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Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs

#1 of 20 in Things to do in Dripping Springs
Must see · Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
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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. 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 is occasionally restricted. 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 4.5
736 reviews
  • 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).
  • It is a short hike to the pool. View of the pool is very beautiful. It is quite relaxing to just hang out there. Unfortunatly, at the moment walking behind the pool and swimming are not allowed due to the risk of rocks falling. But it is still a great day activity. Landscape is stunning. The color of the water is very impressive. I highly recommend a visit. And don't stay just in the pool, it is also worth walking to the other side where you will have a 0.75 mile hike by the creek to get to the river. The walk is also great and with wonderful views of the creek. You can also find fish swimming at the creek. At the river, you can swim. The only negative point about it is the price. Apart from a 8 dollars fee per person to be paid in cash when you get there, there is a 12 dollars fee to make the reservation (I guess for the car parking). A bit pricey in my opinion. Specially because you cannot stay the entire day there. You get either the morning ticket (from 8:30am to 12:30pm) or the afternoon ticket (from 1:30pm to 5:30pm).

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