This page provides information on how to access the print version and alternative formats of the park's brochure.
Audio Description Versions
An audio described version of the brochure can be accessed three ways.
Audio-described Version (text only)
Below is a text only version of the main Hot Springs National Park Brochure. This version is compatable with most screen reader software.
OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure
IMAGE and TEXT: Central Avenue
DESCRIPTION: The front page of this Hot Springs National Park brochure is an aerial view of the Bath Houses along Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Bath Houses are near the bottom of the page, with much of the wilderness and Hot Springs Mountain behind the bath houses. On the top of Hot Springs Mountain stands a 216 foot tall monument. First erected as a wooden tower in 1877, the tower was taken down on July 13, 1971. In 1982, a contract for a new tower was made. The new tower opened to the public in June 1983, also having concessions at the base. Standing on the observation deck, at 1,256 feet above sea level, 140 square miles of countryside can be seen, including the entire park and part of the Ouachita Mountains. This monument is located left of center and near the top of the picture of Hot Springs National Park. Several other interesting pictures and notes overlay the the aerial picture, which will also be described.
OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure
DESCRIPTION: Side two of the brochure is comprised of text, three maps, drawings of Bathhouse row buildings, and six color photographs. The large map is the full park and identifies trails, roads, and buildings. The two additional inset maps focus upon Bathhouse row and the recharge zone. The drawings of Bathhouse row show the front of each bathhouse, in order from left to right, of the buildings from North to South. The color photos are examples of flora and fauna found within the park.The text, associated maps and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections. In addition to the map and photo descriptions, the text sections provide many descriptive details about what the areas look like and information about getting there and what trails and amenities are available.
TEXT: Timeline: 12,000 to 10,000 Before Present to Present
DESCRIPTION: Timeline: 12,000 to 10,000 Before Present to Present.
RELATED TEXT:1803: The Louisiana Purchase makes the Ouachita region part of the United States.
1804 to 5: Hunter Dunbar team explores the area and prepares report for President Jefferson.
1820: Arkansas Territory asks Congress to reserve the hot springs for public use.
1830: Asa Thompson builds the first bathhouse near today’s Fountain Street.
1832: President Andrew Jackson signs legislation to establish Hot Springs Reservation.
1836: Arkansas becomes the nation’s 25th state.
1849: The Department of the Interior (DOI) is established and the reservation placed under its control.
1877: Benjamin Kelley is named first reservation superintendent. He orders people to leave makeshift camps and directs the opening of the first free government bathhouse.
1883: Construction begins on a stone archway enclosing Hot Springs Creek.
1887: Army and Navy General Hospital opens.
1892: Work begins on the formal entrance to the reservation and to Whittington Park.
1901: To protect the thermal water and retain heat, a water collection and distribution system is installed and all springs are enclosed.
1911: DOI requires that wooden bathhouses must be replaced with safer, more sanitary masonry structures.
1914: Oertel Fitness Trail network for prescribed exercise is built on Hot Springs Mountain.
1916: National Park Service is established and the reservation placed under its control.
1921: The reservation is named a national park.
1925: The park begins managing Gulpha Gorge Campground.
1938: Congress expands the park boundary by over 4,000 acres.
1947: In this peak year, bathers took more than 1 million baths.
1962: The Fordyce becomes the first bathhouse on Bathhouse row to close as interest declines and operating costs increase.
1974: Bathhouse row is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
1985: The Lamar closes. The Buckstaff is the only bathhouse on the row that remains open.
1987: Bathhouse row is named a National Historic Landmark.
1989: The Fordyce reopens as the park visitor center and museum.
2004 to present: The park begins a new leasing program and partners with business owners to restore and reopen the bathhouses. While two continue to offer bathhouse services, others have been adapted for new purposes.
IMAGE AND TEXT: Water
DESCRIPTION: Photo of Tomb of the Pharaoh Khufa. The top of the image is a grey-blue cloudless sky that transitions to lighter shades of blue-gray as it descends the page. Toward the lower third, it has a slight orange hue giving way to the tallest pyramid which is in the center and a play tan-orange color with a lighter top. Slightly in from and to the views left is a only slightly smaller pyramid in dark tan shade with brown shading. In front of this pyramid are three small one with the signs of age in the erosion of the tops and sides. They are of the same color as the large on behind them. Behind the large pyramid is a noticeably shorter one in the same orange-tan hue.The blowing stand makes this one and the whole right side of the photo slightly fuzzy. Surrounding all the pyramids is sand of a tan shade with a slight orange tint. The photo fades to black as it continues down the page.
Photo Caption: Around the same time that the pharaoh Khufu built his Great Pyramid at Giza, 4,500 years ago, the water that emerges on Hot Springs Mountain fell as rain and snow.
