Nestled within the limestone outcroppings of Texas Hill Country, Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs is a natural escape like no other. Its serene jade-green pool, beneath a stunning grotto, leads to a picturesque 50-foot waterfall, making this one of the most captivating swimming spots in Texas.


Over thousands of years, the erosion of limestone created the underground river that formed the natural pool, making it an epic example of Texan terrain’s visual richness. It was designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court in 1990 and offers a unique, beautiful habitat for a variety of endangered species.

How to get there

Just under 30 miles west of Austin, Texas, Hamilton Pool Preserve can be reached by car via TX-71 W. Due to the popularity of this nature preserve and the importance of protecting its delicate environment, reservations are required to visit during peak season (from March through October) and weekends/holidays off-peak.

List of Attractions

Apart from the awe-inspiring Hamilton Pool, the preserve offers miles of Hiking Trails winding through diverse habitats. About 3/4 mile upstream from the pool, the Pedernales River offers visitors more wildlife viewing opportunities. Bird lovers will be in paradise with nearly 200 species of Birds found in the preserve throughout the year.

Ticket Information

A reservation fee of $11 is required and can be booked online prior to visiting. This does not include the entrance fee of $8 per person (cash only) collected at the preserve. Children 12 years and under have free entry.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Make sure to book well in advance, especially for summer weekends, as reservations can fill up fast.
  2. Bring your swimming gear if you plan to swim but note that lifeguards are not present.
  3. Pack plenty of drinking water and sunscreen, especially during the hot Texas summer months.
  4. Be aware that facilities are rustic, and bringing your own bathroom essentials is advised.
  5. Adhere strictly to all preserve rules, like not touching the delicate natural structures or leaving trash behind, to preserve this beautiful location for future visitors.
  6. Due to the changing nature of the pool’s bacteria level, it’s always best to check the Travis County website before you go for any swimming restrictions.

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