Hot Springs National Park

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Hot Springs National Park's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two sided color brochure that Hot Springs visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about [NUMBER] minutes which we have divided into 22 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1-11 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding history, major attractions and components of the park like flora, fauna, and thermal water. Sections 12-22 cover the back of the brochure which consists of basic orientation information like regulations, fees, accommodations, safety, and maps.

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

Side one of the brochure is comprised of text, a background aerial color photo of Bathhouse row and the forested Hot Springs mountain, three color inset photos and text, and two black and white inset photos and text.

The text and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections. In addition to the photo descriptions, the text sections provide many details about the Bathhouse row area and park history.

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OVERVIEW: Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park, located in Arkansas, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 5,500 acre park is situated 55 miles southwest of Little Rock in the heart of downtown Hot Springs. This park, established as Hot Springs Reservation in 1832 and as a national park in 1921, is known as the American spa due to the history of thermal water bathing services offered health seekers in the early days. Each year, 1.5 million visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Hot Springs National Park. We invite you to explore historic Bathhouse row, the many trails, and stunning views. Experience a warm thermal water soak in one of our bathhouses. Stroll the historic promenade. Hike on a mountain trail to a beautiful vista. Enjoy a beer in the only brewery operating in an unit of the National Park Service. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, stop by the visitor center for informative audio guides and tactile maps. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Wellness

IMAGE 1 of 2: Fordyce gym

DESCRIPTION: A dimly lit gymnasium with dark wooden floors and wainscoting. The upper portion of the wall is painted white. From the ceiling hangs gymnastics rings, a climbing rope, and a rope ladder. On the left are chest high parallel bars. On the right is a hanging leather speed bag. Directly in front is a leather pommel horse with a thin white mat behind it. Against the far wall is a white sink, white scale, and furthest left is a door. 

CAPTION: Fordyce gym, restored to ca. 1915 appearance. 

CREDIT: Kori Grossheider

IMAGE 2 of 2: Wooden club

DESCRIPTION: Wooden club, shaped like a bowling pin, with the widest part tapering to a slightly smaller base on the left and tapering on the right to a thin, ribbed handle with a slightly wider knob at the end.

CAPTION:  Wooden club for exercise, 1914.


A visit to the hot springs was designed to treat not just the body but the mind and spirit as well. Visitors bathed in the thermal water and received massages and other therapies. Afterward, they could relax, drink spring water from tin cups (below right), exercise in well-appointed gyms, or hike a series of fitness trails.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Water

DESCRIPTION: Photo of Tomb of the Pharaoh Khufa. The top of the image is a grey-blue cloudless sky that transitions to lighter shades of blue-gray as it descends the page. Toward the lower third, it has a slight orange hue giving way to the tallest pyramid which is in the center and a play tan-orange color with a lighter top. Slightly in from and to the views left is a only slightly smaller pyramid in dark tan shade with brown shading. In front of this pyramid are three small one with the signs of age in the erosion of the tops and sides. They are of the same color as the large on behind them.

Behind the large pyramid is a noticeably shorter one in the same orange-tan hue. The blowing stand makes this one and the whole right side of the photo slightly fuzzy.  

Surrounding all the pyramids is sand of a tan shade with a slight orange tint. The photo fades to black as it continues down the page. 

CAPTION: Around the same time that the pharaoh Khufu built his Great Pyramid at Giza, 4,500 years ago, the water that emerges on Hot Springs Mountain fell as rain and snow.

CREDIT: Flickr/Yogialessandra

Rain and melted snow trickle into cracks in brittle rock (novaculite and chert) along the ridges of the Ouachita Mountains. Gravity pulls the water slowly downward through a network of cracks in Earth’s rock crust. The rock temperature increases with depth and the water emerges from the springs at an average temperature of 143° F (62° C). When the water reaches a major fault on the west slope of Hot Springs Mountain, pressure propels it upward. The hot spring water does not result from a volcanic process. Its roundtrip journey—from the recharge zone along the mountain ridges to the park—takes over four thousand years.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Corn Hole

