Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



Hamilton Pool truly is a gem; you would not expect a place like this to be anywhere near Austin. This is a giant sinkhole with a 60 foot high waterfall. You hike down a 1/4 mile trail to the pool, and when your eyes first glimpse the giant structure your jaw will drop. It is absolutely stunning. You can walk around and behind the falls, but swimming is only allowed on days when the bacteria count is at safe levels. On swimming days this park can get very crowded, and there is only room for 50 cars in the parking lot, so you may have to wait in line at the guard booth to get in. The best time to go is in the spring after it has rained (there usually is no swimming allowed after a rain because it promotes the bacteria growth) because there will be fewer people there.

The hiking trail is really excellent as well, and the flora in this area is very unique and interesting. The hiking trail is not very long, but it is extremely scenic. It goes maybe 1/2 mile to the Pedernales River (see photos below).

Hamilton Pool is a definite must-see for anyone living in Austin! The LCRA charges an insane $8 per vehicle to get into the park. Pets are NOT allowed. Also, be sure to check out the West Cave Preserve which is just down the road from Hamilton Pool.


Take 71 about a mile past 620 and turn left onto Hamilton Pool Road (also called 3238). Follow the road about 10 miles until you see the entrance on the right - be careful, it is easy to miss it. About half way there you will see a sign which tells you if there is swimming allowed that day.


These pictures were all taken in May of 2002 when we had almost no rain at all, so there was just a trickle of a waterfall. Nevertheless, some great photos (click on them to see them big):

©2001-2011 Brian Greenstone