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Hot Springs National Park, an Excellent Arkansas Camping Destination
The Hot Springs of Arkansas have been used for over 200 years to alleviate pains and illnesses, and they are what continue to draw people there today. Established as the Hot Springs Reservation in 1832 by Congress, it is the oldest land set aside, 40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. It was officially named a national park in 1921. The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas developed around the Hot Springs and part of the park is in downtown Hot Springs. This makes Hot Springs National Park one of the most accessible parks we have. It is also the smallest.
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Central Arkansas has four seasons. Spring and fall tend to be mild with some humidity. Summers are hot and humid. Winter varies with temperatures ranging from below freezing to the mid 60's. There are no entrance fees for the park, although there may be fees for special uses, such as a wedding or commercial filming. The Hot Springs are no longer in their natural state and the only way to enjoy them is in one of the many bath houses in downtown Hot Springs. There are traditional European style baths available, as well as a bath house, Quapaw Bathhouse. If you choose to bathe in the water, there is a fee, depending on which bathhouse you visit.
The park also offers 26 miles of trails to explore. There are easy trails and more strenuous ones. They offer a chance to see beautiful scenery, wild flowers, rock formations and wild life. There are also numerous beautiful places for picnics. Gulpha Gorge, Hot Springs and West Mountains picnic areas have tables and grills set up for use. Bathhouse Row within the National Historic Landmark District makes for a pleasant stroll through history, reflecting on an elegant time now passed. To get a full view of Hot Springs National Park, and the city of Hot Springs, visit the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. The 215' tall tower offers a view of the beautiful Ouachita Mountains and 140 miles of surrounding park, city and land.
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