Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas primary resource is the hot springs that flow from the southwestern slope of Hot Spring Mountain.

Check out the National Park Service Tour of Bathhouse Row!

Hot Springs National Park was once known as Hot Springs Reservation. It was set aside in 1832 to protect the Park's primary resource, the thermal hot springs.  This type of Reservation was an early version of the National Park idea, as it was the first area in the United States to be set aside for its natural features by the federal government. In 1916 the National Park Service was formed and in 1921, Hot Springs Reservation changed its name to Hot Springs National Park. This change made it the 18th National Park in the Service.

Hot Springs National Park is best known for the 47 hot springs that emerge from Hot Springs Mountain at an average temperature 143° Fahrenheit.  The National Park Service, USGS, and other collaborating science agencies work to understand the nature and characteristics of these thermal springs--including plumbing framework, mechanism of flow, source of water and heat , and potential impacts on thermal water quality and quantity--so that this resource can be protected and sustained. The fact that most of the flow path of the thermal springs is hidden from human eye beneath the mountains and valleys of the Ouachita Mountains makes gaining knowledge of the springs a challenging task. Hot Springs National Park is the only unit of the national park system that is mandated to give away its primary natural resource to the general public in an unending and unaltered state. The water is naturally potable (good to drink) when it arrives at the surface of Hot Springs Mountain. The water is naturally potable (good to drink) when it arrives at the surface of Hot Springs Mountain. Thousands of visitors highly endorse the excellent quality of the hot springs water and fill vessels to take home. Two bathhouses operate in the Hot Springs National Park where one can fully experience the water, and drinking fountains provide access for people to enjoy the water that has given the park and the city its name.  In addition to the ample amount of thermal water available to the public, the park also has an outstanding geologic and ecologic history that visitors are sure to enjoy.

Map of Hot Springs National Park
Map of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas