Walking paths have long been a part of Hot Springs National Park and the preceding Hot Springs Reservation. Today those walking paths form the base of the park’s trail system. There are two concentrated areas of hiking trails within the park, the Hot Springs and North Mountain Trails and the West Mountain Trails. Both of these areas are composed of relatively short, interconnected trails. The Sunset Trail is a longer trail that travels through more remote areas of the park.
The Hot Springs and North Mountain trails are popular since they are easy to reach and provide scenic views. You can get to these trails via Stephen’s Balustrade (grand staircase) behind the Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs Mountain Drive, and the Gulpha Gorge Campground. See the Hot Springs and North Mountain trail map for more information. *Note: Oertel Trail is still labeled as Dead Chief Trail on the park's brochure.
The West Mountain trails are less traveled, providing greater opportunities for wildlife sightings. You can get to these trails via Whittington Park and the Canyon Trailhead. See the West Mountain trail map for more information.
The Sunset Trail is the longest trail in Hot Springs National Park, covering approximately 10 miles one way or complete the 15-17 mile loop. It completes a circuit near the inner edge of the park boundary. Crossing all types of terrain, the trail makes its way through the most remote areas of the park. Due to the length of this trail, it is frequently broken up into three separate sections: West Mountain (2.8 miles), Sugarloaf Mountain (2.6 miles), and Stonebridge Road (3.8 miles). The Sunset Trail can be combined with Hot Springs Mountain trails, North Mountain trails, and West Mountain trails to complete a strenuous 15-17-mile loop hike. See the Sunset Trail map for more information.
For detailed directions and guidance on how to get to different parts of the Park, visit this page.
Last updated: September 7, 2020