When my sister and I decided to travel to Texas Hill Country this spring to photograph bluebonnets, we started researching places to visit and I pulled out my bucket list. At the top of my list of places to visit in Texas was Hamilton Pool.
Pinterest had a plethora of photos depicting it's beauty and it was listed on several sites claiming it to be one of the places you needed to see in the United States hence it being on my bucket list.
We pulled into the parking lot not sure what to expect.
We found the hiking tail and traveled along Hamilton Creek. As you can see, it was a beautiful trail. Compared to some of the places we visited, this was a short hike (about 1/4 of a mile) that required no rock climbing or steep embankments.
The trail ends at the pool. If you take a right, you will end up under the waterfall and inside the overhang.
This is one of the first sights you will see.
The beautiful 45 foot waterfall drops from an outcropping of limestone into this beautiful emerald pool and it just takes your breath away.
As you can see by the tiny people in the photos, this place is huge.
If you want to walk behind the waterfall and explore the overhang, you will have to navigate a set of steep steps or you if you mobility issues, you can walk around the pool area and come in from that direction. It is not accessible for wheel chairs, strollers, walkers, etc.
This is the view you will see from behind the waterfall so you don't want to miss it. There is a small beach area across from it where you can sunbathe and take photos of the cavern.
Notice the steep steps I mentioned above.
Let me just say right here that you will have to travel over curvy roads and a one way bridge. It is located about 30 miles west of Austin on FM3238.
THINGS TO KNOW
- Call before you go (512-264-2740). It had been raining the morning we traveled there and the gate was locked. When we called the number, we got a recorded message that said they were closed due to the rain but that they may open at 1 pm which they did.
- Be aware that you may not be able to swim. The natural pool and creek are not chemically treated, so water quality is monitored regularly and swimming is occasionally restricted like it was the day we went.
- As of March 2014, access to the pool and river requires a $15 Travis County Park entry fee, cash and local check only. The issued permit allows you access to all Travis County Parks for that day.
- Hamilton Pool Preserve has a capacity limit of 75 parking spots. Once the lot is full, the park lets one car in as another car leaves. When swimming is permitted, waits of 30 minutes are not uncommon, or longer in the busy summer months.
- No drinking water or concessions are available.
- The preserve opens at 9:00 am, and closes at 6:00 pm. Entry is not permitted after 5:30 pm, and all recreational activities end at 5:30 pm.
WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY
- Call before driving two hours to get there.
- Carry bottled water