This isn’t your typical swimming hole.


Texas’ best kept secret, Hamilton Pool Preserve, is a beautiful oasis that is way more exciting than a summer afternoon at the community swim center.

At the preserve, which is just a 30-minute drive from Austin in Dripping Springs, visitors will find a natural pool, a collapsed grotto, and a canyon — all of which were formed by thousands of years of water erosion. Many types of native birds, fish, and plants have made this their home.

Because of the pool’s fragile ecosystem, it was designated a nature preserve by the Travis County Commissioner's Court in 1990. Visitors must make reservations to swim at the pool, typically during the peak summer season between May and September.

In addition to the swimming hole, the preserve also features a natural, 50-foot waterfall fed by Hamilton Creek. Even in times of drought, the waterfall never comes to a complete stop, and the pool’s water levels remain fairly constant.

When you’re done taking a dip, you can enjoy hiking trails and have a little picnic at tables provided in the area.

Visitors who wish to make a reservation can find more information on the Travis County Parks website, or by calling the number provided. At this time, reservations are already fully booked for the remainder of this summer.