Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park

Quick Facts

Hot Springs National Park

Arkansas

(501) 624-2701

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Congress established Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832 to protect hot springs flowing from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain. This makes it the oldest area currently in the National Park System- 40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. The reservation eventually developed into a well-known resort nicknamed "The American Spa" because it attracted not only the wealthy but also indigent health seekers from around the world. Today the park protects eight historic bathhouses with the former luxurious Fordyce Bathhouse housing the park visitor center. The entire "Bathhouse Row" area is a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America. By protecting the 47 hot springs and their watershed, the National Park Service continues to provide visitors with historic leisure activities such as hiking, picnicking, and scenic drives. Private concessioners still offer traditional relaxing baths with water from the springs. Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park by a Congressional name change on March 4, 1921.

Map of Hot Springs

Latitude, Longitude: 34.515904, -93.050877

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Please contact the park for more information.

  • Camping

    Camping is available at Gulpha Gorge Campground. Each campsite has a picnic table, pedestal grill, and water nearby. Sites with water, electric, and sewer hook-ups are available as well. While there are no showers, there are modern restrooms. Sites are available on a first come, first served basis.

  • Hiking

    The park has 26 miles of trails for you to explore. You can see wildflowers, rock formations and beautiful scenery. There are trails of varying length and difficulty, something for everyone.

  • Historic Sites

    Explore the restored Fordyce Bathhouse, the park visitor center and museum. Tour on your own or with a guide what was the "grandest bathhouse" of its time. Watch a brief history movie of the park and another that shows a traditional bath. Children can earn a Junior Ranger badge by completing activities in the program booklet.

  • Horseback Riding

    Please contact the park for more information.

  • Picnicking

    Most picnic areas at Gulpha Gorge, Hot Springs and West Mountains have tables and grills. The Grand Promenade is also a great place for a quiet meal.

Seasonality/Weather

Central Arkansas has four seasons: mild in spring and fall with some humidity; hot and very humid in summer; winter, variable--temperatures may range from below freezing to the 60s, with some humidity. Be prepared for cold weather.

Park Partners

Eastern National

Eastern National operates the new Bathhouse Row Emporium at the Hot Springs National Park. Their proceeds are donated to supporting the park and its projects.

(215) 283-6900

Buckstaff Baths

Located On Historic Bath House Row in beautiful downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Buckstaff is the only remaining operational bath house within the boundaries of the Hot Springs National Park and has been in continuous service since 1912. Still today the visitor to the city can experience the natural unadulterated thermal mineral waters, that have been known for centuries for their therapeutic value in the relief of common ailments such as arthritis, bursitis, rheumatic and gouty conditions and other common afflictions. Weary visitors can utilize the same waters and treatments to relax and unwind from a fantastic vacation or business trip.

(501) 623-2308

Directions

Driving

Hot Springs National Park is in downtown Hot Springs; Bathhouse Row is on Central Avenue with the mountains of the park flanking the street. Visitors traveling north-south on I-30 take the Hot Springs US 70 West exit south of Benton, the Hot Springs US 270 West exit at Malvern, or the Hot Springs Ark. 7 North exit near Arkadelphia; visitors traveling south on Ark. 7 will come through downtown Hot Springs where the visitor center is located; visitors traveling south on US 71 from Fort Smith, or north on US 71 from Texarkana, take the US 270 East exit and take 270B through town; visitors coming from Oklahoma on US 70 would take US 70B into Hot Springs. When you get into the city you will see signs for the National Park. The Visitor Center is located downtown on Highway 7 North or Central Avenue.

Flying

Hot Springs is serviced by a local airport, Hot Springs Memorial Field, or Little Rock National Airport (with shuttle service and rental cars) approximately 60 miles away.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(501) 624-2701

Links