Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Everything the RV Renter Needs to Know

Hot Springs National Park is a place like no other in the nation. It’s a unique blend of historical sites, natural landscapes, and modern amenities. While you don’t have to have an RV to visit this interesting destination, it can help enhance the experience even more.

Hot Springs National Park blends incredible geology with unique and ancient thermal springs. The site has been an important one for hundreds of years and used to varying degrees by the inhabitants of the area. Today it is a hot spot for visitors to Arkansas and it’s easy to see why. Here’s everything you need to know about Hot Springs National Park.

Why Visit Hot Springs National Park in Your Rented RV?

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is located right by Ouachita National Forest
and the Ouachita River. It’s a beautiful area with plenty of breathtaking natural land to hike and camp in. For this reason, we recommend RVing to and around Hot Springs National Park in your rented RV. With that in mind, here are some reasons to visit Hot Springs National Park.

The Baths and Pools

One of the best reasons to visit Hot Springs National Park is because there are some wonderful bathhouses and pools here. You can take a traditional bath at Buckstaff Bathhouse. This bathhouse has been doing baths in the traditional way since 1912. There’s also the ability to soak in the pool at the Quapaw Baths and Spa as well as other spa activities.

Walk the Historic Streets and Paths

Hot Springs National Park is one of those areas that’s absolutely beautiful with historic buildings and paths. Because of this, simply walking around and taking in the sights is a common activity. Bathhouse Row and the Grand Promenade are both located within the National Historic Landmark District. This area provides a picturesque location to simply go for a walk.

Picnicking

The area also has plenty of grassy lots and open lawns, which are perfect for picnicking. There are various park benches and picnic tables throughout the park’s boundaries, and that means you can bring a lunch along and have a picnic with your family. 

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

The Hot Springs Mountain Tower is one spot you have to visit. You can drive out to it or walk up Hot Springs Mountain Drive. This 216-foot tall tower overlooks 140 miles of the beautiful Ouachita Mountains. There a fee to go up in the tower, and there’s also a souvenir and snack shop at the top.

Guided Tours

Still not sure how best to experience Hot Springs National Park? No to worry! The park offers guided tours. You can do a Fordyce Bathhouse tour, an outdoor tour, or a cell phone tour. The cell phone tour will guide you via your cell phone around the park and give you all of the information you need.

Campgrounds and RV Parks for Hot Springs National Park

There are plenty of campgrounds located in and around Hot Springs National Park. The national park’s website points to Gulpha Gorge Campground, which is the closest park to the bathhouses, though there are several other campgrounds in the area.

Gulpha Gorge Campground

Gulpha Gorge Campground can accommodate RVers and tent campers. Each campsite comes with full hookup capabilities and there is also a modern restroom facility on-site. It’s important to note that there are no shower facilities at the campground. The campsites are first-come, first-serve, so you cannot make a reservation. You will need to register when you arrive and you cannot stay longer than 14 consecutive days.

Hot Springs National Park KOA

The Hot Springs National Park KOA features full hookup campsites that can accommodate even extremely large RVs up to 70 feet long. You also have Wi-Fi and cable TV included and access to a fishing area, swimming pool, campground kitchen, a snack bar, mini-golf, and more. This campground is only a little further out from the national park than Gulpha Gorge.

Catherine’s Landing

Catherine’s Landing is another great option for you and your family if you’ve rented an RV. The campground offers full hookup campsites in a large park. All of the campsites are flat concrete pads, so you will have no issues setting up your RV. There are Wi-Fi and cable available to visitors as well as fire rings, picnic tables, and grills. The campsites can accommodate a 45-foot rig, tow vehicle, and another vehicle, giving you plenty of space.

Treasure Isle RV Park

Located at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Treasure Isle RV Park is an excellent place to stay for a couple of nights or longer. The campground offers over 60 full hookup campsites with cable hookup and Wi-Fi. There’s also a pool and bathhouses for campers. You can fish right at Lake Hamilton and the national park is not far away at all.

Lake Hamilton RV Resort

Another option located right on Lake Hamilton is Lake Hamilton RV Resort. This campground is on the opposite side of the lake from Treasure Isle RV Park and features a large pool, beautiful walking routes, bayou fishing, free WIFI, and community recreation areas. The campsites are full hookup, and there’s plenty to do and see here when you’re not visiting the national park.

Places to Eat Near Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park is not the largest national park by any means, but you’ll still find there are plenty of options when it comes to eating both inside and outside the park. Here’s a look at all of the places you can grab a bite to eat.

Eating Inside the Park

Inside the park, there are numerous restaurants and cafes. This means you’ll be able to easily find something that should satisfy your needs when it comes to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s the Superior Bathhouse Brewery, Hotel Hale restaurant, and the Quapaw Café at the Quapaw Baths and Spa.

Eating Outside the Park

Eating outside of the park is all about enjoying the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. What you’ll find here is some fantastic southern cuisine and some lovely restaurants at any price point. There are options for steak, seafood, pizza, BBQ, and more.

While there are plenty of chain restaurants in town, while you’re here, you’d be smart to visit some of the local options or the local chains.

Some of the other communities surrounding Hot Springs are also smart options, including Lake Hamilton and Red Oak.

The simple fact of the matter is that you’ll have no issues finding good food when visiting Hot Springs National Park.

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