5 Things to Know Before Visiting Hamilton Pool Reserve

What is Hamilton Pool Reserve?

Hamilton Pool Reserve is a collapsed grotto with beautiful turquoise water and a striking waterfall. It was originally an underground river. When the dome over the river collapsed from erosion, this created the popular swimming hole visitors know today.

In 1985 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Association bought this land, which at the time had deteriorated due to years of cattle farming and made it available to the public.

Photo Credit: David Wilson


Where is it?

Hamilton Pool Reserve is in Travis County, about 45 minutes from Austin, Texas in the town of Dripping Springs:

24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

5 Things to Know

  1.  Swimming Isn’t Guaranteed – If the bacterial levels are too high, you won’t be allowed to swim in Hamilton Pool Reserve.
  2. Entrance Fee is Cash Only – The entrance fee of $15 per vehicle is payable by cash only. There is discounted a senior rate of $5.
  3. Prep for a Short Hike – There’s a short hike to get to the reserve, so wear  shoes appropriate for a hike, bring water, and don’t pack too heavy. While the hike is fairly short, sturdy shoes are recommended because the trail can be rocky, steep, and slippery in certain areas.
  4. Make a Reservation & Call Before Going – Sometimes, reservations may be necessary to gain entrance. Luckily I didn’t need one, probably because I visited on a weekday, early in the day. Even if you have a reservation, you should still call to make sure the reserve is open, as occasionally they will close it down for a few days due to weather conditions.
  5. Pet Friendly – This is a pet friendly location. Dogs are welcome!

Where to Go Swimming:

When I visited Hamilton Pool, no swimming was allowed, so I wasn’t able to take a dip in that gorgeous turquoise water!

If the bacteria levels are too high to take a dip in the reserve, there’s a river nearby you can go swimming in that’s just a short drive away.

Call 512-264-2740 to check swimming conditions.

I ended up splashing around here instead at Pedernales River:

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