Written by Shirley T
Monday, 07 June 2010 00:00
Summer is the best time to hit into water. For Austinites and folks in Travis County, Hamilton Pool Preserve near Bee Cave offers a natural pool for swimming, picnicking and outdoor spelunking. In addition, the trail along Hamilton Creek features great opportunity for hiking and nature study.
Part of Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Hamilton Pool is the home to Golden-Cheeked Warbler, Savannah oak, juniper, cypress, Poison ivy and several rare plants species includes canyon mock-orange, red bay and chatter box orchid.
Located 30 miles away from Austin off Texas State Hwy 71 west, Hamilton Pool is usually crowded during late spring and summer weekends. Arrive early as the preserve area has limited parking. It would be temporarily closed once it reaches maximum capacity of 75 vehicles. Entrance fee of $10 is collected at the gate post.
From parking lot, follow the sign post indicated to get on the rugged trail into the preserve pool and creek. It is a descending trail on the rock steps, cutting through the shrubs and diverse vegetation with occasional sight of native grass and wildflowers such as Mexican Hat. Once you hear the sound of flowing stream, Hamilton Creek is just ahead and you have arrived at a fork. Left path takes one to hike along Hamilton Creek, ending at Pedernales River. Proceed to right trail if you are going to Hamilton Pool for a dip. The round trip to preserve pool from parking lot is roughly 1/2 mile.
After crossing a little bridge, here you are at the most beautiful natural swimming hole in Travis County! The landscape is amazing. Imagine the sight of 50 foot tall waterfall plunges into a natural pool that sits just next to an open grotto! Thousands years ago, massive erosion had caused the dome of the underground river collapsed and as a result, forming the breathtaking view like what we see today. The deepest point of the pool is roughly 25 feet and one is potentially swimming with some fishes too.
Guess we were lucky to arrive before 11 am. Laying down a ground sheet, we picnicked in traditional manner at a corner on the stone patch or thee so-called gravel 'beach' area. It is not ample. In a short period, all the space was taken which led some folks to occupy the edge at the grotto.
Before heading into water, take a stroll to visit the open grotto. Seeing nature at its best before scending
a flight of staircase, capture a few shots of waterfall and return to the picnic area.
Travis County Parks
Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve
24300 Hamilton Pool Rd.
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm daily (if weather permits) & swimming is permitted when water quality meets the standard
Entrance fee: $10
Official website: http://www.co.travis.tx.us/tnr/parks/hamilton_pool.asp
Did not find what you are looking for? Do a search...
(Type what you are looking for in the textbox below)
Flower Arrangement Series
Like flowers, want to get creative? Step by step with images on how to design what you always wanted.
Need itinerary of a week? Attractions in Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Floating Market, Kanchanaburi...
Big Bend US National Park (Texas)
From canyons, rivers, basins to mountains, a journey into wilderness!
Spring in Tokyo
Hanami and Sakura at Ueno, Akibahara, Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Ameyoko Shopping Street...
The Best of Taipei
Our stories at Yangmingshan, Yehliu, Keelung, Jinshan, Danshui, Taipei...
Live, Do, Eat, Sleep in Texas
4 Seasons experience in The Lone Star state; hopping Austin, Blanco, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fredericksberg, Houston, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Terlingua, Vanderpool, Waco & more