RELATED TEXT: Rain and melted snow trickle into cracks in brittle rock (novaulite and chert) along the ridges of the Ouchita Mountains. Gravity pulls the water slowly downward through a network of cracks in Earth's rock crust. The rock temperature increases with depth and the water emerges from the springs at an average temperatrue of 143 degrees Feriheit (62 degrees Celsius). When the water reaches a major fault on the west slope of Hot Springs Mountain, pressure propels it upward.The hot spring water does not result from a volcanic process. Its roundtrip journey-from the recharge zone along the mountain ridges to the park-takes over four thousand years.
IMAGES and TEXT: Healing
IMAGE 1 of 3: Bath towel
DESCRIPTION: A tattered white bath towel with Quapaw Baths in light grey capital block letters and a gray background
IMAGE 2 of 3: Maurice Bathhouse
DESCRIPTION: A large communal pool with a light gray stone trim and a large gray wall on the left. In the pool are patients and therapists in pairs of two. Three of the four pairs are standing and walking in the pool. One female patient laying on a floating chaise lounge type chair with a therapist to her left side. There is a row of white globe lights visible running along the faint ceiling.
IMAGE 3 of 3: Drinking cup
DESCRIPTION: A collapsible tin drinking cup in a pewter color. The cup is full of water and has rings and well as a lip at the top. The bottom has an ample base extending beyond the cup so as to ensure the cup stays upright.
RELATED TEXT: Hydrotherapy offered treatment for conditions such as arthritis or rheumatism and even stress or immune disorders, before modern advancements in medicine. Therapies included whirlpool baths, massages, and mercury rubs. Though the water held no magical cure, such treatments offered some relief for patients who were suffering and in desperate need of help. Treatment in "America's First Resort" often served as patients' last resort for healing.
IMAGES AND TEXT: Habitat
IMAGE 1 of 4: Woodland stone crop
DESCRIPTION: Four opposing branches with green leaves and white flowers emerging upright from the branches. There are approximately six teardrop shaped white flowers per branch.
DESCRIPTION: A large outcropping of brown and black rock with water streaming over the edge and steam coming off the top of the rocks. On the left is green ivy on the hillside.
DESCRIPTION: A long stem with many alternating fronds. The fronds have parallel tapering leaves. The fronds are widest in the middle, tapering to the left they get shorter and shorter until the end when there is one frond as a point.
DESCRIPTION: Eight white flowers grouped together. Each flower has four large petals paired in opposing directions. The center of the flower has a clump of light green pistils with white tips
IMAGES and TEXT: Wellness
IMAGE 1 of 2: Fordyce gym
DESCRIPTION: A dimly lit gymnasium with dark wooden floors and wainscoting. The upper portion of the wall is painted white. From the ceiling hangs gymnastics rings, a climbing rope, and a rope ladder. On the left are chest high parallel bars. On the right is a hanging leather speed bag. Directly in front is a leather pommel horse with a thin white mat behind it. Against the far wall is a white sink, white scale, and furthest left is a door.
IMAGE 2 of 2: Wooden club
DESCRIPTION: Wooden club, shaped like a bowling pin, with the widest part tapering to a slightly smaller base on the left and tapering on the right to a thin, ribbed handle with a slightly wider knob at the end.
RELATED TEXT: A visit to the hot springs was designed to treat not just the body but the mind and spirit as well. Visitors bathed in the thermal water and recieved massages and other therapies. Afterward, they could relax, drink spring water from tin cups, exercise in well-appointed gyms, or hike a series of fitness trails.
TEXT: Corn Hole
DESCRIPTION: Inserted in the upper left portion of this page is an old photograph of the Corn Hole, an early, rustic, hot spring. The picture shows heavy planks arranged roughly into a square around the hot spring, the two layers of planks offset for ease of entering the Corn Hole. Another heavy plank across the hot spring has three men dressed nicely with white shirts and ties, vests and dress coats, their shoes off and pant legs rolled up to their knees, sitting on the large plank with their feet dangling in the water. Next to each of the men is what looks like a coffee pot, but no cups are visible. Behind the men, and the pool, is a hillside showing lightly forested tree trunks in an unimproved condition and the nearby bank has a small slide or cut away portion of the hillside. It is unknown from this picture how deep the Corn Hole is because the mens feet are barely covered by the water. The three men all have shaggy mustaches and hats. Two of the men have brimmed hats, one with a partially curve brim. The third man is wearing a billed hat with a high, flat crown.
