NileGuide Expert Says:
Though it's a short drive to the outskirts of town, Hamilton Pool Preserve is one of Austin's postcard destinations. It's a breathtaking natural wonder and a great spot for a cool swim.
24300 Hamilton Pool Road
Austin, TX 78620
Outside the City
Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin, Hamilton Pool Preserve appeals to nature lovers in search of swimming, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities. The main attraction is a natural swimming hole formed out of a collapsed grotto. The pool is about 1/4 mile from the parking area, so keep that in mind when you're deciding what to bring. A limestone outcropping, formerly part of the roof of a cave, shades one side of the pool. Depending on recent rainfall, water either drips or flows down the outcropping, creating a refreshing shower for swimmers underneath. Delicate ferns cling to the outcropping, lending the site a tropical flair. Hamilton Pool Preserve is also home to the golden-cheeked warbler, a rare and endangered bird that lives among the area's mixed ashe-juniper and oak woodlands. The hike to the pool is short, but it does include a series of uneven rock steps. Good hiking shoes are recommended. Visitors with physical disabilities should call ahead to arrange assistance. Parking is limited, and the pool is very popular, so try to arrive early. Drinking water and other concessions are not available. Take Highway 71 west through the town of Bee Cave and turn left onto FM 3238 (Hamilton Pool Road). Travel 13 miles to the Preserve entrance, which will be on your right.