Information Central to Your Visit
Is Little Rock Central High School NHS open during the pandemic?
As a result of the elevated risks related to the COVID-19 virus, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site visitor center will temporarily close to the public beginning Saturday, August 7, 2021. No public access to the visitor center, exhibits, park interpretive film, restrooms, or Jefferson National Parks Association bookstore will be allowed.
No public/in-person programming will be conducted during this facility closure; all scheduled ranger-guided tours and streetscape tours are cancelled for the foreseeable future. The site’s commemorative garden, the Elizabeth Eckford Bus Bench, waysides outside the visitor center and the front grounds at Central High School will still be accessible to the public; Central High is a functioning high school and unauthorized access is not permitted.
Please continue to use this website (nps.gov/chsc) and the National Park Service Mobile App (nps.gov/subjects/digital/nps-apps.htm) to assist you during this facility closure. We will post updates with any changes on our website and our social media accounts (@CentralHighNPS on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
Currently, Little Rock Central High School NHS continues to provide phased access with limited services and occupancy. The Visitor Center allows no more than 25 visitors to be inside at any time; guests may have to wait to access the visitor center and may be restricted to 30 minutes in the visitor center on higher visitation days. Exhibits are currently open, but the site's main interpretive film is not available to be shown. Tours of no more than 25 have resumed on weekdays and weekends (see Guided Tours for reservation info). Outdoor spaces continue to be available daily (Commemorative Garden, front grounds of Little Rock Central High School, front area around the Magnolia Mobil Gas Station, and the Elizabeth Eckford Bus Bench).
What safety measures are in place?
The NHS has modified operations for tours and visitor services to keep visitation numbers within recommended guidelines. We have also installed markers to prompt social distancing, added clear protective shields at the information desk and prepared staff to comply with public health guidelines. We ask the public to be our partner in recreating responsibly by following CDC guidance, social distancing and wearing a face covering when social distance cannot be maintained.
What should I see at the NHS?
Begin your visit at the Visitor Center at 2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive. Park rangers can provide you with suggestions depending on your interests and the length of your stay. For more information about sites, see Places to Go.
Does the NHS have an admission charge?
Admission to Little Rock Central High School NHS is free.
Does the NHS give guided tours?
Yes; rangers offer daily tours with an advanced reservation. Access inside Central High School may be restricted beginning in August 2021 due to COVID-19.
Guided tours with access to Little Rock Central High School (LRCHS) are only offered on select weekdays at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM CST/CDT; no guided tours with access inside Central High School are available on weekends, federal holidays or during LRCHS school breaks (spring, Thanksgiving, winter breaks). Guided tours must be shceduled at least 48 hours (2 days) in advance and fill up quickly.
Weekends feature streetscape tours - a guided, walking interpretive tour that will share the story of the Little Rock Nine, desegregation, education and the civil rights movement without access into Little Rock Central High School. Streetscape tours must be scheduled in advance and only allow for a maximum of 25 total participants; tours are only offered at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM CST/CDT and fill up quickly.
For more information and instructions on how to make a reservation, see Guided Tours.
Where can I park my car, school bus or RV?
Free parking and accessible spaces are available at the NHS visitor center. Bus/RV spaces measure 14 feet wide x 40 feet long.
Are the NHS buildings accessible?
The visitor center, the front area of the Magnolia Mobil Gas Station, the Commemorative Garden, the front grounds of Little Rock Central High School (main entrance is not accessible) and the Elizabeth Eckford Bus Bench are accessible. At the visitor center, guests may borrow a wheelchair for use in the park. Assistive listening devices with amplification and audio description are available for NHS films. Check the accessibility section for more information on NHS services.
What do you recommend for families visiting with children?
The NHS offers a free Junior Ranger program at the visitor center.
What food services are available at the NHS?
No food services are available, but the NHS is located within driving distance of several dining options. Visitors may also choose to bring a bagged lunch and eat on one of the benches in the NHS.
Is photography permitted in the NHS?
Photography, including flash and video, is permitted in the visitor center and outside spaces. Commercial photography requires a permit; contact the NHS for more information.
Is the NHS pet friendly?
Pets are permitted on NHS grounds provided they are leashed; please remember to always pick up after your pet. Individuals in possession of a pet must have on their person a bag or device for the containerization and removal of pet excrement. Outside trash recepticles are provided throughout the NHS. Pets are not permitted in any NHS buildings; service animals are welcome in all NHS buildings that are open to the public.
Is the NHS stroller friendly?
Strollers are permitted in NHS buildings.