Welcome summer! Let’s kick off the longest day of the year with a trip to a *stunning* Texas swimming hole about 25 miles outside of Austin. It was so hot and steamy, you can literally see my camera lens all fogged up in this first photo. I can’t even convey how humid it was that day, it felt like we were in a sauna! But for this stop, it was well-worth parting ways with our car’s A/C. if you are lucky to get one of the 75 parking spots at the Hamilton Pool Preserve, there’s a quick hike involved. Once you descend, a lush riverbed trail edges the creek and leads you left, to Pedernales River (closed during our visit) or right, to the main event: This pool and grotto were formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed long ago. There’s a small beach facing the far side of the grotto where a beautiful waterfall tumbles 45 feet to the pool below..
The day we visited the pool wasn’t open for swimming due to nesting birds, but this allowed us to visit this virtually deserted hideaway in solitude. If you’ve got your heart set on swimming, be sure to call ahead and get here early on the weekends. If there’s no parking left, cars are held at the entrance until a space opens up.This was simply one of the most unexpectly stunning sights I’ve seen since visiting the Canadian Rockies. Who would expect to find a spot like this just outside Austin? If you are looking for another unusual outdoor Texas experience, I also recommend Enchanted Rock, not far from the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. (the meager photos on my old blog simply do it no justice).