• water flowing over rocks into basin

    Hot Springs

    National Park Arkansas

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • RFP for Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses

    Requests for Proposals for the Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses are being accepted from 7/7/14 to 1/30/15. Click on the "Management" link in the left column for more information.

  • Elevator closure

    Hot Springs National Park regrets to announce that the elevator in the Fordyce Visitor Center is closed for maintenance. The upper and lower levels are accessible only by stairways. The elevator will be placed back into service in about 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Closure of Happy Hollow Spring Fountain

    Happy Hollow jug fountains, (located on Fountain Street), will be closed Wednesday morning (08/27/14) for maintenance. Hours of closure will be 8:00 til noon.

History & Culture

Historic photo from HOSP archives

Rector Bathhouse, 1870s

National Park Service image from HOSP archives

Hot Springs National Park has a long and colorful history, beginning long before its designation as Hot Springs Reservation in 1832. American Indians came here for thousands of years to quarry novaculite for their tools and weapons. The Dunbar-Hunter Expedition came here in 1804, sent by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the southern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase. Soon a bustling town grew up around the hot springs to provide services for health seekers. The resultant bathing industry led to Hot Springs becoming known as the "American Spa."

 
 
 
 

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Did You Know?

black and white photo of Rector's bathhouse, a small one story frame building near the edge of Hot Springs Creek

In May 1862, Arkansas Governor Henry Massie Rector moved the state government to his hotel and bathhouse located on Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park. That July, the government seat was moved further south to Old Washington for the remainder of the Civil War.