Hamilton Pool


DSC_0460_303I finally made it to Hamilton Pool off Hamilton Pool Road in SW Travis County. Actually, it is only about ten miles from my house and although I have been tempted to visit the place many times before, I always put it off as I don’t care to do my hiking or photographic work where there are large crowds of people. Hamilton Pool on weekends in the summer is not my idea of fun.

I chose to go in the middle of winter and just after we had some very heavy rain storms and floods throughout the area. I knew there would be some visitors but I also knew that no one would be swimming. The water is way too cold for that.

DSC_0467_293Hamilton Pool comprises of two main attractions. The Pool and the waterfall that feeds it and then a single trail that leads down the river for a half mile or so. Unfortunately, because of the very recent flooding, the trail was closed so I was limited to the Pool itself. I was not disappointed as the Pool is quite spectacular especially as the cave behind the waterfall is so large that the only way to get to the beach is by following the footpath that leads through the cave. Before that however, there are a series of steps to negotiate on the trail leading down to the pool. Some were rock, others were man made but all were easy enough to walk on.

DSC_0512_258There were a lot of people already on the beach area, in the cave and following behind me on the trail that leads to the pool. I joined the line as we clambered over rocks, up man made steps and back down onto the pebbles that comprises the beach.

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Some of the views are quite breathtaking when you look upwards to the dense overhangs of rocks and vegetation. When you stop to consider the history of the place and  that people have been visiting this pool for thousands of years, the mind boggles. The fact that the power of water carved out the cave in the first place over many millennia is hard to wrap the mind around.

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I wandered around taking many pictures and chatted to a few people who, like me, were all enamored with the beauty of the place. I looked around and the people were from all races and ages which goes to show that you are never too young or too old to enjoy the beauty of nature. I did pass one obvious exception to that statement as on the way back, I paused to let others by as the trail was narrow and difficult. A large family of several generations came down the rocky steps as I waited at the bottom. In the group was a young boy of about 12 or 14 who had brought an electronically controlled model car with him and was driving the thing over the rocks as he came down the steps. Maybe I am old fashioned, no change that, I am old fashioned but it seemed to me that there is a time and place to drive a model car and going out with the extended family to view one of the wonders of nature at Hamilton Pool was neither of them. Obviously, his interest had nothing to do with Nature or the beauty of what he was about to see. Such a shame  as he was missing out on a valuable learning experience of both the beauty of the place and the appreciation of the natural world around him. Oh Yeah, Don’t get me started on if he should have been allowed to bring the toy with him on the trip.

DSC_0440_323I made the climb back up the steps following the trail until I reached the starting point with what seemed like an endless stream of people going in both directions. Quite obviously, the place is very popular as it should be. Can’t imagine what it is like in the middle of summer when it is 100 plus degrees out and the water is so cool and inviting. One difference being the girls are in bikinis and the men in swim trunks or shorts and I can understand why people come and visit this beautiful place.

Below is a slideshow set to music of all of the pictures that I took on this visit.

Hamilton Pool 12-19-2015 (Enhanced) from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

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