Hot Springs National Park Itinerary & Best Campsites

Hot Springs National Park Itinerary & Best Campsites

Hot Springs National Park, located in Arkansas, offers a unique experience with its thermal waters, hiking trails, and rich history. Here's a 2-day itinerary and some recommendations for campsites:

Day 1 Arrival and Bathhouse:
-Visitor Center: Start your visit at the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center. Get maps and information about the park's trails and activities.
- Bathhouse Row: Explore Bathhouse Row, where you can see historic bathhouses and learn about the history of the park. The Fordyce Bathhouse is a must-visit, as it's been restored to its former glory and now serves as a museum.
- Picnic: Enjoy a picnic in one of the picnic areas within the park. Hill Wheatley - - - Plaza is a good spot with tables and scenic views.
- Hiking: Choose one or more of the park's hiking trails. The most popular is the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, which takes you to the mountain's summit for great views. Another option is the Goat Rock Trail.
- Dinner: Head into Hot Springs town to enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants or cafes.

Day 2 Bathhouse and Scenic Drive: 
- Hot Springs Bathhouse: Treat yourself to a relaxing soak in one of the thermal bathhouses. Buckstaff Bathhouse and Quapaw Baths & Spa are popular options.
- DeLuxe Bathhouse: Have lunch at the DeLuxe Bathhouse, which now serves as a brewery and restaurant. It's a unique experience to dine in a historic bathhouse.
- Scenic Drive: Take a scenic drive through the park, stopping at various overlooks to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
- Lake Ouachita: If you have extra time, consider driving to Lake Ouachita, which is about 30 minutes from Hot Springs. You can enjoy water activities, hiking, and camping at Lake Ouachita State Park.

Before your trip, make sure to grab your 

Hot Springs National Park Map Neck Gaiter

Hot Springs National Park Map Neck Gaiter


For camping within Hot Springs National Park, there are limited options, and advance reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons. Here are some campsites to consider:

Gulpha Gorge Campground: This is the only campground within the national park. It offers basic amenities like restrooms and running water, but no hookups for RVs. It's conveniently located near the visitor center and trails.

Lake Ouachita State Park: If you prefer a more developed campground, consider staying at Lake Ouachita State Park, which offers various campsites and amenities. It's not within the national park, but it's nearby and provides additional recreational opportunities.

Remember to check for campground availability and make reservations as needed, as camping options within the national park can fill up quickly, especially during the summer months. Enjoy your trip to Hot Springs National Park!

Back to blog