History of the Tower
In 1877 local mill owner Enoch Woolman built a wooden observation tower at the summit of Hot Springs Mountain to allow visitors to enjoy the view of the surrounding region. In 1906 a new steel tower opened on Hot Springs Mountain on land leased by Charles N. Rix, president of Arkansas National Bank, and the old Woolman Observatory was removed. Rix Tower included an elevator to carry visitors to the top, where they could view an area estimated by Superintendent Scott Smith to cover a radius of 30 to 40 miles.
Rix Tower was taken down on July 13, 1971 and in March 1982 a contract was signed for the construction of a new observation tower. The 216-foot tall structure opened to the public in June 1983 as part of the 13th Annual Arkansas Fun Festival.
The Hot Springs Mountain Tower is operated as a concession for the park. The tower's upper observation deck is open-air and at an elevation of 1,256 feet above sea level. From there, visitors may overlook 140 square miles of surrounding countryside, including the entire park and a portion of the Ouachita Mountains. The lower observation deck, enclosed and air conditioned, contains exhibits highlighting park and local history. A gift shop is located at the base of the tower.
Visit the Mountain Tower's offical website for operating hours, fees, and other information.