Beloved Austin swimming hole institutes big changes for summer season
If the recent gorgeous weather has you dreaming of Hamilton Pool's pristine waters, you may want to act fast, as changes are coming to the beloved swimming hole this summer.
From May 15 through September 30, access to the popular swimming hole will be limited to those with reservations. Visitors can reserve one of two time slots: 9 am to 1 pm or 2 pm to 6 pm.
The new system also includes a higher fee. During peak season, each vehicle will be charged a new $10 nonrefundable reservation fee (plus $1 for online credit processing), in addition to the standard $15 fee (payable at the entrance), for a total of $26 per vehicle.
The new requirements, approved Tuesday by the Travis County Commissioners Court, are meant to alleviate parking concerns and traffic on Hamilton Pool Road. The changes also provide a safety net for visitors; if the preserve is closed for weather or safety reasons during your reservation period, a voucher will be issued. While the new system may reduce the number of visitors during peak season, it's estimated to create an additional $127,175 in annual revenue.
Admission during Hamilton Pool's off-season — October 1 through April 30 — will remain $15 per vehicle, with no reservations required. The reservation period will start again on May 1, 2017.
Hamilton Pool isn't the only local swimming hole to require reservations. Jacob's Well Natural Area in Hays County adopted a similar system and fee hike last year.