Nature is an incredible place to use as a reset button. You can sit back and enjoy the sounds of birds chirping the air, wind rustling through the trees and wildlife running through the woods.
Although there are not many national parks in the southern states, Arkansas boasts a national park rich in history and stories. Hot Springs National Park is located within Hot Springs, Arkansas, and offers a unique destination for all to visit.
There is plenty to see, do and learn about within the boundaries of Hot Springs National Park. This comprehensive guide will give you the information you need for your trip.
To learn about the adventure that awaits in Hot Springs National Park RV, read below!
Hot Springs National Park Facts
Hot Springs National Park’s claim to fame is its healing water that gained in the 20th century. People came from miles around to bathe in the healing waters, including Al Capone and John F. Kennedy, to name a few.
These Hot Springs National Park facts will help you see the impact and importance of this park for so many years.
Hot Springs National Park offers visitors a combination of unique geologic wonders and one of the best nonvolcanic thermal springs in the country.
Hot Springs National Park is the smallest national park in America.
Hot Springs National Park is considered an urban park because of its location near shops, restaurants and the city.
Hot Springs National Park is the only national park within the Natural State. Arkansas is considered the natural state because of the immense amount of scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities it offers to every visitor.
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Best Hot Springs National Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Now that we’ve covered a few pieces of Hot Springs history let’s take a look at five Hot Springs National Park RV camping options. Get the RV ready for these sweet spots!
Gulpha Gorge Campground
Amenities: RV camping in Hot Springs National Park is limited to Gulpha Gorge Campground. As the only campground in the park, Gulpha Gorge runs on a first-come, first-served basis. All sites offer 30 or 50 amp electric hookups and water and sewer hookups for a comfortable stay. All sites are back-in sites and can accommodate RVs as well as tents.
Capacity: Forty sites are available at Gulpha Gorge campground, and they are all on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are looking for RV camping in Hot Springs National Park, Gulpha Gorge is the perfect spot to park for any Hot Springs adventure.
More Information: Gulpha Gorge Campground
Lake Ouachita State Park
Amenities: Lake Ouachita is another camping option near Hot Springs National Park that is perfect for adventure. Just 39 miles outside of Hot Springs, this location has various sites to choose from for your RV stay.
Lake Ouachita is a stunning state park located directly on the beautiful and pristine lake. Lake Ouachita is considered Arkansas’ largest lake and has plenty of water sports opportunities and hiking on the many trails throughout the park.
Capacity: There are 81 RV hookup sites spread throughout Lake Ouachita State Park, allowing you to book a site with forest or lake views.
More Information: Lake Ouachita State Park
J&J RV Park
Amenities: Just outside of Hot Springs National Park, J&J RV Park is a great location to park your RV while exploring the Hot Springs area. J&J RV Park offers pull-through sites as well as laundry facilities and high-speed internet, making your stay stress free and comfortable.
Capacity: J&J RV Park offers 30 and 50 amp sites.
More Information: J&J RV Park
Degray Lake State Park
Amenities: Degray Lake State Park is a resort-style campground with the most amazing views of the park’s namesake lake. RV campers can use 30 and 50 amp hookups as well as water hookups and a dump station. Driving between Degray Lake and Hot Springs allows you to soak up the views of Scenic Byway 7.
Capacity: Degray Lake State Park offers 113 campsites as well as clean bathroom facilities.
More Information: Degray Lake State Park
Hot Springs KOA
Amenities: Hot Springs KOA offers you immense amenities during your stay near Hot Springs National Park. You can catch a shuttle to downtown or Oaklawn for nearby activities. Throughout the year, you can sit back and relax in the pool that is on-site and try your hand at miniature golf. There is something for everyone at Hot Springs KOA to enjoy!
Capacity: They offer both 30 and 50 amp service as well as cable. Their sites can fit vehicles up to 70 feet in length, meaning larger RVs and travel trailers with a tow vehicle.
More Information: Hot Springs KOA
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Best Time to Visit Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is beautiful all year round because of mild temperatures. Since the best time to visit Hot Springs National Park can be subjective, we compiled this walkthrough each season to help you decide for yourself.
Winters in the park and Arkansas, in general, are typically milder, allowing you to visit throughout the year and still enjoy the park easily. With cooler temperatures, winter is a great time to enjoy the city’s bathhouses’ hot thermal waters. Visiting in the winter months will also allow you to enjoy downtown Hot Springs in all of the wintery splendor it has to offer.