DESCRIPTION: Inserted in the upper left portion of this page is an old photograph of the Corn Hole, an early, rustic, "dugout" hot spring. The picture shows heavy planks arranged roughly into a square around the hot spring, the two layers of planks offset for ease of entering the Corn Hole. Another heavy plank across the hot spring has three men dressed nicely with white shirts and ties, vests and dress coats, their shoes off and pant legs rolled up to their knees, sitting on the large plank with their feet dangling in the water. Next to each of the men is what looks like a coffee pot, but no cups are visible. Behind the men, and the pool, is a hillside showing lightly forested tree trunks in an unimproved condition and the nearby bank has a small slide or cut away portion of the hillside. It is unknown from this picture how deep the Corn Hole is because the men's feet are barely covered by the water. The three men all have shaggy mustaches and hats. Two of the men have brimmed hats, one with a partially curve brim. The third man is wearing a billed hat with a high, flat crown. 

The spa town of Hot Springs offered wellness and healing to people from all walks of life, at early rustic ‘dugouts’ like Corn Hole and at later, ornate bathhouses like the Fordyce and the Quapaw.

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TIMELINE: 12,000 to 10,000 Before Present to Present

12,000 to10,000 Before Present: Paleo Indians quarry novaculite in the Ouachita Mountains for tools and weapons.

1803: The Louisiana Purchase makes the Ouachita region part of the United States.

1804 to 5: Hunter Dunbar team explores the area and prepares report for President Jefferson.

1820: Arkansas Territory asks Congress to reserve the hot springs for public use.

1830: Asa Thompson builds the first bathhouse near today’s Fountain Street.

1832: President Andrew Jackson signs legislation to establish Hot Springs Reservation.

1836: Arkansas becomes the nation’s 25th state.

1849: The Department of the Interior (DOI) is established and the reservation placed under its control.

1877: Benjamin Kelley is named first reservation superintendent. He orders people to leave makeshift camps and directs the opening of the first free government bathhouse.

1883: Construction begins on a stone archway enclosing Hot Springs Creek.

1887: Army and Navy General Hospital opens.

1892: Work begins on the formal entrance to the reservation and to Whittington Park.

1901: To protect the thermal water and retain heat, a water collection and distribution system is installed and all springs are enclosed.

1911: DOI requires that wooden bathhouses must be replaced with safer, more sanitary masonry structures.

1914: Oertel Fitness Trail network for prescribed exercise is built on Hot Springs Mountain.

1916: National Park Service is established and the reservation placed under its control.

1921: The reservation is named a national park.

1925: The park begins managing Gulpha Gorge Campground.

1938: Congress expands the park boundary by over 4,000 acres.

1947: In this peak year, bathers took more than 1 million baths.

1962: The Fordyce becomes the first bathhouse on Bathhouse row to close as interest declines and operating costs increase.

1974: Bathhouse row is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

1985: The Lamar closes. The Buckstaff is the only bathhouse on the row that remains open.

1987: Bathhouse row is named a National Historic Landmark.

1989: The Fordyce reopens as the park visitor center and museum.

2004 to present: The park begins a new leasing program and partners with business owners to restore and reopen the bathhouses. While two continue to offer bathhouse services, others have been adapted for new purposes.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Central Avenue

DESCRIPTION: The front page of this Hot Springs National Park brochure is an aerial view of the Bath Houses along Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Bath Houses are near the bottom of the page, with much of the wilderness and Hot Springs Mountain behind the bath houses. On the top of Hot Springs Mountain stands a 216 foot tall monument. First erected as a wooden tower in 1877, the tower was taken down on July 13, 1971. In 1982, a contract for a new tower was made. The new tower opened to the public in June 1983, also having concessions at the base. Standing on the observation deck, at 1,256 feet above sea level, 140 square miles of countryside can be seen, including the entire park and part of the Ouachita Mountains. This monument is located left of center and near the top of the picture of Hot Springs National Park. Several other interesting pictures and notes overlay the the aerial picture, which will also be described.

CAPTION: Bathhouse Row on the town’s main artery, Central Avenue

CREDIT: Casey Crocker

When William Dunbar and George Hunter explored the nation’s new territories in 1804, they found several crude huts near a steaming spring in the Ouachita Mountains. Their guides explained that people came to the area to soak in the hot water and recover their health. As word of the springs spread, Congress declared a four square mile reservation in 1832 to protect the water for public use. 

