Hot Springs Arkansas & Gulpha Gorge Campground
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Hot Springs Tower in background
Hot Springs is located among the Zig Zag mountains at the eastern end of the Ouachita Mountain Range near the southern end of Arkansas Scenic Highway 7. The city is located in the valleys between the mountain ridges and lakes Hamilton and Catherine - which are flowages in the Ouachita River.
The 47 thermal springs that gave the city its name are located on the lower western side of Hot Springs Mountain and now flow underneath downtown's main street - Central Avenue. Together these springs produce a flow of one million gallons of water a day serving the bathhouses, thermal fountains and water reservoirs. Overflow is passed into Hot Springs Creek.
Vapors rise from a thermal spring left open to show how it was 200 years ago. 44 of the 47 springs are now pumped to reservoirs.
While the water is commonly called "mineral water" its mineral content is modest and contains little odor or taste. While the bathing and therapeutic benefits of the water are well-known, Hot Springs residents also prize it as amongst the purest of drinking water . . . as the water comes from deep underground reservoirs and has been perculated and filtered through the earth for 3500 years before coming to the surface! Residents collect their own spring water at three thermal jug fountains in the park. The rest of us can buy the water from Mountain Valley Water Company who has bottled and marketed the spring water for over 115 years.
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Downtown Hot Springs
The historic Arlington Hotel welcomes visitors entering downtown Hot Springs. The original Arlington was constructed in 1875 above what is now the Arlington Lawn adjacent to Bathhouse Row. It burned in 1923 and was re-built across the street in its present location. The facility offers its own bathhouse, three dining rooms, a pool, a gift shop, ladies boutique, beauty salon, and a game & exercise room.
The garden and fountain in front of the Hot Springs Visitor Center at the intersection of Central Ave and Spring Street.
The main business district is across the street from the Park's Bathhouse Row. It features artisan and artist galleries, gift shops, jewelry stores, rock shops, theatres and museums.
Several hotels serve as bookends to the Hot Springs Arts District.
< < < Map of downtown and Bathhouse Row National Park District
Go Here for more pictures and info on BathHouse Row and the walking and hiking trails in the National Park.
Quilters will have to travel a few miles west of town to visit Cathy's Quilting Square, located on Highway 270 at the west edge of Hot Springs.
Gulpha Gorge Campground
The National Park's Gulpha Gorge campground is very nicely laid out with paved roads and parking areas, level tent pads, running water in the bathrooms, and a water and dump station. In 2009 full hookups (water, electric & sewer) were added to most of the sites. No showers, however. Yet a very attractive and well maintained campground that is frequently fully occupied. But since the park takes no reservations if you get there early enough in the day you have a chance of getting a site.
Picnic tables are solid concrete and each site has a nice grill. Our favorite location is along Gulpha Creek, yet all the sites in the park are top quality.
There are approximately 50 campsites and several picnic sites in the campground. Hiking trails from the campground link to the major hiking trails on Hot Springs Mountain.
Go Here to see a map of the major hiking trails and a link to more info on hiking in Hot Springs National Park.
Hot Springs, Arkansas & Hot Springs National Park Travel & Visitor Links
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Page 1 - Hot Springs National Park
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