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Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs

#1 of 19 in Things to do in Dripping Springs
Must see · Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
Hamilton Pool Preserve 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
726 reviews
  • I can see why the reservations are so scarce here. We went down and looked at the pool which was beautiful, but we could not swim due to high bacteria levels. It was thus a little underwhelming...  more »
  • Must see. This is one of the best places in Austin Texas. It is magical. You have to go here. So beautiful.  more »
  • If there is a heaven, Hamilton Pool will be there is little words to describe this place other than, heavenly, paradise, life changing. The water is cool, refreshing, clean and brilliant. This is the ultimate picnic retreat. The crowds are not too bad, everyone here felt like extended family. The views are breathtaking and it's a must for anyone in visiting the Austin area.
  • This place is awesome. I came here along time ago but just recently visited again. Bring towels and be prepared to walk on an unpaved trail with many steps up and down with rocks and limbs. Its a little bit if a walk but if you can make it it is worth it. The water is cold but great to swim in.

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