- Hot Springs National Park contains 47 hot springs flowing from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain, at a temperature of 143 degrees F. The main attraction at this site has always been the hot spring water and baths given at eight magnificent bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. Many of the hot springs are now covered with green concrete boxes. These boxes keep the waters clean and available for bathing and drinking without artificial chemical treatment.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Hot Springs National Park
Early in the Twentieth Century the baths were taken as a therapeutic treatment for rheumatism and other ailments. Business declined dramatically after the advent of modern medicines. Today only the Buckstaff Bathhouse remains open for the traditional bath on Bathhouse Row. The hot springs are a special natural resource. The tradition of drinking the water and using it for bathing continues today, just as in days past. Many visitors and local residents collect the water in jugs and take it home with them.
The Visitor Center and museum offer self-guided tours of the former Fordyce Bathhouse. Modern exhibits include African Americans and the Hot Springs Baths, a 17-minute orientation movie and a nine-minute video showing the traditional bath routine. The basement showcases the Fordyce spring. Scheduled guided bathhouse tours and outdoor walking thermal tours are given by park rangers and volunteers in season and upon request. Campfire programs are available at the Gulpha Gorge Campground amphitheater during June, July and August.
There are approximately 26 miles of day-use hiking trails in the park (mountain bikes are prohibited). In addition there are scenic mountain drives on West Mountain, Hot Springs and North Mountains. An observation tower on top of Hot Springs Mountain is operated by a concessioner. There are picnic tables on the Grand Promenade, Hot Springs Mountain, West Mountain and at Gulpha Gorge.
Recreation - Many recreation opportunities are available for visitors to Hot Springs National Park. Touring the Visitor Center and the Bathhouse Row area are highly recommended. Visitors will also enjoy the hiking, picnicking, camping at Gulpha Gorge Campground, and taking a thermal bath at one of the many concessioners.
Climate - Four distinct seasons determine the weather in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They range from mild in spring and fall, with some humidity, to hot and very humid in summer. Winter weather varies drastically with temperatures ranging from below freezing to 60 degrees F, with some humidity. A light jacket and layers are clothing recommendations during the spring and fall. Light, comfortable clothes work well during the summer heat. Be prepared for cold weather in winter.
Hot Springs National Park is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, immediately southeast of Ouachita National Forest. Hot Springs National Park is in downtown Hot Springs and 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.