Hot Springs National Park

Practicalities
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Location
The park is located in central Arkansas, about an hour's drive southwest of Little Rock.

Contact Details
www.nps.gov/hosp/index.htm
Hot Springs National Park
P.O. Box 1860
Hot Springs, AR 71902-1860
Phone: (501) 624-2701 x640
(501) 624-2308
Fax: (501) 624-3458

Directions
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 should take the Hot Springs/US 70 West exit south of Benton, the Hot Springs/US 270 West exit at Malvern, or the Hot Springs/AR 7 North exit near Arkadelphia; visitors traveling south on AR 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 should take the US 270 East exit; visitors coming from Oklahoma on US 70 can 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.

Transportation
Hot Springs is serviced by a local airport, the Little Rock airport (with shuttle service and rental cars), and buses. Amtrak's Texas Eagle route serves Little Rock and Malvern, Arkansas, with shuttle services to Hot Springs.

In park: Personal vehicle, bicycle, some public transportation, tour buses. (Vehicles more than 30 feet long are prohibited on Hot Springs Mountain because the road has hairpin curves.)

Lodging & Camping
Camping is available at Gulpha Gorge Campground. Campsites have a picnic table, pedestal grill, and water nearby. There are no electric or water hookups and no showers. Modern restrooms and a dump station are available. Campgrounds with more amenities are available in the surrounding area.

A variety of hotels, motels, and RV camping sites are available in the greater Hot Springs area.

Visitor Center
The Visitor Center is housed in the Fordyce Bathhouse and also serves as a museum offering self-guided tours. Considered the most elegant bathhouse when completed in 1915, it contains lovely mosaic tile floors, marble, stained glass, and restored bathhouse rooms. Modern exhibits include "African Americans and the Hot Springs Baths," a 17-minute orientation movie, and a 9-minute video showing the traditional bath routine. The basement showcases the Fordyce spring. There are many wayside exhibits along Bathhouse Row.

The restored Fordyce Bathhouse in the middle of Bathhouse Row (in the 300 block of Central Avenue) is the park visitor center. Exhibits and films help orient the visitor to Hot Springs and tell the story of thermal water bathing. Twenty-four rooms have been restored and are furnished as they appeared during the heyday of the spa. Tours are available for organized groups upon request. During summer an expanded schedule of interpretive activities includes walks that describe the human and natural history of the park and programs at the Gulpha Gorge campground amphitheater. During spring and fall a reduced schedule is offered, and in October a Volksmarsch (people's walk) is the highlight of Oktoberfest.

Weather
Hot Springs does have four seasons: mild in spring and fall, some humidity, light jacket recommended; hot and very humid in summer, wear comfortable clothing; winter is variable—temperatures may range from below freezing to the 60s, with some humidity. Be prepared for cold weather.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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