IMAGE and TEXT: Central Avenue
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: The front page of this Hot Springs National Park brochure is an aerial view of the Bath Houses along Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Bath Houses are near the bottom of the page, with much of the wilderness and Hot Springs Mountain behind the bath houses. On the top of Hot Springs Mountain stands a 216 foot tall monument. First erected as a wooden tower in 1877, the tower was taken down on July 13, 1971. In 1982, a contract for a new tower was made. The new tower opened to the public in June 1983, also having concessions at the base. Standing on the observation deck, at 1,256 feet above sea level, 140 square miles of countryside can be seen, including the entire park and part of the Ouachita Mountains. This monument is located left of center and near the top of the picture of Hot Springs National Park. Several other interesting pictures and notes overlay the the aerial picture, which will also be described.
IMAGE: Fordyce and Quapaw
DESCRIPTION: Collage picture of the multiple bathhouses on historic Bathhouse row. The upper right corner is a picture taken from overhead and from a substantial distance of white historic bathhouse. It shows the front half of a three story white stone building with a small amount of a green tile roof showing. The front porch is covered by a flat white roof supported by white stone pillars with arches in between and on the sides.
IMAGES and TEXT: Bathhouse Row
IMAGE 1 of 9: Superior
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of the historic Superior Bathhouse. The white and dark green drawing is set against a tan marble background depicts and two-story dark rectangle building with a flat roof and a chimney slightly off center toward the viewers left. There is an ornate double door in the middle of the first floor along with ten thin, rectangular windows. To the views right and attached to the building is a small stone structure about five feet in height. The second floor is a wall of twelve windows.
IMAGE 2 of 9: Hale
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Hale Bathhouse. This white and green drawing against the same tan marble background shows a slightly large two-story rectangular building with a sloped roof and the tip of a chimney visible on the viewers right. The first floor has a large front door with an arched vestibule with the word HALE in stone. This is off center toward the views left with three arched windows to the left of the door and six to the right. The second story has 12 arched windows. The building itself is white.
IMAGE 3 of 9: Maurice
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Maurice bathhouse. This white and green drawing against the same tan marble background shows a large three story building that is mostly white. The roof in the center of the third story is sloped, glass surrounds roof with a chimney on right side. There are five large windows consisting of many small squares of glass under this popped out roof with three smaller windows under a flat roof to the left and right. Below that is a line of smaller windows. The bottom floor is white with a large arched window on the left and right. The center is for tall, wide windows with ornate arches and an ornate door in the center. There are several small stone attached outbuildings eight to ten feet tall on both the left and right.
IMAGE 4 of 9: Fordyce
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Fordyce Bathhouse. This image depicts the tallest of the drawings. The building is three full stories with a white popped out roof above the main roof. The building is dark with a white bottom third. The top two thirds of the building consists of two rows of 14 windows. Those on the top floor have arched tops. The bottom floor is white with two large windows on the far left and far right. There are fours smaller windows in the center with a large front door in the center. Above these windows and door is a dark ornate cover to allow cover from the elements when entering and exiting the building.
IMAGE 5 of 9: Quapaw
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Quapaw bathhouse. This image depicts the widest of the bathhouses. The building is two stories with a large dome in the middle of the roof that has a round ornate medallion in the below the roof and in the center. To the left and right of the dome is a steeply slopped roof that is dark. Below the roof is a row of twelve windows. The first floor extends beyond the second to the left and right. Those sections have two large arched windows with a peaked ornate roof. The rest of the first floor has five windows to the left and right of a white portico with two more arched windows and a door below it.
IMAGE 6 of 9: Ozark
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Ozark Bathhouse. White and dark green drawing of a two story rectangular white stone building. The flat roof has two very large square columns that extend to the ground and jut out above the roof with arched openings at the top and a tile roof. Under the flat roof and between these columns are five large square windows. To the left and right of the column and under the flat roof are three smaller square windows. On the first floor, to the left and right of the columns are large square windows. Between the columns on the ground floor are five big windows consisting of multiple squares of glass. In the very middle is small staircase leading to a doorway.
IMAGE 7 of 9: Buckstaff
DESCRIPTION: Drawing of the historic Buck staff Bathhouse. White and dark green drawing of the three-story rectangular stout building with a third story that is two-thirds the width of the first two and has a square chimney off center to the left. Below the chimney is flat roof that sports seven small window below that. To the left and right is a bit of roof for the lower floors that extend beyond the third floor with a second chimney to the left. Below this flat roof is white stone band that read Buck staff in capital block letters. This band juts out a bit from the building and is supported by six white columns. Just below the band is a row of 9 square windows. The first floor has eight, story height, arched topped windows with an ornate double door in the middle. There is a white stone porch barely visible.
IMAGE 8 of 9: Lamar
DESCRIPTION: White and dark green drawing of the historic Lamar Bathhouse. This rectangular two story bathhouse has a flat roof with a scalloped edged decorative higher section in the middle with tall thin windows on both the left and right end of the building, stacked on top of each other so as to run from the bottom floor to the top floor. Between these windows on the second floor are eight large square windows. The first floor has four very large windows flanking a large lavish double door with a concrete staircase.
IMAGE 9 of 9: Administration
DESCRIPTION: Dark green and white drawing of the historic Administration Building. This white smaller rectangular building has a sloped tile roof. There is a two-story portico off center toward the viewers with one window to the left and three windows to the right, all with small Juliet balconies. The first floor has one small arched window to the left of the portico and three to the right. Under the portico on the first floor is a door. There several tall coned shaped trees on the right of the building and peaking out from behind it and small shrubs lining the front along the foundation.
MAP: Hot Springs National Park
DESCRIPTION: This page is a map of Hot Springs National Park and the area around it. It also has a number of illustrations and inserts including Bathhouse row, park instructions and information, park plants and animals, and helpful keys.
IMAGES and TEXT: Flora and Fauna
IMAGE 1 of 6: Umbrella magnolia
DESCRIPTION: Two white flowers each with eight thin petals stick up from oblong green leaves.
IMAGE 2 of 6: Ouachita blazing star
DESCRIPTION: A single pink purple flower with many stringy petals sits on top of five thin leaves emerging from the stem.
IMAGE 3 of 6: Black bear
DESCRIPTION: A large black bear with a lighter brown snout and rounded ears walks on a lawn toward the left with its front right paw elevated as it steps forward.
IMAGE 4 of 6: Luna moth
DESCRIPTION: Light green moth, two very wide wings at the top overlap two lower wings, tapering to a two forked tail. The edges of the wings are purple. Each wing had a white and purple circle, looking almost like eyes.
IMAGE 5 of 6: Red eared slider
DESCRIPTION: Side view of a turtle with black interspersed with tan on the shell. The edge of the shell is slightly lighter in color with evenly spaced black circles. The head of the turtle is sticking out to the left, its face is light green with red on the top.
IMAGE 6 of 6: Ozark chinquapin
DESCRIPTION: Light green leaves on a branch. The leaves have serrated edges, offset from the stem, with a center vein and more veins shooting off from the center vein, evenly spaced, toward the tip of the leaf.
MAP: Bathhouse Row and Surrounding Area
DESCRIPTION: Faint green denotes the park on the right and left of the map. Faint yellow runs down the middle, slightly to the left of Central avenue. On the right side of Central avenue, from bottom to top, are the Park Administration Building, Lamar Bathhouse, Buckstaff bathhouse, Ozark Bathhouse and cultural center, Quapaw bathhouse, Fordyce bathhouse, museum, and visitor center, Maurice Bathhouse, Hale Hotel, and Superior brewery. Beyond the Superior is Arlington lawn and the hot water cascade. To the right of the bathhouses is the accessible grand promenade, accessed between the Fordyce and Maurice or via stairs at Arlington Lawn or to the right of the Park Administration building. Trails also spur off of the grand promenade to the right of the Maurice. Mens restroom is between the Ozark and Quapaw. Womens restroom is between the Quapaw and Fordyce. There is a jug fountain in front (bottom) of the Park Administration building. Display springs are located to the right of the Maurice bathhouse. Parking lots - to the left of Central Avenue across from the Ozark. Another lot is at the bottom, across Reserve St from the Park Administration building. Two other lots are located to the left of Central, across from the Arlington lawn.
TEXT: Recharge Zone
DESCRIPTION: The background of the map is tan, several major highways are marked on the map with highway 7 running from the lower left to the upper right. On the lower left is the green elliptical shape of Hot Springs National Park that extends from the lower left of the map upwards to the right, stopping nearly in the center. Extending from the bottom left of the park shape to the upper right of the map, following highway 7, and extending wider than the park both top to bottom and right to left, is a purple outline denoted as Recharge Zone.
At Gulpha Gorge you’ll find 40 campsites (your stay may not exceed 14 days per year), grills, picnic tables, and electric and water hookups, but no showers. No advance reservations; call the park for availability. Camp only at campsites. You can also find lodging in the city and at nearby lakes; call Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1 800 SPA CITY.
Use caution when walking or cycling on park roads
Vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and skates are prohibited on sidewalks and trails.
We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to the visitor center in the Fordyce, ask a ranger, call, or check our website. At the Fordyce there is a tactile map, braille brochures, and audio descriptions for the park movie. ASL interpretation is available, please call the park at least two weeks prior to arrival. Ramps and elevators are available at every building.
OVERVIEW: More Information
Last updated: March 17, 2022