We took a hike. Down to Hamilton Pool. After seven years in Austin, I never took the drive from downtown. I guess I couldn't be bothered outside of my cycling and Lonestar ways.
As I looked up the route I saw photo after photo of the waterfall. Never the hike. I needed to know what I was getting myself into with a nine month old, so I turned to my outdoorsy friends. They all agreed the hike was doable with a baby on my back (keep in mind, the recommended age for a back carry is six months). They mentioned some steep parts, snakes and a sight at the end that was sure to make it all worth it.
Besides having fun with my little new family, my main goal was to capture the whole Hamilton Pool experience. From the second we arrived - the anticipation of a line even at 8:30AM, to what the pay, parking, hike, post-pool was like. If there is some detail I left out, please comment below and I'll try to recall and include it. Enjoy the notes alongside the photos.
When we arrived at 8:30AM (park opens at 9), there was already a line of three people. The park ranger asked everyone who did not fit in the driveway (max 3 cars) to take a drive until 8:45AM (when the gate officially opens). Did I mention we went on a Saturday? Pretty popular day.
Line inside the park once gates opened at 8:45AM
Deposit your $10 here. They also checked to make sure we did not have any animals.
The parking scene
This is basically a big circle drive. You can walk the drive path or go right through to get to the next photo where the trail starts.
Not too bad so far
Oh, OK, we're going to start descending now
Just over this bridge and you're there
Parking wasn't bad, it's once you get down here and there is literally little place to sit. I imagine they charge $10/car to encourage carpooling, but it would be nice to limit the amount of people at the preserve at one time too.
You'll see rocks everywhere. Little ones, that the nine month old loved to pick up. We couldn't stop her. She's teething and putting everything in her mouth. Here's some evidence.
Why didn't they baby-proof this place? Who's in charge here?
So after letting her play for a bit in the water and on her towel (we forgot an adult towel = rocks/chalk on your booty), we began to head back up to the car. The hike back up is less of a stroll than getting down there.
Can't forget to capture the line as we headed out at 10:30AM.