Hamilton Pool: Austin’s Hidden Swimming Hole

Just thirty miles west of Austin, Hamilton Pool is one of Austin’s best kept secrets. This gorgeous natural reserve offers some of the best hiking and swimming in the Texas hill country. The top attraction by far is the beautiful natural swimming pool featuring a small, rocky beach with a 45-foot waterfall streaming into the turquoise waters of the pool. It is believed that the pool and grotto were created thousands of years ago when a rock dome collapsed into an underground river due to erosion. Hamilton Pool attracts visitors of all ages, and is a “must” for locals as well as visitors to the Austin area!

Pack a cooler with sandwiches and drinks, put on your hiking shoes, and give yourself a full day to spend exploring this natural gem. The parking lot at Hamilton Pool has room for just 75 cars, so plan to arrive early to avoid having to wait for a parking spot. Once you arrive at Hamilton Pool, you will can a short but rather steep quarter-mile hike on an unpaved trail. As you are hiking along the shaded trail, you can view a variety of birds in the trees and enjoy the sounds of Hamilton Creek and the waterfall in the distance. Homepage for adult swimming lessons will guide the person about all the available swimming techniques. The adults can use the techniques at their home swimming pool for excellent learning. 

When the main trail hits Hamilton Creek, it forks off. You can continue hiking along the trail to the right toward Hamilton Pool. Once you arrive at Hamilton Pool, grab a spot on the beach and enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking while you savor the views of the waterfalls and pool. Be sure to take some time to continue the path around the pool, where you can walk behind the waterfalls for an amazing view.

You will also want to save some time for hiking and exploring the trail that forks off to the left. This path takes you out about 0.80 miles on a scenic route along Hamilton Creek. The trail ends at the point where Hamilton Creek converges with the Pedernales River. There are several points along this trail where you can stop and enjoy views on benches, and where you can also take short jaunts down to the creek and enjoy amazing natural views.

The 232-acre Hamilton Preserve where Hamilton Pool is located sits about 13 miles off of State Highway 71 on Hamilton Pool Road. This day-use park is a natural preserve that takes great measure to protect wildlife habitats. Hiking, swimming, and picnicking are occasionally not permitted at the park after heavy rains or when water quality is poor due to drought or rains. It is advisable to call the park ahead of your visit to hear a recorded message about trail and water conditions. Also, keep in mind that glass containers, alcoholic beverages, and pets are not permitted at Hamilton Preserve.

Hamilton Pool is a “must” for locals and visitors in the Austin area looking for great hiking and swimming!