The promise of improved health drew Civil War veterans and others with disabling conditions to crowded camps near the open springs. They formed temporary communities of people who sought to ease their pain in the thermal waters. Early settlers ignored federal claims to the land. They built cabins and provided amenities to lure travelers to the famed springs. In 1876, the US Supreme Court ruled against their private land claims and affirmed the nation’s interest in making the thermal water available to all.

After the court’s ruling, the federal government began regulating private bathhouses and took active control over improvements that led to better sanitation and distribution of the water. Despite their role in ensuring public access, by the 1880s federal officials followed state laws requiring racial segregation and limited the African Americans’ use of the bathhouses. African American business owners ultimately built and maintained their own elaborate ones nearby until facilities desegregated in the 1960s.

By the 1900s, Hot Springs was among the most visited health and wellness resorts in the United States. Entrepreneurs promoted it as a place “where crutches are thrown away.” Since 1921 the springs and historic bathhouses have formed the heart of a national park. The park’s 5,500 forested acres surround the city’s downtown where urban meets wild. Today you can soak in the thermal waters, drink spring water from the fountains, and hike densely wooded slopes—just as millions of others have over the centuries.

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IMAGE: Fordyce and Quapaw

DESCRIPTION: Collage picture of the multiple bathhouses on historic Bathhouse row. The upper right corner is a picture taken from overhead and from a substantial distance of white historic bathhouse. It shows the front half of a three story white stone building with a small amount of a green tile roof showing. The front porch is covered by a flat white roof supported by white stone pillars with arches in between and on the sides. There is a smaller sidewalk running north and south that is lined with grass and several large green trees full of leaves. From this sidewalk, there are two wide sidewalks leading to steps to the porch. To the right and left of the wide sidewalks is lush grass to the right of that is a circular fountain surrounded by cement. In front of that is a pullout for vehicles. In front of that is a four lane road with a yellow strip, a white car, a crosswalk to the far right and the word central on it. The far side of the road is also lined with tall, lush, green trees. Next to the trees is a view of a flat white roof. There is one large rectangle roof then a small step down to a smaller square roof. 

On the top left side of the picture are four white flowers with deep pink on the edge and green in the center. There is a caption to the right of the flowers that says Eastern dogwood, an Arkansas native.

Below the flowers and running down to the bottom and middle of the photo is the front of a multiple story building with orange brick on the top half and rows of small windows with a matching orange overhang. The bottom half of the building is made of off white block with the same color grout between the blocks. In front of the building is an uncovered porch with black iron railing that is very pointy.  

In the bottom corner are two off white tall, square pillars each with a lightly green brass eagle on top with their wings folded and back.

In the middle on the bottom of the picture is the top of an arched window in a white building surrounding it is made of stone. The window trim is painted gold as are the small slats of trim in the window. The top of a light fixture is next to the window. This fixture is green and metal with eight white globes. In the very center of the picture is a white building with curved roof with a blue and gold dome at the very top. There are columns on the front of the building that are square and white with ornate tops. The roof is red tile. 

 Next to that is a four column square pagoda with a red tile roof and a small green statue at the top. 

CAPTION: The Fordyce and Quapaw on Bathhouse Row.

CREDIT: NPS/Tommy Hill

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IMAGES and TEXT: Healing

IMAGE 1 of 3: Bath towel

DESCRIPTION: A tattered white bath towel with Quapaw Baths in light grey capital block letters and a gray background

CAPTION: Bath towel.


IMAGE 2 of 3: Maurice Bathhouse

DESCRIPTION: A large communal pool with a light gray stone trim and a large gray wall on the left. In the pool are patients and therapists in pairs of two. Three of the four pairs are standing and walking in the pool. One female patient laying on a floating chaise lounge type chair with a therapist to her left side. There is a row of white globe lights visible running along the faint ceiling.

CAPTION: Patients and therapists,  Maurice Bathhouse, 1938.


IMAGE 3 of 3: Drinking cup

DESCRIPTION: A collapsible tin drinking cup in a pewter color. The cup is full of water and has rings and well as a lip at the top. The bottom has an ample base extending beyond the cup so as to ensure the cup stays upright. 

CAPTION: Collapsible tin drinking cup, ca. 1900.


