I took one afternoon a few weeks ago and dedicated it towards doing something I enjoy. With an afternoon to spare, I decided to explore Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas. I had never been, and it is one of the most talked about sites near Austin. So, I ventured 45 minutes outside the city by myself. It was a hot Texas day, but luckily nowhere near the usual scorching temperatures of July.
After driving down a windy road in the middle of nowhere passing a few tumble weeds and large sprawling ranches, I finally approached a small sign that read "Hamilton Pool." To my dismay, I did not bring enough cash to get past the park ranger. After counting every single penny in my wallet, I was still $2 short of the $15 fee. The ranger suggested I drive five miles back in the direction I came to find an ATM.
Note to all: Hamilton Pool costs $15 per car or $5 per car if you have a disabled vet or senior citizen. So bring your grandma and save $10.
Fifteen minutes later, I finally pulled into the parking lot and headed down the trail a half a mile before finding myself at a serene creek. The water was crystal clear. As I followed the rocky path, canyon walls started building up around me. Before I knew it, I walked up on to truly one of the most beautiful places. Pictures do not do Hamilton Pool justice. It was stunning.
On this particular day, swimming wasn’t allowed due to bacteria. But, I have to say it is now on my bucket list to not only see Hamilton Pool but swim at Hamilton Pool. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like jumping into the crystal clear water. You could see small black fish swimming at the bottom and turtles surfacing from 20 feet away. It was like looking into a terrarium.
Climbing behind the waterfall and entering the cave was magnificent. It is way larger than I expected.
I took a sandwich, blanket and water with me. I sat under the cave wall, listened to the waterfall and enjoyed my lunch. The fresh water and shade of the cave made the heat disappear. I could have sat on my rock perched above the lagoon all day. It was truly majestic.
Want to check out Hamilton Pool Preserve?
- Weekends are the most popular days to see the preserve. I have heard that getting there between 8-9 a.m. is the key. There may be a line because only 75 cars are allowed in. Once it fills up it is one in, one out – as if it was a packed bar on 6th street or something.
- Swimming is only allowed when bacteria levels are safe. Check the website.
- Very strict about no pets, no wandering from the path and no alcohol.
- There is no concessions, water and only one bathroom near the entrance.
- Best time to go: weekday mornings. It may be busy during the summer if swimming is allowed.
Always, Maddi B.