The American Spa, a source of uncontested relaxation; that is essentially the most accurate nickname and description for Hot Springs National Park. Located in the state of Arkansas, this National Park takes pride in its unbelievable water areas where people from all over come to relax in the soothing thermal waters of the Hot Springs.
Most National Parks become famous for outstanding views, intriguing history, and ancient finds on the land. Hot Springs has its fair share of history and beauty, but the real attraction for most of its visitors is the water.
What can I visit Hot Springs National Park?
The park itself, as well as the Gulpha Gorge Campground are open all year long, 24 hours a day. However, there may be some certain areas of the park such as different trails or shops that will be closed during different periods of time for construction or weather conditions.
The Lamar Bathhouse hosts the Visitor Center, which is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM, except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day in which case the center is closed. During the summer months hours may be extended past 5 PM.
How much does it cost to visit Hot Springs National Park?
The cost to visit Hot Springs National Park is much cheaper than almost every other National Park, it’s completely free entrance! However, camping does have a price, but even the camping is relatively cheap in comparison to other parks. There are two types of campsites, “Primitive” which costs $10 per night, and “Full Hookup” which costs $24 per night, but offers 30 and 50 amp connections as well as power and water.
Reservations are not accepted for any of the campsites at Hot Springs National Park, and you may only camp for a maximum of 14 days in a row. If you wish to stay longer than 14 days, you may move to a different campground.
What activities are available at the Hot Springs National Park?
Obviously the main featured activity at the Hot Springs is the water areas, taking a nice bath in one of the most relaxing pools of water on earth is definitely not something you want to pass up while in Hot Springs. In addition to that, guests often take part in various hikes around the park, Hot Springs features 26 miles of trails for visitors to explore.
There are plenty of scenic routes to take via car as well as on foot, most commonly the North and West Mountain Drives provide some really great viewpoints. Visitors also are encouraged to take advantage of the great picnicking areas on the mountains or over by Gulpha Creek.
Of course camping is a high priority for most tourists at Hot Springs, with either the Primitive experience or the Full Hookup experience, there’s choices to be made in regards to how you want to spend your nights at Hot Springs.
This is where the historic side of Hot Springs really comes out, the very first bathhouses that were built in the area were very crude structures of lumber, not much more sturdy than a simple tent. As time went by businessman continued to build different wooden structures, but they would often fall apart or be destroyed due to poor craftsmanship. This area is now known as Bathhouse Row, which definitely is not a beautiful sight, but it does really show off the true history behind this National Park. Buckstaff is the only remaining open Bathhouse on Bathhouse row, with the exception of the Administration building that was remodeled in 1992.