Hamilton Pool: Nature's perfect swimming hole
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.