Nature & Science

Green rolling hills, covered in forests with fog rising through the valleys.
Clouds in the valleys surrounding Hot Springs.

NPS Photo

The thermal springs are the primary natural resource of the park, but they have not been preserved in their unaltered state as natural surface phenomena. They have instead been managed to conserve the production of uncontaminated hot water for public use.

The mountains within the park are also managed within this conservation philosophy in order to preserve the hydrological system that feeds the springs. The park and its surrounding mountains exhibit a south-central United States pine-oak-hickory forest ecosystem. The park's vegetation, thermal waters, cold water springs, bathhouses and associated cultural features, foot trails, prehistoric and historic novaculite quarries, and general physiography combine to form an almost 5400 acre area of resource preservation and interpretation that is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal government. Another 672.69 acres are within the park boundary but are not federally owned.

The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, with an approximate population of 33,000, lies immediately outside the park and exerts a significant influence on it.

A large snake hiding beneath rocks

Learn about the wildlife in the Park.

A lavender colored flower with tendril like petals.

Hot Springs National Park has an abundance of flowers, shrugs, moss, lichens, vines, and trees. Learn more.

Thermal water flows over a blue-green algae filled crevice in tufa rock.
Natural Features & Ecosystems

Learn about the geologic features, thermal springs, and natural features that make Hot Springs National Park unique.

A woman sits by a spring with several water quality instruments taking readings.

Need a research permit? Want to learn more about what has been discovered about the Park? Look no further.

A man dressed in bright orange holds monitoring equipment in a stream.
Inventory & Monitoring

I&M builds a strong scientific foundation for the management and protection of natural resources in the Park. Learn more.

Smoke rises through the forests behind downtown Hot Springs.
Wildland Fire

Get fired up about the forests and fire management practices of the Park.


Learn more about the different monitoring efforts in the park

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    Last updated: April 29, 2022

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    101 Reserve Street
    Hot Springs, AR 71901


    501 620-6715

    Contact Us