Transparency Disclosure – We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on this website. Learn More

Popular Destinations

Therapeutic Hot Springs National Park… It Maybe a Small Park But You Will Not Be Disappointed!

Last updated on August 24th, 2016 at 08:03 am

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is the smallest national park in the United States. It’s surrounded by hot springs and mountains. It also features beautiful trees and foliage that are part of the park’s natural heritage.

hot-springs national park view


It was made a national reserve in 1832 and a national park in 1921. The park is the first piece of land in the U.S. that was preserved because of its natural resources.

Interesting Facts

    • Hot Springs National Park is known as “The American Spa”
    • The park is home to 47 natural hot springs.
    • Hot Springs area is nearly surrounded by a city.
    • Scientists have determined that the waters gushing from the hot springs are more than 4,000 years old.


First and foremost, you need to find a place to park. There are free two‐hour parking along the road and pay parking areas that charge $3 to $4.

Stop at the Visitors Center

Once parked, your first stop should be the Hot Springs Visitors Center. It’s a small building where you can find brochures and maps that tell you all about the attractions in the park. It’s located in the Wheatley Parking Lot that has a fountain and a climbing wall where kids can play and be entertained.

hot springs national park visitor center

Get rid of stress in one of the bathhouses

When you get to Hot Springs National Park, it is best to start your tour in the heart of the historic downtown where you could find Bathhouse Row and across the street are various shops, a little bit of the park and other interesting sites.

hot springs park bath houses

Refreshing and therapeutic bath houses along Bathhouse Row have hot tubs and spring rooms for a really relaxing and unique bath experience. There are also various spa services offered in the area.
Here are some of the bathhouses that you can choose from.

Lamar Bathhouse

Lamar Bathhouse is the park’s official souvenir shop.

Buckstaff Baths

Buckstaff Baths offers a private bathing experience.

Ozark Bathhouse

Ozark Bathhouse is home to the cultural center. Inside it is a free exhibit of artworks inspired by the beauty of Hot Springs National Park.

Quapaw Bathhouse

Quapaw Bathhouse, is one of the two active bathhouses in downtown Hot Springs City, which offers public and private bathing experience. It also has a really cool therapeutic cave underneath. It has a restaurant that offers beverages and snacks that can be enjoyed in a seating area outside the bathhouse.

Fordyce Bathhouse

Fordyce Bathhouse is a free three‐storey museum where you can learn all about Hot Springs and its history.

Superior Bathhouse

The Superior Bathhouse has been converted to a family restaurant and brewery. The delicious root beer offered here is made of Hot Springs water. There are also various beers and a gelato counter for kids.

Other bathhouses in the park are Maurice Bathhouse, currently closed and Hale Bathhouse which is expected to open in 2016 as a bed and breakfast facility.

Climb the Hot Springs Mountain Tower

You can also experience new heights at the 1,250 feet high Hot Springs Mountain Tower. The 21‐storey mountain tower was opened in 1983. At its level 3 is an open air space that will allow you to see the beautiful countryside of Arkansas.

mountain tower hot springs national park

Things to be considered when preparing for your camping trip


The Gulpa Gorge Campground is located on the east side of the park and several campsites offers a breathtaking view alongside the Gulpha Creek. Camping fees are $ 10.00 per night and camping limit is 14 consecutive days per year. Gulpha Gorge Campground is on a first-come, first-served basis and is available year-round. Reservations are not accepted. The campground is open to tents and RV camping. Nice restrooms are available but no showers. Each campsite has picnic tables, grill and water nearby.

hot springs national park campground

Park Entrance Fees

Admission in the park is FREE. Donations, however, are accepted and can be placed in the donation bottle located at the lobby of the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center.

Dining Opportunities

The park is situated in the middle of the city of Hot Springs where many local restaurants and stores are available.


All pets must be leashed at all times or otherwise restrained when exploring the park. Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center or Administrative buildings. This rule does not apply to guide dogs for persons with hearing and visual disabilities.


The fall might be the most picturesque time to visit because of the foliage. During spring and fall, you will experience mild weather with some humidity. Layering clothes is recommended. Summer is hot and humid but can be a good time for vacation. Winter temperature varies significantly. Pack appropriately and prepare for cold weather. Check the weather forecast before you go.
hotsprings park weather

Tips for Planning a camping trip

      • Gulpha Gorge Campground is the only one in the park. Plan your trip as the campground is sometimes full during peak season.
      • Camping at Gulpha Gorge Campground costs $10 per night for primitive sites. For sites with hookups, it is $30 per night
      • Camping for longer stays require you to move to a different campground.
      • Campgrounds with more amenities are available in the surrounding area.
      • Prepare a camping checklist and bring all necessary equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, first aid kit and safety gears.

Hot Springs National Park is the place to relax and get rid of stress.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *