The Sunset Trail is the longest trail in Hot Springs National Park, covering more than 10 miles. Crossing all types of terrain, the trail passes by the highest elevation in the park as well as Ricks Pond and also makes its way through the most remote areas of the park. You can expect to find quite a variety of wildlife in these less frequented pockets, which serve as refuges for such seldom seen local species as wild turkey and white-tailed deer, most common in the fall months. Wildflowers are plentiful along the trails in late spring, summer, and fall.
Due to the length of the trail, visitors usually break the hike up into three separate sections. The first section traverses West Mountain and is probably the most popular. It is also the most recommended stretch due to its proximity to parking and the downtown area. It has several overlooks of the southern part of Hot Springs and Lake Hamilton. The second section is the most scenic, crossing through a beautiful mixed pine and hardwood forest on Sugarloaf Mountain and revealing views of such novaculite outcroppings as Balanced Rock. Old roadbeds make up portions of this section of Sunset Trail. The third section passes through land on Stonebridge Road that was once part of the Fordyce family estate. Purchased by the family years ago, the land is part of the crucial recharge area for the thermal springs. The trail crosses Fordyce Mountain. The waterworks for the city of Hot Springs are below the trail on the north side of the ridge.
There are two spurs that branch off the Sunset Trail: Balanced Rock Trail and Fordyce Peaks Trail.