is ar­guably the most ac­claimed swim­ming hole in Texas. The park’s main at­trac­tion is the swim­ming hole, but a trail lead­ing to the Ped­er­nales River is breath­tak­ing, fea­tur­ing a small stream that runs be­tween the two.

Hamil­ton Pool is a great place to swim-when swim­ming is al­lowed. Wa­ter qual­ity is closely mon­i­tored and de­ter­mines if swim­ming is al­lowed or not. It is best to call in ad­vance to make cer­tain swim­ming is al­lowed.

Even when swim­ming is off lim­its, the re­serve is a feast for the eyes and a great place for pho­tog­ra­phy-you can walk into the grotto, be­hind the wa­ter­fall. There’s also plenty of wildlife.

Travis County op­er­ates Hamil­ton Pool Pre­serve. The pre­serve is part of the Bal­cones Cany­on­lands Pre­serve sys­tem, de­signed to pro­tect en­dan­gered ge­o­log­i­cal fea­tures, plants and an­i­mals.

Hamil­ton Pool is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year round. The park does not al­low pets, glass con­tain­ers or cook­ing fires. Fish­ing is not al­lowed.

The pre­serve closes to new vis­i­tors tem­po­rar­ily when it reaches ca­pac­ity. Hamil­ton Pool be­comes quite pop­u­lar dur­ing the sum­mer-so if that’s when you’d like to visit, leave early.

To get there from Drip­ping Springs, drive north on Ranch Road 12 for about 7.4 miles, turn left on Hamil­ton Pool Rd. and drive about five miles. Hamil­ton Pool Pre­serve is on the right.

En­try is $8 per ve­hi­cle, $3 per pedes­trian or bi­cy­cle. An­nual per­mits are avail­able for $75. Dis­count passes are avail­able for se­nior cit­i­zens age 65 and older. For in­for­ma­tion, call (512) 264-2740 for a recorded mes­sage.

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