Hamilton Pool is one of those places that will have you saying, “Wait, THIS is in Texas?!” And indeed it is! A short drive west of Austin in Dripping Springs, TX is this beautiful nature preserve created by Hamilton creek cascading 50’ into a box canyon. But before you hop in your car, there are some things you need to know before you visit.
You must book an online reservation in advance to visit. Because of the fragile nature of the area, admission is limited. Hamilton Pool is also very popular so reservations can fill up fast, especially for weekends.
While the word “pool” is in the name, swimming isn’t always allowed. Usually this has to do with recent rainfalls and bacteria levels. However, when I most recently visited it was due to COVID-19. Womp-womp. Check the Travis County Parks website for current conditions. Also, there is no lifeguard but there are life vests on a first-come, first-served basis that can be borrowed for free.
The fee you pay online to book your reservation is not the only time you will need to pay for access to Hamilton Pool. When you arrive you will need to also pay an entrance fee per person in your car. Only cash is accepted for this fee so be sure to bring some along. Extra points if you have the exact amount.
The .25 mile trail from the parking lot to Hamilton Pool is a bit steep and uneven. While I think you would be okay wearing sandals, a better choice would be some sturdy shoes. There are also lots of large rocks to climb on at the pool and if you plan on doing that you will appreciate any added ankle support. I would also recommend bringing some water shoes if you plan on going into the pool.
Sorry, pets have to stay home. Once again, the area is fragile and not a great place for Fido to play.
Food and Water
There aren’t any water fountains in the area so be sure to bring a full bottle from home. Food is allowed, just remember to pack out any trash when you leave to keep Hamilton Pool looking beautiful.
Things to Bring
I recommend making sure you have a towel and maybe a folding chair if you don’t want to sit on the ground or rocks. There is a small beach area that is perfect for setting up a chair to relax.
Things to Do Besides Swim
The entire area of the Hamilton Pool Preserve is 232 acres. While most people come for the pool there are other hiking trails where you can discover the local flora and fauna including the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler which is exclusive to Texas.
If you follow these tips you will be sure to have fantastic trip to Hamilton Pool