Hydrotherapy offered treatment for conditions such as arthritis or rheumatism and even stress or immune disorders, before modern advancements in medicine. Therapies included whirlpool baths, massages, and mercury rubs. Though the water held no magical cure, such treatments offered some relief for patients who were suffering and in desperate need of help. Treatment in “America’s First Resort” often served as patients’ last resort for healing.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Habitat

IMAGE 1 of 4: Woodland stone crop

DESCRIPTION: Four opposing branches with green leaves and white flowers emerging upright from the branches. There are approximately six teardrop shaped white flowers per branch. 

CAPTION: Woodland stone crop has  fragrant white flowers. 

CREDIT: Wikipedia/Mason Brock

IMAGE 2 of 4: Tufa outcropping

DESCRIPTION: A large outcropping of brown and black rock with water streaming over the edge and steam coming off the top of the rocks. On the left is green ivy on the hillside.

CAPTION: Tufa outcropping, Arlington Lawn.

CREDIT: QT Luong/Terra Galleria

IMAGE 3 of 4: Delicate lip ferns

DESCRIPTION: A long stem with many alternating fronds. The fronds have parallel tapering leaves. The fronds are widest in the middle, tapering to the left they get shorter and shorter until the end when there is one frond as a point. 

CAPTION: Delicate lip ferns grow on  moist tufa.

CREDIT: Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Ctr/Alan Cressler

IMAGE 4 of 4: Eastern dogwood

DESCRIPTION: Eight white flowers grouped together. Each flower has four large petals paired in opposing directions. The center of the flower has a clump of light green pistils with white tips

CAPTION: Eastern dogwood, an  Arkansas native.

CREDIT: Chris Evans/U of Illinois

The spring water carries particles of calcium carbonate that, over millennia, built up porous, soft rock (tufa) around many spring openings. Delicate plants and microscopic life forms (thermophiles) live in and near the hot, mineral rich springs.

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

Side two of the brochure is comprised of text, three maps, drawings of Bathhouse row buildings, and six color photographs. The large map is the full park and identifies trails, roads, and buildings. The two additional inset maps focus upon Bathhouse row and the recharge zone. The drawings of Bathhouse row show the front of each bathhouse, in order from left to right, of the buildings from North to South. The color photos are examples of flora and fauna found within the park.

The text, associated maps and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections. In addition to the map and photo descriptions, the text sections provide many descriptive details about what the areas look like and information about getting there and what trails and amenities are available.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Bathhouse row

IMAGE 1 of 9: Superior

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of the historic Superior Bathhouse. The white and dark green drawing is set against a tan marble background depicts and two-story dark rectangle building with a flat roof and a chimney slightly off center toward the viewers left. There is an ornate double door in the middle of the first floor along with ten thin, rectangular windows. To the views right and attached to the building is a small stone structure about five feet in height. The second floor is a wall of twelve windows.

CAPTION: Superior, 1916: The smallest bathhouse on the row, it offered affordable hydrotherapy and massages.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 2 of 9: Hale

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Hale Bathhouse. This white and green drawing against the same tan marble background shows a slightly large two-story rectangular building with a sloped roof and the tip of a chimney visible on the viewers right. The first floor has a large front door with an arched vestibule with the word HALE in stone. This is off center toward the views left with three arched windows to the left of the door and six to the right. The second story has 12 arched windows. The building itself is white.

CAPTION: Hale, 1892: The oldest surviving bathhouse on the row, the Hale has a sauna in a thermal cave carved from the mountainside.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 3 of 9: Maurice

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Maurice bathhouse. This white and green drawing against the same tan marble background shows a large three story building that is mostly white. The roof in the center of the third story is sloped, glass surrounds roof with a chimney on right side. There are five large windows consisting of many small squares of glass under this popped out roof with three smaller windows under a flat roof to the left and right. Below that is a line of smaller windows. The bottom floor is white with a large arched window on the left and right. The center is for tall, wide windows with ornate arches and an ornate door in the center. There are several small stone attached outbuildings eight to ten feet tall on both the left and right.