Spring is a great time to visit Hot Springs National Park because of the cooler temperatures that mark this season every year. Early spring is a particularly great time to visit Hot Springs National Park. Late February to April, you’ll experience the beauty of the park and pleasant weather. Spring also offers plenty of opportunities to sit back and enjoy the immense amount of wildlife that calls Hot Springs National Park home.
Summer is typically a more busy time for visitors to Hot Springs National Park because of summer vacations. It is still a beautiful time to visit the park, but it's important to prepare for the humid climate. Since it is a busier time, reserving activities ahead of your trip is a great way to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your summer visit.
Another best time to visit Hot Springs National Park is typically between August to October. Fall in the park is sure to have you coming back year after year for the variety of fall colors that adorn the trees throughout the park and city of Hot Springs.
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Things to Do in Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is full of activities for the entire family to enjoy. There is something for everyone at Hot Springs National Park, from hiking trails to spas and everything in between.
For exciting things to do in Hot Springs National Park, look no further than the list below!
Soak in the thermal waters. When Hot Springs National Park’s healing waters were first discovered, people would come from all over to soak in the naturally hot pools all over Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Nowadays, the ability to soak and enjoy the natural thermal waters is confined to the multiple bathhouses that you will find all over town. The hot waters from the thermal springs are sent directly into the bathhouses for you to enjoy a spa day, unlike any other. Buckstaff Bathhouse and Quapaw Bathhouse are two very popular options for you to visit to enjoy the thermal waters firsthand.
Take in healing hydration. Thermal water is rerouted from the Hot Springs National Park to water stations all over Hot Springs, Arkansas. Bring your water bottle or grab a jug at a local store and fill them up with water directly from the Hot Springs fountains located all over downtown. Many swear by the water’s healing powers and come from all over just to get their drinking water from these fountains.
Go hiking throughout the park. Hot Springs National Park is made up of a variety of trails that run through the park and downtown Hot Springs. The Hot Springs and North Mountain trails are popular among many visitors. These trails are easily accessible from downtown Hot Springs, making it easy to explore the city and go hiking on the same day.
Since they are less crowded, the West Mountain trails are a great choice if you want to see wildlife along your hike.
Spot some birds and wildlife. Hot Springs is home to various birds and animals that are so fun to see while you are hiking or visiting. The Grand Promenade is a perfect location to catch glimpses of vultures flying in the air and listen for small songbirds hiding amongst the foliage.
Some animals you may see during your time at Hot Springs National Park are deer, chipmunks and even black bears. Make sure to grab your binoculars and a good camera to capture some shots of these animals.
Take a Tour. There are plenty of tours you can take while you are visiting to learn the history behind the park and its importance to this Arkansas region. You can participate in a guided ranger tour that will take you through the Fordyce. During this tour, you’ll learn the history of such a remarkable place and discover how rainwater became thermal water.
Alternatively, you can choose to do a self-guided tour by taking part in the cell phone tour. No matter what tour you decide to participate in, you are sure to learn some remarkable facts about Hot Springs National Park.
As you can see, there are activities throughout the year that will have you coming back time and time again. With a great RV rental for Hot Springs National Park, visiting is simple!
Tips for visiting Hot Springs National Park
When visiting Hot Springs National Park, there are a couple of things to note to make the most of your trip.
Since Hot Springs National Park is practically located within Hot Springs, there is no specific parking for the park. Your best bet for Hot Springs National Park parking is to find parking along the street or pay for parking in one of the many lots around the city.
Next up is a tip for those looking to avoid large crowds. Oaklawn Casino is also located in downtown Hot Springs. The casino draws huge crowds for horse races, creating a jam-packed downtown and national park. Whenever there is a race at Oaklawn, rates at lodging and campgrounds usually increase drastically. If possible, pick a non-race weekend to visit Hot Springs.
No matter the time of year, bring plenty of water for hikes in Hot Springs National Park. The park is humid throughout the year, and you don’t want to be stuck without water on a long hike.
RV Rental for Hot Springs National Park
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Hot Springs National Park area offers an invigorating experience in healing thermal waters and the chance to relax in natural surroundings. No matter where your visit to Hot Springs National Park takes you, make it a blast with the perfect vehicle.
Your RV rental for Hot Springs National Park should keep you comfortable and provide you with all the amenities you need. Cruise America RV rentals include a kitchen, dining area, bathroom, shower and beds to rest after a full day. Plus, they come in a range of sizes to accommodate everyone, from an adventurous couple to a large family.
Visit Cruise America today to get an RV rental for Hot Springs National Park!