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Hot Springs National Park

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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 park 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. Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park by a Congressional name change on March 4, 1921.

   

CONTACTS

Email - HOSP_Interpretation@nps.gov

Fax- 501-624-3458

Write to
Hot Springs National Park
P.O. Box 1860
Hot Springs, AR 71902

- or -
Hot Springs National Park
369 Central
Hot Springs, AR 71901

Phone
Visitor Information - 501-624-2701
Visitor Information (TDD) - 501-624-2308
Superintendent's Office - 501-623-2824

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
The park and Gulpha Gorge Campground are open year round. The visitor center is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Summer hours are effective May 28-August 12--9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.

Getting There
PLANE - Hot Springs is serviced by a local airport, Hot Springs Memorial Field, or Little Rock National Airport (with shuttle service and rental cars.)

CAR - 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; visitors coming from Oklahoma on US 70 would take this route all the way 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.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - Amtrak's Texas Eagle route serves Little Rock and Malvern, Arkansas, with shuttle services to Hot Springs. Greyhound Bus Lines also services Hot Springs with a station located at 229 West Grand Avenue. For fare and scheduling information, call 1-800-231-2222.

Weather & Climate
Central Arkansas has four seasons: mild in spring and fall with some humidity, a light jacket is recommended; hot and very humid in summer, wear comfortable clothing; winter: variable--temperatures may range from below freezing to the 60s, with some humidity. Be prepared for cold weather.

Accessibility
The Visitor Center is fully accessible with wheelchairs available for loan. There is a loading zone in front of the Visitor Center; parking is across the street in public lots or in a city lot at the south end of Bathhouse Row.

A model of Bathhouse Row and other architectural features is available for blind and visually impaired visitors. The park brochure is available on cassette and large print park information can be obtained at the information desk.

An American Sign Language interpreter can be provided for regularly scheduled tours with five days notice.

Gulpha Gorge Campground has one accessible campsite.

Getting Around
For getting around in the park, you may use personal vehicle or bicycles on the roads. Some tour companies offer tours and the city of Hot Springs runs a trolley to the tower on Hot Springs Mountain May-October. Tour buses or other vehicles more than 30 feet long are prohibited on Hot Springs Mountain because the road has hairpin curves.


CAMPING

Gulpha Gorge
Open All Year
Sites are available on a first come, first served basis. No reservations can be taken. Campsites have a picnic table, pedistal grill, and water nearby. There are no electric or water hookups and no showers. Modern rest rooms and a dump station are available. Campgrounds with more amenities are available in the surrounding area. For more information on camping and backpacking in the Ouachita National Forest, camping at Lake Ouachita, Corps of Engineers, and Arkansas State Parks go to the links section.

LODGING

City of Hot Springs
Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs. Lodging abounds in the city just outside the park. For information on lodging in the surrounding area, go to the links section and link to the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion site or the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism site.

FACILITIES

Visitor Centers
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Phone - 501-624-3383, ext. 640
Location - The visitor center is located in the former Fordyce Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs. Bathhouse Row is located on Arkansas Highway 7 or Central Avenue between Reserve and Fountain Streets. Parking is available in private lots and meters on all adjacent streets.
Closures - January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 25
Special Programs - During the summer, special family programs are being offered several afternoons and evenings each week. Call the visitor center for the daily program schedule.
Exhibits - The Fordyce Bathhouse exhibits 24 rooms that are refurnished like they were when the building opened for baths in 1915. Modern exhibits on the second floor detail the use and development of the spa. The Fordyce Spring is also on display in the basement.
Available Facilities - The visitor center in the former Fordyce Bathhouse is also a museum offering self-guided tours. Considered the most elegant bathhouse when completed in 1915, it contains lovely mosaic tile floors, marble, stained glass windows and ceilings, gymnasium, and routine bathing equipment. The park 15-minute orientation movie, 'Valley of Vapors,' offers a brief history of the area. 'Taking the Baths' is a 9-minute video showing the traditional bathing routine in the Hot Springs bathhouses. Eastern National has a bookstore with books and other items pertaining to the baths and the park. Rest rooms and water fountains are located in the basement.

  Map
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Detailed Map


Contact Info
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Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates


Campgrounds Nearby
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List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
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Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Hot Springs National Park.
 Campgrounds Near Hot Springs National Park:
Cloud Nine Recreational Vehicle Park, Hot Springs, 1 miles away
Catherine's Landingan RVC Outdoor Destination, Hot Springs, 1 miles away
Catherine's Landing at Hot Springs, Hot Springs, 1 miles away
Catherine's Landing At Hot Springs, Hot Springs, 1 miles away
Hot Springs - Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs, 1 miles away
J&J RV Park, Hot Springs National Park, 1 miles away
J and J RV Park, Hot Springs National Park, 1 miles away
 Marinas Near Hot Springs National Park:
Hot Springs Marina, Hot Springs National Park , 4 miles away
Power Boats, Hot Springs National Park , 5 miles away
Rod's Marina, Royal , 9 miles away
Sunset Cove Marina, Hot Springs National Park , 10 miles away
Balboa Dam Stoarge, Hot Springs Village , 11 miles away
 Hotels Near Hot Springs National Park:
Rodeway Inn Hot Springs, Hot Springs , 1 miles away
Red Roof Inn Hot Springs, Hot Springs , 1 miles away
Red Carpet Inn Hot Springs AR, Hot Springs , 1 miles away
Embassy Suites By Hilton Hot Springs Hotel - Spa, Hot Springs , 1 miles away
Alpine Inn, Hot Springs , 2 miles away
Hilltop Manor Bed And Breakfas, Hot Springs , 2 miles away
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Hot Springs, Hot Springs , 2 miles away
 Whitewater Near Hot Springs National Park:
Gulpha Creek, Garland County , 2 miles away, Class II+ - 2.2 miles long (Ridgeway Road to Highway 270)
Blakely Creek - North Fork, Hot Spring County , 10 miles away, Class II - 2.9 miles long (North Fork Road to Highway 84)
Ouachita River, Hot Spring County , 11 miles away, Class I-II - 6 miles long (Remmel Dam to I-30 at Malvern)
Ouachita River, Hot Spring County , 14 miles away, Class II - 0.1 miles long (Rockport Ledge)
Saline River - Middle Fork, Garland County , 15 miles away, Class II(III) - 0.9 miles long (Iron Springs to Buffalo Gap Road)
 Public Lands Near Hot Springs National Park:
Lake Catherine State Park, Arkansas , 8 miles away
Lake Ouachita State Park, Arkansas , 13 miles away
DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Arkansas , 15 miles away
Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas , 36 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Hot Springs National Park:
Hot Springs Golf & Country Club, Hot Springs National Park , 1 miles away
Magic Hills Public Golf Course, Hot Springs National , 1 miles away
Belvedere Golf Resort, Hot Springs National Park , 3 miles away
Lakeview Golf Club, Hot Springs National , 4 miles away
Lakeside Golf Club, Hot Springs , 4 miles away
 Lakes Near Hot Springs National Park
Sleepy Valley Lake, Garland County , 2 miles away
Dillon Lake, Garland County , 3 miles away
Lake Hamilton, Garland County , 3 miles away
Bethel Lake, Garland County , 3 miles away
Lake Catherine, Hot Spring County , 11 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.