CAPTION: Maurice, 1912: A third floor lounge has a stone fireplace, painted mural, stained glass skylight, and an expansive view of the row.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 4 of 9: Fordyce

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Fordyce Bathhouse. This image depicts the tallest of the drawings. The building is three full stories with a white popped out roof above the main roof. The building is dark with a white bottom third. The top two thirds of the building consists of two rows of 14 windows. Those on the top floor have arched tops. The bottom floor is white with two large windows on the far left and far right. There are fours smaller windows in the center with a large front door in the center. Above these windows and door is a dark ornate cover to allow cover from the elements when entering and exiting the building. 

CAPTION: Fordyce,1915: The elegant Fordyce houses the park visitor center. Many of the rooms have been restored to their original state. 

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 5 of 9: Quapaw

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Quapaw bathhouse - . This image depicts the widest of the bathhouses. The building is two stories with a large dome in the middle of the roof that has a round ornate medallion in the below the roof and in the center. To the left and right of the dome is a steeply slopped roof that is dark. Below the roof is a row of twelve windows. The first floor extends beyond the second to the left and right. Those sections have two large arched windows with a peaked ornate roof. The rest of the first floor has five windows to the left and right of a white portico with two more arched windows and a door below it. 

CAPTION: Quapaw, 1922: A tiled dome crowns a decorative scheme with an American Indian motif, scallop shells, and fish.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 6 of 9: Ozark

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of historic Ozark Bathhouse. White and dark green drawing of a two story rectangular white stone building. The flat roof has two very large square columns that extend to the ground and jut out above the roof with arched openings at the top and a tile roof. Under the flat roof and between these columns are five large square windows. To the left and right of the column and under the flat roof are three smaller square windows. On the first floor, to the left and right of the columns are large square windows. Between the columns on the ground floor are five big windows consisting of multiple squares of glass. In the very middle is small staircase leading to a doorway.

CAPTION: Ozark, 1922: Sculpted mythical creatures hold urns of water, encouraging passersby to sample the healing waters.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 7 of 9: Buck staff

DESCRIPTION: Drawing of the historic Buck staff Bathhouse. White and dark green drawing of the three-story rectangular stout building with a third story that is two-thirds the width of the first two and has a square chimney off center to the left. Below the chimney is flat roof that sports seven small window below that. To the left and right is a bit of roof for the lower floors that extend beyond the third floor with a second chimney to the left. Below this flat roof is white stone band that read Buck staff in capital block letters. This band juts out a bit from the building and is supported by six white columns. Just below the band is a row of 9 square windows. The first floor has eight, story height, arched topped windows with an ornate double door in the middle. There is a white stone porch barely visible.

CAPTION: Buck staff, 1912: This is the only bathhouse on the row to operate continuously for over a century.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 8 of 9: Lamar

DESCRIPTION: White and dark green drawing of the historic Lamar Bathhouse. This rectangular two story bathhouse has a flat roof with a scalloped edged decorative higher section in the middle with tall thin windows on both the left and right end of the building, stacked on top of each other so as to run from the bottom floor to the top floor. Between these windows on the second floor are eight large square windows. The first floor has four very large windows flanking a large lavish double door with a concrete staircase.

CAPTION: Lamar, 1923: The Lamar offered marble bathtubs of different lengths for greater comfort.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

IMAGE 9 of 9: Administration

DESCRIPTION: Dark green and white drawing of the historic Administration Building. This white smaller rectangular building has a sloped tile roof. There is a two-story portico off center toward the viewers with one window to the left and three windows to the right, all with small Juliet balconies. The first floor has one small arched window to the left of the portico and three to the right. Under the portico on the first floor is a door. There several tall coned shaped trees on the right of the building and peaking out from behind it and small shrubs lining the front along the foundation. 

CAPTION: Administration, 1936: Built as park headquarters, it was never a bathhouse. A fountain greets visitors who enter the park from the south.

CREDIT: Library of Congress

To protect public safety, the federal government stopped renewing leases for fire prone wooden bathhouses in 1911. The structures that you see here today are built of stone or brick. 

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MAP: Hot Springs National Park

DESCRIPTION: This page is a map of Hot Springs National Park and the area around it. It also has a number of illustrations and inserts including Bathhouse row, park instructions and information, park plants and animals, and helpful keys.

The map background is in shades of tan that show the relative contours of the surrounding area; Hot Springs National Park is in green, continuing the contours within the park boundaries. The town of Hot Springs, Arkansas is surrounded by the park.

