Hamilton Pool Preserve is an amazingly scenic natural area with a tiny pebble beach inside a grotto – one of the most beautiful swimming holes in Texas. Here you can easily spend several hours or a whole day swimming, picnicking, strolling, hiking, enjoying the views, and watching wildlife.
Hamilton Pool Preserve is located at 24300 Hamilton Pool Road in Dripping Springs. Since the parking lot can hold only about 75 cars the best time to visit Hamilton Pool Preserve is in spring or autumn when this popular place is less crowded. From May through September, you need to make a reservation in advance to visit the park (one per each vehicle). Having made a reservation, you can’t change the date. The admission fee is $26 per vehicle per morning or afternoon time slot and must be paid in cash. If you come on foot or on a bike, you can enter at a symbolic price of $3; there are also citizen categories who can enter for free. The preserve is open from 9 a. m. until 6 p. m. and these hours are divided into two visiting periods. With your parking pass, you can also visit other county parks on the same day (for instance, Milton Reimers Ranch Park, which is located nearby).
The only public restrooms available are those in the parking lot so it’s better to use them before you go to the pool. There are no food vendors on site and make sure you’ve taken enough drinking water for hiking and staying at the pool. If you bring your own food, you can make use of the picnic tables near the parking lot.
With a gorgeous collapsed grotto and heavenly beautiful and pristine swimming area, Hamilton Pool is a truly stunning swimming hole! The water is refreshingly cool, clean, and crystal clear – so clear that you can even see the fish moving past your legs. There is a waterfall you can step under. The beach is very small and pebbled, probably not a comfortable place for sunbathing, but swimming in is a must! Having a picnic in this beautiful setting is also a good idea. The area is rocky so it’s better to wear water shoes. The water gets quite deep and there are no lifeguards on site so you should be careful and watch your children.
Featuring picturesque hiking trails, the Pedernales River is a great place to hike. The paths are not too steep but older adults may have difficulties on some stretches and it is highly recommended to wear appropriate footwear (something better than flip-flops). The scenery is just breathtaking and there is plenty of wildlife to see along the way such as lizards, turtles, some unusual flowers. Be aware that children are not allowed to catch animals or fish – this place is a part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and the wildlife is protected.