|Hiking Trails||Hiking Tips||Picnicking|
Hiking in Hot Springs National Park can be a fun and rewarding experience as in other national parks. It is a great way to both see and experience the park.
Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! was part of the "cure" along with taking the baths. There are approximately 26 miles of day use hiking trails in the park (mountain bikes are prohibited). There are two scenic mountain drives on West Mountain and on Hot Springs and North Mountains. An observation tower on top of Hot Springs Mountain is operated by a concessioner. There are picnic tables on the Grand Promenade, Hot Springs Mountain, West Mountain and Gulpha Gorge.
|Grand Promenade||0.5 mile||Easy||The Grand Promenade is a National Recreation Trail. It was designed to provide a transition between the developed bathhouse area and the mountains. The red and yellow brick walkway, finished in 1957, meanders behind Bathhouse Row and between several covered springs. The trail can be reached from Reserve Street (South Entrance), Fountain Street beyond the Arlington Hotel (North Entrance), or behind the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center. It is wheelchair accessible from behind the Fordyce and also from Fountain Street at grades of 8.7 % to 11.6%.|
|Peak||0.5 mile||Moderately Strenuous||The Peak Trail leads to the summit of Hot Springs Mountain and Mountain Tower where a picnic area, water, and comfort station are located. This scenic trail begins midway down the Grand Promenade.|
|Dead Chief||1.4 miles||Strenuous at Beginning||Start from behind the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center at the Grand Promenade. The trail intersects with the Short Cut Trail which leads to the summit of Hot Springs Mountain, and with the Gulpha Gorge Trail which leads to Gulpha Gorge Campground. Comfort stations, water, and picnic areas are located at the campgrounds and mountain summit.|
|Short Cut||Leads to the summit of Hot Springs Mountain.|
|Gulpha Gorge||Leads to the Gulpha Gorge Campground.|
Other trails are:
Hiking Tips and Regulations
Picnic tables on the Grand Promenade, Hot Springs Mountain, West Mountain, and at Gulpha Gorge offer a place to enjoy a meal outdoors.
The Gulpha Gorge picnic area is located at the entrance to the campground near Gulpha Creek. In addition to thirty-four tables, there are grills, trash cans and restrooms. Hiking trails are nearby.
At the top of Hot Springs Mountain is another picnic area, next to the overlook with the "pagoda" shelter. There are fourteen tables, also grills, water, trash cans and restrooms. It is a short walk to the observation tower and nearby trails.
At the south end of the Grand Promenade are two picnic tables. Bring your checkers and enjoy a game on the checkerboards which are painted on the tables. Trash cans and comfort stations are nearby.
Two picnic tables are located at the second overlook on west Mountain Drive. Trash cans are nearby.
The picnic area at Gulpha Gorge will be closed to all activity between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am daily to coincide with quiet hours in the adjacent campground. Picnicking activity within Gulpha Gorge campsites is prohibited unless registered for that specific campsite and the camping fee is paid. Picnicking throughout the park is permitted unless posted to prevent that activity.
Fires are permitted within the Gulpha Gorge Campground and at designated picnic sites only within fire grills provided, or at the group fire ring at the campground amphitheater. Self-contained portable stoves or grills may be used when off the ground and away from overhanging vegetation. Ground fires are prohibited throughout the park.
Dead wood laying on the ground and unattached to live trees may be used for fuel at Gulpha Gorge campground and at designated picnic sites, only in fire grills provided.
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