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Superintendent's Compendium - Regulations specific to Hot Springs National Park.
2017 Superintendent's Compendium (pdf 1.15MB)
369 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Hot Springs National Park is a 5,500 acre park in the city of Hot Springs. Bathhouse Row, a quarter mile long collection of eight bathhouses along the east side of Central Avenue, is the most visited area within the national park.
Temperatures range from >100°F (38°C) to <20°F (-7°C). Spring has the highest average rainfall. Summer temperatures frequently reach the triple-digit range and high humidity Fall begins fall colors and cooler temperatures. Frost starts to become more common. Winter temperatures often fall below 33 degrees and occasionally drop below 0. Roads may be icy. Your visit can be more enjoyable by checking the forecast and coming prepared for hikes or walks in the park.
Entrance Fees - $0.00
Historic Museum - $0.00
Guided Tours - $0.00
Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center and Museum
The restored Fordyce Bathhouse is in the middle of Bathhouse Row in the 300 block of Central Avenue and houses the park visitor center. Exhibits and films orient visitors to Hot Springs and tell the story of thermal water bathing. You can tour twenty-three restored rooms furnished as they appeared during the heyday of the spa. Organized groups can arrange for guided tours with at least two weeks advance notice.
The Purpose of Hot Springs National Park is to protect its unique geothermal spring water and associated lands for public health, wellness, and enjoyment.
Hot Springs National Park was once known as Hot Springs Reservation. It was set aside in 1832 to protect the Park's primary resource, the hot springs.This type of Reservation was an early version of the National Park idea.Hot Springs was actually the first area in the United States to be set aside for its natural features.After Yellowstone was formed in 1872, Hot Springs was managed with it. In 1916 the National Park Service was formed and in 1921, Hot Springs Reservation changed its name to Hot Springs National Park, making it the 18th National Park in the Service.
Hot Springs National Park is best known for the 47 hot springs that come out of the Hot Springs Mountain at an average 143° Fahrenheit. Hot Springs National Park is the only unit of the national park system that is mandated to give away its primary natural resource to the general public in an unending and unaltered state. Drinking the hot springs water is perfectly normal, even encouraged. The water is naturally potable (good to drink) when it arrives at the surface of Hot Springs Mountain. Thousands of visitors highly endorse the good quality of the hot springs water and fill bottles to take home.
Unfortunately, we do not have any thermal water spring "in nature" where you can get into. Since our water is 143° (F) and is too hot to submerge your body in, there are two operating bathhouses on the Row where you can fully experience the water and drinking fountains have been built so people can enjoy the water that has given the park and the city its name.