Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

Useful Information

Hamilton Pool, U.S.A. Public Domain.
Location: From Austin follow Ranch Road 3238/Hamilton Pool Road west. From Austin Highway 71 west through the Bee Cave, turn left onto FM 3238 (Hamilton Pool Road). Turnoff to the right with parking lot. Short walk.
(30.342284, -98.126967)
Open: All year daily 9-18, last entry 17:30.
Closed Thanksgiving, 25-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Day Use Permit per vehicle USD 15, Pedestrian USD 8.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave KarstCollapsed Cave KarstDoline KarstKarst Spring
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Spgs, TX, 78620, Tel: +1-512-264-2740.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1860s owned by Morgan C. Hamilton.
1880s bought by the Reimer family, immigrants from Germany.
1960s becomes a favorite summer swimming spot for Austin residents.
1985 purchased by Travis County and aggressive land management plan to restore Hamilton Pool started.
1990 designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner's Court.


The Hamilton Pool is a famous bathing spot and a romantic and secluded place with turquoise water and a cavern. It is located at the end of a side branch of Pedernales River, 40 km west of Austin, TX. The small preserve is managed by the Travis County. The place was named after Morgan C. Hamilton, who owned the property in the mid-1860s.

The green pool is actually a resurgence and a collapsed cave, the spring water flows down what was originally the cave and is now collapsed to form a narrow gorge named Hamilton Creek. The remaining back wall of the cave chamber forms an overhanging ledge, which provides some shadow. Huge stalactites protrude from this ceiling, obviously formed long ago while this chamber was still underground. The lake is also fed by the upper part of the Hamilton Creek, which falls over the ledge of the grotto. The waterfall may fall dry during draughts, after heavy rains it is accompanied by numerous small falls along the ledge.

The remaining cave is collapsed, and it is not possible to enter. But there is a trail named Canyon Trail leading down to the Pedernales River. It is occasionally closed due to flooding rains.

This place is very popular as a bathing spot. The parking lot has room for 75 cars, if it is full, visitors have to wait until someone leaves. At weekends, this means the place is rather crowded, especially in the afternoons. We recommend weekdays for a visit.