Pedernales Falls & Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool

On March 5, 2016 we planned on visiting Hamilton Pool Preserve outside of Austin, Texas for part of the day and then hoped to check out a few breweries in the area. But because of the long wait to get into the park, the gate attendants were turning people away and preventing them from getting in line when we arrived. So, we took a drive to the relatively close by Pedernales Falls State Park.

Pedernales Falls aren't really much of a waterfall, but rather where the Pedernales River flows over slabs of limestone. Most people, like us, just visit the falls at the northern edge of the park, but there is also a large network of hiking trails and a separate section of the river downstream of the falls open to swimming and tubing. 

Overview of Pedernales Falls
Pedernales Falls
Visitors are not allowed in the water where the falls themselves are, but you can walk around on the rocks under normal conditions when water is fairly low. We spent about an hour exploring this area before making the drive east to Last Stand Brewing Company and the nearby Jester King Brewery. 

Water dripping down into Hamilton Pool

We didn't have long at the breweries because we wanted to make it back to Hamilton Pool to get in line before it closed for the day. We arrived in line sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 and by 4:10 we had make the short hike down into the valley where the pool is located. The pool is a popular swimming spot, and with temperatures in the high 70s a lot of people were swimming in the near 60-degree water. The waterfall from the cliff above didn't have much water flowing, but it was still a cool place to visit for the better part of an hour. 

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