Arkansas Highway 7 is the primary access through both Hot Springs National Park and the town of Hot Springs. Through the center of town Highway 7 is referred to as Central Avenue and and provides frontage for Bathhouse row and the National Park. Off street parking is abundant; privately owned parking lots are located across from and to the South of Bathhouse row. They are highlighted in yellow.

The key for this map is located in the bottom right corner of the map and also includes the location of cold spring with a blue filled circle. Within the park, driving roads (vehicles must be 30 feet or less) are indicated with a white line and pullouts have a black semi-circle adjacent to the white line. Roads going up the mountain behind the bathhouses show several hard switchbacks. Hiking trails in the park are identified with green dotted lines. Also identified in the key are: the Ranger Station, restrooms, picnic areas, and wheel chair accessible routes (mostly in the area of the bathhouses and the Grand Promenade behind the bathhouses and at Gulpha Gorge Campground off of Arkansas Highway 7 which also goes through a more primitive portion of the park); along with the Hot Springs Mountain Tower (located behind and above Bathhouse row).

Interesting to note on this map is that Hot Springs Creek seems to enter at the north end of Central and exit at the South end. The creek flows through a tunnel through the greater part of town and underneath Bathhouse row. The location of several buildings that may be of interest to visitors are also identified. 

Inset into the left side of the primary map of the Hot Springs National Park Map is a map of Bathhouse row. This inset shows not only the bathhouses (dark brown for open to the public and lighter brown for closed to the public), but also the parking lots (yellow with the letter P on each), the walkways (a solid line), paved trails (dotted line), unpaved trails (dashed line), thermal fountains (solid red circle) and open hot springs (open red circle). The bathhouses in the row are also identified by name.

Below the Bathhouse row inset is a smaller drawing of the Recharge Zone that is described elsewhere in this brochure.

On both sides of the insets are further notes about Hot Springs National Park, including the approximate geographic location of the park; connecting highways for vehicle traffic and modes of travel; lodging/accommodations with contacts; safety (including things that bite and sting); regulations (especially for the back country); and contact information for Hot Springs National Park. For more accessibility information: please check with a Ranger, the Visitor information Center in Fordyce Bathhouse or contact the Park:

Hot Springs National Park

101 Reserve Street

Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901

501-620-6715, TTY 501-624-2308 

In a row across the top of the map are detailed sketches of the fronts of the bathhouses, in order from left to right as they are when standing, looking at Bathhouse row from in front of them. 

Also on the map are colored illustrations of some of the flora and fauna of the park:

Everything on this map collage comes together with the descriptive words printed sideways up the left side of the map above the Umbrella Magnolia:            At Once Urban and Wild - appropriate for Hot Springs National Park.

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IMAGES: Flora and fauna

IMAGE 1 of 6: Umbrella magnolia

DESCRIPTION: Two white flowers each with eight thin petals stick up from oblong green leaves.

CAPTION: Umbrella magnolia

CREDIT: Paco Garin

IMAGE 2 of 6: Ouachita blazing star

DESCRIPTION: A single pink purple flower with many stringy petals sits on top of five thin leaves emerging from the stem.

CAPTION: Ouachita blazing star

CREDIT: Lee Hiller

IMAGE 3 of 6: Black bear

DESCRIPTION: A large black bear with a lighter brown snout and rounded ears walks on a lawn toward the left with its front right paw elevated as it steps forward.

CAPTION: Black bear

CREDIT: Michael Webber

IMAGE 4 of 6: Luna moth

DESCRIPTION: Light green moth, two very wide wings at the top overlap two lower wings, tapering to a two forked tail. The edges of the wings are purple. Each wing had a white and purple circle, looking almost like eyes. 

CAPTION: Luna moth

CREDIT: Alan Warrior

IMAGE 5 of 6: Red eared slider

DESCRIPTION: Side view of a turtle with black interspersed with tan on the shell. The edge of the shell is slightly lighter in color with evenly spaced black circles. The head of the turtle is sticking out to the left, its face is light green with red on the top.

CAPTION: Red eared slider

CREDIT: Steven Pierson

IMAGE 6 of 6: Ozark chinquapin

DESCRIPTION: Light green leaves on a branch. The leaves have serrated edges, offset from the stem, with a center vein and more veins shooting off from the center vein, evenly spaced, toward the tip of the leaf.

