Photo Contest

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Silhouetted birds fly against the backdrop of an orange and purple sunset next to a shadowed tree.
Chimney Swifts above the Ozark

Mitch Smith

2021 is Hot Springs National Park's 100th anniversary as a National Park. To celebrate our rich history and vast landscape, the park will be hosting a monthly photo contest all year long. The themes will vary from month-to-month and are meant to highlight the spectacular features of the park, from our bathhouses to our wildlife to the scenic views. We hope this contest encourages to see more of your park!

Rules, themes, and more information can be found below.



The contest winner will have their photo featured as the main banner image on the park's official website ( and on Facebook (

How To Enter

  • Entries will be accepted from the beginning to the end of each month, and should be based on that month's theme. (For example, January's theme is history. Historical images or images that depict the park's history can be submitted from January 1st - January 31st.)

  • Entries will be accepted via Facebook and/or Instagram. Entrants must post an image using the hashtags #CentennialPhotoContest and #HotSprings100 to enter.

  • Posts should also tag @hotspringsnps and include a caption that addresses the corresponding monthly theme.
  • The contest winner will be announced by the 10th the following month on our social media platforms — Instagram and Facebook.

Photos must be taken within the boundary of Hot Springs National Park.

The contest is open to all. Entrants under 18 years of age require the permission of a parent or guardian. By entering the contest, entrants under 18 years of age indicate that they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian.

Entries should show best practices for visiting national parks and public lands. Photographers and visitors are not allowed to harass wildlife or pick vegetation at any time. Touching or baiting wildlife is a form of harassment. Images containing illegal or prohibited activities will be disqualified. It is the entrant's responsibility for knowing and following park regulations. Photos must be family friendly.

Photos must be the original, unaltered work of the entrant. The spirit of the contest is to capture a moment that has been experienced. No alteration or manipulation of photographs is permitted beyond standard optimization—minor adjustments to color, contrast, brightness; removal of dust and scratches; black and white conversions; slight cropping. To ensure compliance with the alteration and manipulations rules, for those photos that are finalists the park has the right to request the photographer provide the file that was recorded by the camera. The park retains the right to disqualify photos that, in their sole discretion, have been noticeably and/or excessively altered.

Do not use Instagram to edit your image. Use of editing features in the Instagram app may disqualify entries.

Entries with watermarks are not permitted.

Entries should not contain recognizable images of people's faces.

To qualify for the top prize, photos must be 6MP (six megapixels – 3072 x 2048px) or larger. Photos smaller than 6MP are permitted, but will only be awarded honorable mentions if selected.

By submitting, the entrant agrees that they are the sole copyright owner of the image. By submitting an entry the entrant (in case of minors, the minor's parent/legal guardians) grants the National Park Service, or its authorized representatives and contractors, the right to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute or display and use these materials in whole or in part, for government and non-government purposes, in any manner or media (whether now existing or created in the future), in perpetuity, and in all languages throughout the world. Use of this material shall include, but not be limited to, audiovisual programs; museum exhibits; websites; publications; product artwork; and project publicity. Additionally, entrants waive the right to inspect or approve any use of the material and any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the material. The entrant holds harmless, releases, and forever discharges the National Park Service from all claims, demands, and causes of action which I, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on my behalf or on behalf of my estate have or may have by reason of this authorization. The entrant agrees to indemnify and hold the Government harmless for any and all losses, claims, expenses, suits, costs, demands and damages or liabilities on account of personal injury, death, or property damages of any nature whatsoever and by whomsoever made, arising out of the activities associated with the project in which I am taking park.

Participants may enter as many images as they wish.

If selected as a winning image, the entrant must be able to provide the highest resolution version of the image possible via email.

Photos entered must correspond to the monthly theme. If you want to enter a photo taken before the contest open date, you must upload the photo as a new post on social media.


Monthly Themes

Theme: History

January’s theme is History. Yes, it’s a bit open ended and vast, but we want to leave the interpretation up to you. Do you have an image that speaks to our Park’s history? Do you have an image that feels historical? Submit it!

Theme: Thermal Water & Fountains

Nothing says “Hot Springs” quite like... hot springs! This month’s photo contest is all about WATER. Have a great picture of one of our springs? Gulpha Gorge? A fountain? Something else water-related in the Park? We'd love to see it!

