Hamilton Pool is a legendary destination among Austinites. Both newcomers and longtime residents will bemoan if they haven’t been to a UT game or to Hamilton Pool yet. But a true trip to Hamilton Pool should end with a trip to Bert and Ernies General Store, bait shop, full bar, pool hall, and occasional restaurant.
The main attraction to Hamilton Pool is the 50 foot waterfall. The pool itself is surrounded by a trail that visitors can walk around to get closer to and into the waterfall.
Many visitors to Hamilton Pool expect a short hike and can be found carrying large coolers and heavy lawn chairs. Very quickly they come to realize this is a bad idea. The hike is a half mile round trip but it is a very hilly half mile. A half mile also doesn’t seem like a long distance until you try to carry a 50 pound cooler that far in flip flops.
Because the pool is fed by a creek and is largely still water, bacteria levels can get high during runoff from animal grazing areas near the creek after heavy rains. These levels are regularly checked and posted on signs. If levels get high enough the park will be closed until the bacteria levels go back down.
Your entrance fee gets you into other Travis County Parks for the day as well. Nearby is Reimers Ranch which is located on the Pedernales River and is a good spot to go for a hike, rock climbing, or even swimming.
Hamilton Pool is a protected Travis county natural area. A $10 admission will gain access to the park. Pets are not allowed.
The parking lot accommodates 75 cars and it often fills up- especially on weekends.