CAPTION: Ozark chinquapin

CREDIT: Missouri Dept of Conservation/A.J. Hendershott

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MAP and TEXT: Bathhouse row and surrounding area

DESCRIPTION: Faint green denotes the park on the right and left of the map. Faint yellow runs down the middle, slightly to the left of Central avenue. On the right side of Central avenue, from bottom to top, are the Park Administration Building, Lamar Bathhouse, Buckstaff bathhouse, Ozark Bathhouse and cultural center, Quapaw bathhouse, Fordyce bathhouse, museum, and visitor center, Maurice Bathhouse, Hale Hotel, and Superior brewery. Beyond the Superior is Arlington lawn and the hot water cascade. To the right of the bathhouses is the accessible grand promenade, accessed between the Fordyce and Maurice or via stairs at Arlington Lawn or to the right of the Park Administration building. Trails also spur off of the grand promenade to the right of the Maurice. 

Men's restroom is between the Ozark and Quapaw. Women's restroom is between the Quapaw and Fordyce. 

There is a jug fountain in front (bottom) of the Park Administration building. 

Display springs are located to the right of the Maurice bathhouse. 

Parking lots - to the left of Central Avenue across from the Ozark. Another lot is at the bottom, across Reserve St from the Park Administration building. Two other lots are located to the left of Central, across from the Arlington lawn. 

Hot Springs National Park, 50 miles southwest of Little Rock, straddles a horseshoe shaped ridge formed by Sugarloaf Mountain (north), Music Mountain (west), and West, Hot Springs, and North mountains (south).

Vehicles use US 270, US 70, and AR 7. Find parking at meters or paid lots near the park. Two airports provide air service. Taxis and buses offer ground transport.

Visit the park website for information about programs and tours. Request ASL signed or guided group tours at least two weeks in advance.

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TEXT: Accommodations

At Gulpha Gorge you’ll find 40 campsites (your stay may not exceed 14 days per year), grills, picnic tables, and electric and water hookups, but no showers. No advance reservations; call the park for availability. Camp only at campsites. You can also find lodging in the city and at nearby lakes; call Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1 800 SPA CITY.

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MAP and TEXT: Recharge Zone

DESCRIPTION: The background of the map is tan, several major highways are marked on the map with highway 7 running from the lower left to the upper right. On the lower left is the green elliptical shape of Hot Springs National Park that extends from the lower left of the map upwards to the right, stopping nearly in the center. Extending from the bottom left of the park shape to the upper right of the map, following highway 7, and extending wider than the park both top to bottom and right to left, is a purple outline denoted as Recharge Zone. 

Cracks in the outcroppings of novaculite and chert along the ridges trap rainwater and channel it downward. It eventually emerges as hot spring water. Changes in land use in the recharge zone outside the park (right) could redirect the water and interrupt the cycle.

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TEXT: Safety

• Use caution when walking or cycling on park roads

• Always wear seat belts.

• Vehicles longer than 30 feet are prohibited on Hot Springs Mountain Drive.

• Wear sturdy shoes, and watch for poisonous plants, stinging insects, ticks, and snakes.

• Stay hydrated in hot weather.

• Store your valuables out of sight in parked vehicles.

• Do not enter caves, crevices, or mineshafts.

• To reach a law enforcement ranger call 888 692 1162.

Emergencies call 911

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TEXT: Regulations

• Vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and skates are prohibited on sidewalks and trails.

• Build fires only in grills.

• Leash your pets and clean up after them.

• Obtain permits for weddings or events.

• All wildlife is protected in the park. Federal law prohibits removing plants, animals, rocks, or other natural or historic features.

• Report vandalism to a ranger or the visitor center.

• For firearms regulations check the park website.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to the visitor center in the Fordyce, ask a ranger, call, or check our website. At the Fordyce there is a tactile map, braille brochures, and audio descriptions for the park movie. ASL interpretation is available, please call the park at least two weeks prior to arrival. Ramps and elevators are available at every building. 

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OVERVIEW: More Information

ADDRESS: 101 Reserve St. , Hot Springs, AR 71901 


PHONE: 501-620-6715, TTY 501-624-2308


Hot Springs National Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit

National Park Foundation
Join the park community. 

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