Theme: Flora of Hot Springs

With all this winter rain, flowers and trees are starting to bloom and blossom. This month’s photo challenge theme is flora. Have a picture of any flowers, trees, mosses, plants, or shrubs in the Park? Submit your photos for a chance to win!

Theme: Wildlife of Hot Springs

April’s theme is wildlife. Birds, insects, mammals, lizards, snakes, fish, and anything else in between. We might be an urban park, but we still have our fair share of wild animals in the Park. Upload and tag your photos to receive the ultimate trophy – winning our photo contest!

Theme: Bathhouses

Bathhouse Row is arguably one of the most iconic features of our Park. These buildings have undergone many changes over the years, both internally and externally, but they’re still standing today as homages and reminders of our foundation as “America’s Spa.” This months photo contest theme honors these timeless pieces of architecture – the Bathhouses. If you’ve been to the Park, you very likely have a photograph of one or many of the bathhouses. Send them in!

Theme: Overlooks

For the month of June, we’re focusing on good views. Have you taken a great photograph from one of our overlooks? Now’s your chance! Any overlook from either of our scenic drives, the mountain tower, or from one of our trails, we want to see what you’ve seen!

Theme: Trails

Keep calm and hike on! As you hit the trails in Hot Springs this month, don’t forget your camera. This month’s photo contest theme is all about our trails. We have 26 miles of trails in the Park, so there’s plenty for you to explore and capture. Your next adventure just might make you a winner!

Theme: Gulpha Gorge

Gulpha Gorge Campground is the Park’s only campground. With 40 sites for both RVs and tents with full hook-ups right along Gulpha Creek, its not only the coolest place in the Park, it’s also this month’s photo challenge theme! Have you ever stayed at Gulpha Gorge campground? Maybe you’ve hiked there to cool off after a long day? If you have a photo, we want to see it! Any and all photos of the campgound are welcome to enter the contest, regardless of when you took them.

Theme: Geology

Geology rocks! Here at Hot Springs National Park, we have some very unique rocky outcroppings just waiting to be photographed! From the mineral-rich tufa to the Arkansas novaculite and all the sandstone in-between, there are no shortage of rocks to enter into this month's photo contest!

Theme: Whittington Park

As the weather cools, and the leaves start to turn here in Hot Springs, we thought we’d draw your attention to a favorite local spot – Whittington Park. This park has old foot bridges that cross Whittington Creek, lots of trees, and a 1.2 mile long loop trail. It’s the perfect places for an evening stroll, a dog walk, and a picture. Submit your loveliest photos of Whittington Park during the month of October.

Theme: Fordyce Museum

The Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center and Museum was originally built in 1915. 105 years later, the building has been preserved to resemble and maintain its original look. Have you been inside the Fordyce Bathhouse? This month’s photo contest theme is the Fordyce Bathhouse. We want to see your exhibit pictures, stained glass pictures, and everything in between.

Theme: YOUR Favorite Photo

Nearly an entire year has come to pass. We’ve had a centennial worth remembering, worth celebrating, and worth photographing. To wrap up our photo contest, we’re leaving this one up to you. All month long, submit YOUR favorite pictures (that you’ve taken) of Hot Springs National Park. They can be of anything, any place, or any one. This is your last chance to win!



For questions or more information, send us an email.


Photo Contest Winners

Purple and orange hues illuminate the sky as the sun sets over a city street. Downtown businesses are on the right, large magnolias form a line in the center parallel to the road, and ornate bathhouses line the left side of the street.
January's Winner for the theme, "Historical."

Photo courtesy of Julia Mann of Hot Springs, AR (@julia.mann.94)

A thermal fountain is silhouetted by shadows as steam emanates from the water.
February's Winner for the theme, "Thermal Fountains."

Photograph courtesy of Joey Williams

A woman stands under a tent, behind a table with a children in front of her as she demonstrates.

Centennial Events

See what's happening all year long at Hot Springs National Park to celebrate the Centennial!

A woman paddling in an orange kayak with rolling hills behind her.

Iron Ranger Challenge

Hike, bike, swim, paddle, or walk 100 miles on Arkansas Public Lands for a chance to claim your Iron Ranger title!

Last updated: April 8, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs , AR 71901


(501) 620-6715

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