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Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs

4.5
#1 of 20 in Things to do in Dripping Springs
Must see · Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
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Hamilton Pool Preserve is a recreational destination located in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. Reservations are required to visit, and it is open for hiking and sight-seeing. Hamilton Pool 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, but swimming is no longer allowed due to issues with falling rocks and other signs of instability of the large grotto. Hamilton Pool Preserve consists of 232 acres (0.94 km2) of protected natural habitat featuring a jade green pool into which a 50-foot (15 m) waterfall flows with water temperatures reaching 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
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 was occasionally restricted, but is no longer allowed. Hamilton Pool is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and is a protected environment.

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Hamilton Pool Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
730 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I recently visited Hamilton Pool with family from out-of-town. We wanted to show them the beauty of Texas Hill Country. Hamilton Pool did not disappoint. The pool is closed for swimming due to... 
    I recently visited Hamilton Pool with family from out-of-town. We wanted to show them the beauty of Texas Hill Country. Hamilton Pool did not disappoint. The pool is closed for swimming due to...  more »
  • My 15 year old daughter and I spent an afternoon hiking down to the pool and along the canyon trails and loved it! Although no swimming was allowed due to the risk of falling rocks, it is still very.....  more
    My 15 year old daughter and I spent an afternoon hiking down to the pool and along the canyon trails and loved it! Although no swimming was allowed due to the risk of falling rocks, it is still very.....  more »
Google
  • Reservations are needed and an additional payment once in the park per a person. Only cash in person. Beautiful. Nice hike. The hike itself is short and easy-medium. Nice park staff and clean park area. Bathrooms were closed but they did have portable bathrooms (I did not use them).
  • After a .25mi walk down a somewhat steep trail, there’s a quick creek-side jaunt to get to the pool itself. It’s beautiful! But there’s a lot of rockfall right now, so be prepared for a brief visit since so much is roped-off. Still highly recommended! Maybe visit when the tress are full, though

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