Hamilton Pool Preserve: Experience a Little Bit of Magic
By now you know all about my love for travel and the outdoors. I have previously blogged about my favorite pick me up spot, Barton Springs Pool in the post Chill Out: The Surprising Effects It Will Have On Your Body and I have documented one of my recent day trips in the post Wimberley: Jacob’s Well Natural Area. Well, now I want to tell you all about another magical place about 20 miles west of Austin, an amazing natural spring called Hamilton Pool Preserve. This is a hidden gem for locals-and after visiting, it’s easy to see why!
The 100 degree (plus) temperatures have been making it slightly difficult to spend too much time outside lately so I figured that this would be the perfect time to make a fun day trip-and beat the heat at the same time. Once you park, the distance from the parking lot to the pool is about quarter mile on a hiking trail. As soon as I made it down the hill, I literally could not believe my eyes! This place felt magical and like nothing I have seen before.
Here is a little glimpse of what you will experience if you choose to spend the day at the Hamilton Pool Preserve.
Almost equally as amazing as its beauty is the story of how this majestic place was formed. The Preserve’s pool and grotto were formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. A 45-foot waterfall leads directly into the most beautiful swimming hole you have likely ever seen. The water quality is closely monitored on a regular basis in order to keep swimmers safe. (Unfortunately, on the day of my visit, the water was not up to code for swimming. But that did not put a damper on my day whatsoever!) I have never in my life seen such beautiful water. The way the sun reflected into the swimming hole made it look like a glowing gem. It was truly breathtaking and even though I couldn’t jump in, I was in awe of the abundance of nature’s beauty that surrounded me. I spent the day exploring with my friend and of course taking lots of pictures.
Here are some things you might want to bring along with you if you are planning your own day at the Hamilton Pool Preserve:
Cash. Bring a little bit of cash, because there is a $15.00 entry fee at the gate. (so worth it!)
Comfortable Walking Shoes. After you park, you will need to hike down a downhill trail in order to get to the pool. I recommend wearing closed toe shoes or sandals that don’t slip.
SPF. Make sure you wear a lot of sunscreen because there are several areas that are not shaded and the sun is so strong this time of year.
Water (Or Some Sort of Hydration). I recommend bringing plenty of water since there is not a concession stand.
A Camera. If you are anything like me, once you arrive, you will feel compelled to document all of the beauty of your surroundings. I love taking pictures in between relaxing and enjoying the incredible scenery.
If you plan on taking a day trip to Hamilton Pool Preserve, I highly recommend getting there early. Once the parking lot is full, they will not let anyone else enter until others leave. Also, if you are dead set on swimming while you are there, I would advise you to call ahead and check the swimming conditions for that particular day. (You can reach the park information desk at 512.264.2740.) Please note that dogs are not allowed at this preserve. (Or else we all know that I would most definitely have had the tripod (Maggie, Cody and Jack) in all of my pictures.)
Hamilton Pool would be an awesome spot for any nature-lover to spend the day relaxing with family or friends. Why not plan a nice outdoor picnic or simply enjoy a day of hiking and swimming in this beautiful, untouched utopia-like setting?