Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve
Formed when a cave over an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago to create a 45 foot waterfall and water filled grotto, Hamilton Pool is approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin. The Reimers, an immigrant family from Germany, bought the property in 1880 to raise sheep and cattle. Prior to the 1800s, Tonkawa and Lipan Apaches lived in the area and there is evidence of humans in the area dating back over eight-thousand years. Operated by the Reimer family through the 1980's as a private recreational area, Travis County purchased 232 acres from the Reimer family in 1985 and today Hamilton Pool is operated as Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve. Admission is charged and parking is only available for 75 vehicles. The parking lot is closed temporarily when capacity is reached and vehicles are then admitted on a one out, one in basis. During the summer months the lot is usually full by eleven. Swimming is periodically prohibited due to high bacteria levels in the pool and a heavy rain will typically close the pool to swimming for a week or so. Nesting cliff swallows contribute to high bacteria levels in the early summer. For updated swimming conditions, call the Preserve at 512-264-2740. The trail down to the pool is a over a quarter of a mile in length and includes a series of rock steps descending into the canyon. Sturdy footgear is recommended. To get to Hamilton's Pool Preserve, take Highway 71 west of Austin through the town of Bee Cave and turn left onto FM 3238 (Hamilton Pool Road). Travel 13 miles to the Preserve entrance on the right.