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Texas is hot (almost) all year-round, meaning it’s easy to crave a cold pool. Grab your towels, a bottle of water, a group of friends and make that drive to Hamilton Pool Preserve. Not only will you enjoy the refreshing dip, but you will also be awed by the beautiful natural scenery this area has to offer.
Austin has a variety of swimming options, one of the most popular being Hamilton Pool. While it’s not exactly in Austin, it’s close enough for Austinites to visit whenever they please. Since the 1960s, Hamilton Pool has been a hot spot for locals and a go-to place for tourists. Not only is it a beautiful view, but it’s also the perfect place to cool off from the inevitable Texas heat.
The Hamilton Pool Preserve wasn’t always a swimming pool. The pool actually appeared after a dome collapsed due to thousands of years of erosion. The preserve is made up of 232 acres of natural habitat, with the jade green pool being the main attraction. If you’re patient enough to wait for a little rainfall, a 50-foot waterfall will form the day after.
While swimming or walking down the trails in the preserve, keep your eyes open for natural habitation such as native grasses and wildflowers, birds like the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and even catfish. The preserve has an emphasis on habitat protection and restoration. While you are more than welcome to picnic, hike and swim in the area, keep in mind that this beautiful land is home to several species.
Before visiting, make sure that the pool is open for swimming. Since the natural pool is not chemically treated, the water is regularly monitored in order for visitors to enjoy themselves safely. There might also be a line or wait since there is a limit on the number of people who can visit at one time. Long story short, make sure to call before making that drive.
Hours of operation: 9 A.M.–5:30 P.M. daily
Entrance fee: $15/vehicle (Cash only)
For rules and more information: https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamilton-pool